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Tet Casualties

1968 was the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War for the American Army. Over 16,000 Americans were killed and 45,000 wounded. 

The North Vietnamese launched two offensives that year. The first in February (Tet) and a smaller one in May. Both offensives failed militarily, but the Tet Offensive scored an unexpected political victory for the North Vietnamese in the United States. It was the turning point of the war.

Alpha Company, 3/506th
Tet Casualties:
During the first three weeks of the enemy's 1968 Tet offensive, Alpha Company's rifle platoons suffered 13 dead and 33 wounded, out of approximately 120 troopers in the field. In effect, more than one out of three men in the line platoons was hit.

The number of KIAs that year could have been higher if not for the excellent medical care the wounded received. This was true for the entire American Army. A wounded soldier was never more than a 30 minute chopper ride away from a modern air-conditioned medical facility.  

Excerpts below from 
After Tet
by Ron Spector 

"In WW II about 71% of men who became casualties survived their wounds. In Korea the figure was 74%. In Vietnam over 81% of men wounded in battle survived."

"In all, Army medevac helicopters carried at least 400,000 US military personnel and a considerably larger number of Vietnamese troops and civilians to hospitals during the ten years from 1963 to 1973. It is impossible to say how many lives were saved..".

"The rate of loss to hostile fire for medevacs was three and half times the loss rate for all other types of helicopter missions."

"Although officials in Washington were fond of pointing out that the casualty rate for American forces in Vietnam was considerably lower than in World War II and Korea, that had far more to do with the larger percentage of personnel in support units and the availability of improved medical care than with any differences in the intensity of combat. Men in