Page 022

[Image 1: Marine
Corps Historical
Collection. Recruiting
poster displays
the slogan from which Nam Phong's
nickname was
derived. At its
peak, the 'Rose
Garden' served
as home to nearly
3,000 Marines.
]

Page 22(The United States Presence in Southeast Asia )


size=5>CHAPTER 2

size=5>The United States Presence in Southeast Asia

The Forces in

Thailand-The Forces Afloat-The HI Marine Amphibious Force Americans Ashore-The

Marines in Vietnam

The signing of the Paris Accords in

January 1973 reduced the size and significantly altered the structure of U.S.

forces in Southeast Asia even though the majority of Americans had already been

withdrawn from South Vietnam. Government statistics reflected less than 25,000

American servicemen in South Vietnam on New Year's Eve 1972, consisting of

13,800 soldiers, 1,500 sailors, 7,600 airmen, 100 Coast Guardsmen, and 1,200

Marines.'

The remaining field advisors and

support units were removed from South Vietnam by the end of March 1973. On 29

March 1973, the United States officially disestablished Military Assistance

Command, Vietnam (MACV), and opened the Defense Attache Office, Saigon. Its

members assumed most of MACV's advisory duties and continued to the best of

their ability to perform these functions with a significantly smaller staff. The

Commander U.S. Naval Forces Vietnam Quarterly Summary graphically depicted the

depth and significance of the reduction of forces in its chronology's

highlights:

29 March-All USN/USMC personnel (with

exception DAO/Embassy personnel) departed RVN. Military personnel remaining in

country: Captain R. F. Stadlcr.Jr., USN, Chief Navy Division; Captain L. Young,

USN, Chief VNN Logistic Support Division; Captain C. E. Cuson, USN, Chief Supply

Section; Lieutenant Colonel W. D. Fillmorc, USMC, Chief VNMC Logistic Support

Division; Captain C. N. Conger. USNR. ALUSNA; Captain E. H. Bclton, CEC, USN,

Director of Construction; Colonel W. B. Fleming, USMC, Chief, Plans and Liaison

Branch, Operations and Plans Division; Commander L. D, Bullard, USN. Staff Plans

Officer, Plans Section, Plans and Liaison Branch, Operations and Plans Division;

Major R. F. Johnson, USMC, Operations Staff Officer, Readiness Section,

Operations and Training Branch. Operations and Plans Division. Additionally,

there arc 156 USMC spaces in the Embassy Security Detachment, Saigon. 29 March

strength was 143.2

These changes in force size and

function necessitated a restructuring of the American organization in Southeast

Asia. Besides advisory duties, the U.S. charged the Defense Attache Office,

Saigon, with supervision of the military assistance program permitted by the

Paris agreements and shifted coordination and management of military operations

to a new joint headquarters at Nakhon Phanom in Thailand. By August of 1973, the

U.S. combat presence in Southeast Asia consisted of Seventh Air Force units in

Thailand and Seventh Fleet elements in the off-shore waters bordering the

Indochinese Peninsula.3 The Forces in Thailand

During the war, the number of U.S.

forces in the Kingdom of Thailand had grown in direct proportion to the number

of forces committed to South Vietnam. A complex of air bases had been built to

support the U.S. effort in all of Southeast Asia. The principal U.S. component

in Thailand, the Seventh Air Force, operated from the Royal Thai Air Force bases

at Takhli, Utapao, Korat, Ubon, Udorn, and Nakhom Phanom. Seventh Air Force

headquarters was at Nakhom Phanom, in extreme northeastern Thailand.

The withdrawal of U.S. forces from

South Vietnam

 





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