The Price of the Vietnam Conflict

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8,744,000 Americans served in the four branches of the U.S. Military during the main period of hostilities 1964-1973, which makes the Vietnam war second only to World War II in number of personnel involved. Typical tour of rotation was one year.

The average age of U.S. combat personnel was 19 compared to 26 in World War II.

15,000,000 eligible American youth avoided the draft by gaining student or other deferments.

An estimated 250,000 simply didn't register for the draft.

1,000,00 committed draft offenses.

25,00 were indicted for draft-related charges.

Only 3,250 spend any time in prison.


The U.S. military lost 47,253 in combat and another 10,449 died in Vietnam. There were 313,616 wounded, of whom 153,300 were classified as seriously wounded.

76 percent of all personnel in Vietnam were targets of enemy mortars or rockets.

56 percent witnessed their comrades being killed or wounded.

Due to use of helicopters for evacuation 82 percent of those seriously wounded were saved (compared to 71 percent in World War II and 74 percent in Korea).

2.6 percent of those who reached hospitals died.

10,000 lost at least one limb (more then all those in WW II and Korea combined) due to use of enemy bobby traps, mines, and other guerrilla tactics.

81 were killed in Laos and Cambodia.

South Vietnam reported 185,528 of it personnel killed and 499,026 wounded.

North Vietnam reportedly lost 924,048.

Vietnam is estimated to have had 415,000 civilians killed and 935,000 wounded.

South Korea lost 4,407 combat troops.

Australia lost 475.

1,340 Americans were listed as missing in action when the war ended. Most are still listed as MIA.


Roughly $150 billion in direct costs and twice that in indirect expenses. On the average day, US artillery expended 10,000 rounds at $100 a round.

Typical sortie by a B-52 cost $30,000 in bombs alone. There were hundreds of sorties.

4,865 US helicopers were lost at $250,000 each.

3,720 other aircraft were destroyed.

Total tonnage of bombs dropped was 8 million, four times what was used in all of WW II.

2,236,000 tons of bombs were dropped on infiltration routes in Laos between 1965-1971

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