March 8, 1965 – U.S. Marines are among the first American combat troops to arrive in Vietnam as 3,500 land at China Beach in defense of the American air base located at Da Nang. At the time of their arrival there were already 23,000 American military advisors stationed in Vietnam. On October 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed National Security Action Memorandum No. 263. As of that date, the United States had a total of 16,000 “personnel” in country in South East Asia. The document memorializedRead More
Post Tagged with: "NSAM 263"
Prior to the declassification of various formerly TOP SECRET documents there was a widely held misconception that JFK was responsible for having involved the United States in the Vietnam war—not responsible so much for beginning the war, but responsible for having escalated it. One document that clearly refutes such a claim, NSAM 263, appears on the left. However, there is considerable “built in” mystery surrounding this document, as well. The document is itself more “cover letter” than anything else because it does not delineate theRead More