March 13th – This Date in the Vietnam War

On March 13th 1969, Navy Lieutenant John Kerry patrolled the Bay Hap River. He found himself under a barrage of Viet Cong fire. Despite the immense danger, Kerry navigated his vessel toward the shoreline to rescue a Green Beret by the name of Jim Rassman. Rassman had fallen overboard and was at the mercy of the raging river currents. Kerry’s swift and heroic actions ultimately saved Rassman’s life, earning Kerry the Silver Star.


On March 13th, 1975, a pivotal event occurred in Ban Me Thuot, the capital of Darlac Province in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. This fateful day saw the fall of the city to North Vietnamese troops, marking a significant victory for the communist forces during the Vietnam War. The events leading up to this point began in January 1975.

The North Vietnamese had launched a campaign known as Campaign 275, which aimed to capture Ban Me Thuot and secure control over the Central Highlands. The battle began on March 4th, and the North Vietnamese rapidly encircled the city with five main force divisions, effectively cutting off any outside support. As the battle carried on it became apparent that the communist forces would likely take the city and potentially the entire province. South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu ordered his troops to withdraw in order to protect population centers which were south of the current position

Thus, he commanded his forces in the Central Highlands to pull back from their positions, resulting in the abandonment of the cities of Pleiku and Kontum. However, what initially began as an orderly retreat soon devolved into a state of panic, and the South Vietnamese forces quickly fell apart. The North Vietnamese emerged victorious in both the Central Highlands and in further northern regions, such as Quang Tri, Hue, and Da Nang. As a result, the South Vietnamese army, once a coherent fighting force, soon crumbled under the relentless onslaught of the communist forces, who continued their march towards Saigon.

1 Comment
  1. Please explain to me how we lost the Vietnam war. We were pulled out and turned over operations to south Vietnam . Our government promised to supply anything they lost in the aggrement they made with the south. Didn’t happen just like agent orange will not hurt you. Our war was over way before the north won. I guess our government had drained all the resources it wanted by 73.

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