Ta Thai Manh, at 15 the youngest member of the Vietnamese Rangers, smokes a cigarette as he waits for transportation to take him to an aid station after he was wounded in action in the Cholon section of Saigon May 6th. The youngster has another distinction besides his age: in March he was given a medal for helping capture seven Viet Cong.
I can't find any more information after this one above when he was 15. Be nice to find out he made it another 5 years and was alive and well. (Update: I believe he was killed.)
The fifth big mistake in Vietnam was failure to utilize our most powerful military assets—our overwhelming superiority in Air and Naval Power—early in the conflict. Pacific Area Commander (CinCPAC), Admiral Grant Sharp, believed this was the greatest mistake in the war. This mistake was closely related to and overlapped the fourth big mistake, which was the Johnson-McNamara doctrine of gradualism discussed in part 4 of this series.
On April 20, 1965, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara held a conference in Honolulu to inform General Wheeler, the Chairman of the JCS and his top commanders in the Pacific of the Johnson-McNamara strategy to prevent the fall of South Vietnam to the Communist regime in Hanoi.
Also attending this meeting were Admiral Sharp; General Westmoreland, Commander of the Military Advisory Command in Vietnam (MACV); and retired General Maxwell Taylor, the U.S. Ambassador in Saigon. McNamara brought with him his most influential advisor, Assistant Secretary of Defense, John McNaughton, and National Security Advisor Walt Rostow. This was a mere seven weeks following the commencement of Operation “Rolling Thunder,” Johnson’s plan to bring Hanoi to the negotiating table by a gradually escalating campaign of bombing targets in North Vietnam
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