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    Museum Audio Tour 39: Modern Flight Gallery: SEA War U.S. Exits Southeast Asia

    Museum Audio Tour 39: Modern Flight Gallery: SEA War U.S. Exits Southeast Asia

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    Audio by NMUSAF PA 

    National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

    The peace agreement signed in Paris in 1973 ended U.S. combat operations in Vietnam. The cease-fire, initialed on January 23 by Henry Kissinger for the United States and Le Duc Tho for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, formerly North Vietnam, took effect five days later. The agreement specified troop withdrawal and the return of prisoners of war. American troops were to leave South Vietnam within 60 days in a process overseen by international observers. During that time, the U.S. also dismantled bases in South Vietnam and destroyed or deactivated mines in Vietnamese waters. Finally, 591 American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam were released and transported to the United States. The Air Force relocated its Southeast Asian headquarters to Thailand, where its steadily shrinking forces monitored the cease-fire. Meanwhile, air combat continued for a time over Cambodia, since the treaties applied only to Vietnam and Laos. Congress did not support further fighting, and U.S. Air Force combat operations in the Southeast Asia War ended on July 15, 1973. Overall, The Air Force flew 5.25 million sorties in Southeast Asia, losing 2,251 aircraft and 1,738 Airmen killed in action from 1962 to 1973. Power struggles in the region continued after the peace agreement. In Cambodia, the ruinous rule of the Khmer Rouge began in 1975 as communists seized power. That same year, contrary to the 1973 Paris accords, North Vietnam invaded and conquered South Vietnam, uniting Vietnam by force as a communist nation. The Air Force evacuated many of the 50,000 people who escaped Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) before the capital fell, and the last American left on April 29, 1975. The Southeast Asia War occurred during a turbulent time for U.S. and world politics. In the 1960s and early 70s, Cold War international relations hinged on both diplomacy and localized conflicts like the one in Vietnam and neighboring countries. In the United States, domestic political and social issues at the time profoundly affected American society. Though the Southeast Asia War was controversial, the U.S. Air Force carried out its missions honorably in the best traditions of American armed services.



    Date Taken: 12.31.1969
    Date Posted: 09.02.2015 13:24
    Category: Newscasts
    Audio ID: 41958
    Filename: 1509/DOD_102704340.mp3
    Length: 00:02:36
    Album Museum Audio Tour
    Track # 39
    Location: DAYTON, OH, US 

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