To ensure the sacrifices of the 9 million who served during Vietnam War are remembered for generations to come, President Donald Trump signed into law the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, designating March 29 of each year as National Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day.
The U.S. Navy performed a wide array of missions during the Vietnam War. In the air, the Navy was a key partner with the U.S. Air Force during The Rolling Thunder and Linebacker air campaigns against North Vietnam, and in other air operations in Laos and Cambodia. On the coast, it developed a highly effective blockade to prevent the resupply of enemy forces by sea, engaged in naval gunfire support missions against enemy targets in the littoral areas of Vietnam, and provided amphibious transport for Marines.
On the rivers, Navy task forces protected commercial traffic, assisted allied ground forces in pacifying these areas, and interdicted enemy troops and supplies moving on these inland waterways. The U.S. Navy also supported the war effort with a massive sea and riverine logistics operation, built and managed shore facilities throughout South Vietnam, and provided extensive medical support for the allied military operation. A total of 1.8 million Sailors served in Southeast Asia.
The Navy provided the allied effort with many unique capabilities, the most significant being the projection of U.S. combat power ashore and control of the seas to support a land war in Asia far from the United States. Overall, the Navy suffered the loss of 1,631 men killed and 4,178 wounded during the course of the war.
Throughout the conflict, NAS Lemoore took a heavy toll in terms of the number of pilots killed in action, held in captivity or ended up missing in action. Young families suffered the consequences of having a lost a loved one. Perhaps nothing solidified the Lemoore Family faster, despite the installation being at its infancy, than having to come together and support one another. That legacy lives on today, and that is why we enjoy and are perpetually grateful for the bond that we have with our local communities.
On March 29 we officially honor all those who answered our Nation's call to duty in Vietnam. The remainder of the year we build on the build on the sacrifices made by all those who served and supported our Navy’s efforts during that chapter of our nation’s history. The strike/fighter community has evolved its tactics and made us into the U.S Navy’s premier Master Jet Base in large part due to the countless lessons learned from the Vietnam War. While our inventory of aircraft are technologically leaps and bounds ahead of the AD-1s, A-4s and A-7s flying over Southeast Asia, in the past nearly two decades, we have taken the fight to a new and insidious enemy and continue to prevail.
With conviction, our Nation pledges our enduring respect, our continuing care, and our everlasting commitment to all Vietnam Veterans.
Wishing you good health and please take a moment to remember our fallen Vietnam Veterans,
Captain David James
Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station Lemoore