11 August 1972

The last United States ground combat unit leaves South Vietnam (Vietnam War).

SAIGON, South Vietnam, Aug. 11—The last American ground?combat unit in Viet nam was deactivated today, a day after one of its com panies returned from a four? day mission during which two Men were wounded by booby traps. The unit, the Third Battalion of the 21st Infantry, with supporting ar tillery and a medical detach ment, guarded the big United States air base at Danang. The battalion has 1,043 men.

The United States command said that most of the battalion’s men would be going home in the next few days, but those with job specialties still needed in Vietnam and those with less than six months’ Vietnam service would stay. As of last week 44,600 Amer ican servicemen were left in South Vietnam, not including sailors in the Seventh Fleet off the coast or airmen in Thailand and Guam who fly missions over North and South Vietnam.

The first American ground combat bat talion landed in Vietnam March 8, 1965. It was the Third Battalion, Ninth Marine Regiment. At the height of its involvement in 1968, the Unit ed States had 112 ground com bat battalions in Vietnam.