|Vietnam Veterans of America|
November 1: President Nguyen Van Thieu denounces the peace accord as “a surrender of the South Vietnamese people to the communists.” Ret. Gen. Duong Van Minh, Thieu’s biggest rival, voices his opposition to the cease-fire plan. Sources contend the Viet Cong are unhappy that Hanoi dropped three crucial demands in coming to the cease-fire agreement.
November 2: Adm. John McCain, Jr., retires after 41 years in the Navy. In a televised address, President Richard Nixon asserts the peace agreement will not be signed until all remaining issues have been resolved. The administration discloses the U.S. will provide the South Vietnamese Air Force with hundreds of additional aircraft.
November 3: Military analysts report the North is reinforcing its troops in the South with tanks and armored personnel carriers. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. George McGovern accuses Nixon of “pretending” to be close to a peace settlement as part of a “cruel political deception” to get reelected. The U.S. Embassy in Laos says two burned bodies found in the recaptured town of Kengkok are believed to be American women missionaries.
November 6: Administration officials assert efforts to resume the peace negotiations are “on track.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Army Special Forces have led Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Laotian commandos on raids into Laos in 1972 which the Pentagon has denied. The U.S. command says three helicopters were shot down within fourteen miles of Danang; two Americans were killed, and three were wounded.
November 7: Nixon is reelected in a landslide.
November 8: American officials deny the assertion by North Vietnam’s newspaper, Nhan Dan, that the peace accord which was supposed to be signed by October 31 included the release of all military and civilian political prisoners held in the South.
November 9: In San Diego, 130 men — all but nine Black — refuse to obey orders to board their ship, the U.S.S. Constellation, because of racial tensions. All but eight are reassigned to shore stations.
November 10: Special envoy Gen. Alexander Haig, Jr., meets with Thieu in Saigon. Hearings begin for the Constellation protestors. The first five are punished with forfeiture of pay. Naval operations chief Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, Jr., berates senior commanders for their leadership failure and for ignoring race-relations directives.
November 11: The U.S. Army turns over the base at Long Binh to the South Vietnamese. The U.S. Navy announces hearings will be held to deal with the racial grievances of the men from the Constellation.
November 12: Two U.S. pilots are reported rescued, and one is listed as missing after three Navy A-7s are shot down by antiaircraft fire over North Vietnam. Quang Tri City is hit by 1,000 enemy rockets and artillery.
November 13: The Supreme Court clears the way for the continuation of Daniel Ellsberg’s trial regarding the Pentagon Papers. U.S. supplies are reportedly being pumped into South Vietnam to bolster military stocks in the event of a cease-fire.
November 14: Military sources contend several North Vietnamese battalions have begun pulling back near the DMZ and from the province around Saigon but say it is too small a number to judge why. Pham Dang Lam, South Vietnam’s chief negotiator, leaves for the peace talks.
November 15: The State Department says Canada, Hungary, Poland, and Indonesia have agreed in principle to supervise the cease-fire. Citing “sheer disgust with the leadership and the philosophy being applied,” senior CORDS official Willard Chambers, the second-ranking executive in Military Region I, resigns after six years with the pacification program.
November 17: In Saigon, issues of Trang Den, a Vietnamese language newspaper, are seized because they contain a critical cartoon of Nixon. The Navy says six of the men from the Constellation have been discharged “under honorable conditions,” many have been fined, and a few had their charges dropped.
November 20: In Paris, national security advisor Henry Kissinger and Tho confer through the day. In Saigon, the Senate votes overwhelmingly to support Thieu’s opposition to the peace agreement unless all NVA troops are withdrawn. At the opening of hearings by a House Armed Services subcommittee into racial incidents in the Navy, Zumwalt denies there is “permissiveness” which has led to the episodes.
November 21: A federal judge sentences Harvard professor Samuel Popkin to prison for contempt of court because of his refusal to answer questions before a grand jury looking into the Pentagon Papers dissemination. The U.S. Court of Appeals reverses the convictions of the five of the Chicago 7 found guilty of conspiracy.
November 22: Sources report Hanoi has ordered all NVA and VC troops in South Vietnam to observe the cease-fire for 60 days after it goes into effect. Military sources disclose the first B-52 lost to enemy fire was shot over North Vietnam and crashed in Thailand; all six aboard were rescued. Cmdr. John Schaub, the executive officer of the Constellation, contends the racial incidents have resulted from the Navy’s “poorly conceived and totally unfair” system of minority recruitment which forces educationally disadvantaged Black men to compete with more educated whites.
November 23: The Navy says thirteen more Constellation sailors will be discharged along with sixteen of the protesters discharged earlier.
November 25: Kissinger returns to the U.S. as the talks recess until December 4. A Gallup poll shows 59 percent of those asked approve of the way Nixon is dealing with the peace process.
November 26: Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, in a sermon at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, calls Nixon, who is in attendance, “one of the great peacemakers of history.”
November 28: Nixon names Elliot Richardson as secretary of defense to replace the departing Melvin Laird. Laird says only 10,000 men will be drafted in the first half of 1973 before the military becomes all-volunteer.
November 30: A military-justice study group announces its findings that there is intentional and systematic discrimination against Blacks in the military. The group calls for long-term reform, no matter the cost. U.S.S. Kitty Hawk crew members tell Navy investigators that after the race riot October 12-13, the captain and his executive officer, who is Black, had an open disagreement about what to do.
December 4: In Paris, Kissinger and Tho resume peace negotiations. U.S. troop strength in Vietnam is put at 25,500, 1,500 below the number Nixon authorized for December.
December 7: South Vietnamese foreign minister Lam says his government “would not refuse to do whatever can be done to free the American prisoners of war,” including the release of political prisoners.
December 8: The judge in the Pentagon Papers trial says he will declare a mistrial.
December 10: The Navy reports the Warrington, the destroyer heavily damaged by mines on July 17, was decommissioned on October 1 and may be scrapped.
December 14: An officer says that “due to the seriousness of the charges,” 19 Black sailors indicted for rioting and assault aboard the Kitty Hawk should remain jailed until their court-martial.
December 16: Kissinger puts most of the blame for the failure to reach a final agreement on Hanoi.
December 18: Nhan Dan puts the blame for the peace-talk impasse on the U.S. The Nixon administration announces the resumption of full-scale bombing (above the twentieth parallel) and mining of the North’s harbors, declaring this aggression “will continue until such time as a settlement is arrived at.”
December 19: North Vietnam accuses the U.S. of the “insane action” of resumption of the bombings as a premeditated intensification of the war. The Soviet government denounces the bombings and calls into question Nixon’s sincerity in wanting to see the war end.
December 20: Two sailors are killed and three wounded after their ship, the Goldsborough, is hit by return fire off the North Vietnamese coast. The Polish press agency accuses the U.S. of sinking the Jozef Conrad in Haiphong, killing three Polish sailors. The Defense Department denies the U.S. is engaging in “terror bombing” as it contends “very significant damage” has been done to military targets in North Vietnam.
December 21: Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev warns the U.S. that the two countries’ developing relationship will depend on what happens in the future to end the war. The communist delegations walk out of the formal peace session in Paris to protest the renewed U.S. bombings.
December 22: The Nixon administration says the U.S. will continue the raids and that the next move is up to North Vietnam to resume the peace talks. North Vietnamese defense minister Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap maintains the U.S. may wipe out Hanoi and Haiphong but his country will win the war. Saigon announces a 24-hour Christmas cease-fire.
December 24: Sources assert the U.S. has temporarily ceased the bombings. Thuy says Hanoi will not continue the talks as long as the U.S. drops bombs above the twentieth parallel. Sources deny accusations that the Navy has initiated a crackdown on dissident Black sailors. Bob Hope performs what he says is his last Christmas show in Vietnam.
December 25: South Vietnam reports 58 truce violations.
December 26: U.S. raids resume above the twentieth parallel after a 36-hour respite. U.S. aircraft conduct the heaviest raids thus far against Hanoi.
December 27: Harry S. Truman, 88, dies.
December 29: In San Diego, a special court-martial opens for the first of twenty-one Black sailors charged in the Kitty Hawk incident.
December 30: The Nixon administration announces a halt to raids above the twentieth parallel. Kissinger and Tho will meet again on January 8.
December 31: North Vietnamese representative Vo Van Sung claims his country has won a “strategic victory” and urges the U.S. to sign the peace accord reached in October.
|The VVA Veteran® is a publication of Vietnam Veterans of America. ©All rights reserved.
8719 Colesville Road, Suite 100, Silver Spring, MD 20910 | www.vva.org | contact us