After reviewing my last post and list of casualties, readers asked for additional information such as a breakdown by rank, female (military and civilian) and why the earlier grouping didn’t include Hispanics.  Thanks to the fine folks at:  I can provide that information here on my blog for you all.  I strongly encourage you to also visit that website as there is more information available about the war.

smokememory placque

Vietnam War Casualties

Enlisted Personnel

GRADE          ARMY         USMC             USN              USAF

E-1                  142                380                  3                      0

E-2                  476               5,630               69                    11

E-3                  12,818           4,378             641                  149

E-4                  11,516            0                     618                  248

E-5                  5,130              725                 324                  227

E-6                  2,231               298                186                  136

E-7                  986                  114                  67                    66

E-8                  192                   32                    13                    33

E-9                  51                     18                    4                      40


W-1                 905                  6                      4                      0

W-2                 281                  7                      0                      0

W-3                 59                    2                      0                      0

W-4                 6                      2                      0                      4

O-1                  496                  284                  18                    8

O-2                  1,475               309                  153               236

O-3                  1,017               30                    92                 187

O-4                  253                  78                 166                  399

O-5                  117                  30                    92                 187

O-6                  19                    7                      25                 184

O-7                  5                      0                      1                      1

O-8                  2                      1                      0                      2

Data compiled William F. Abbott from figures obtained shortly after the construction of the Vietnam War Memorial


The DoD database contains no info on Hispanic-American casualties. Hispanics can be of any race, but the 1980 census revealed that only 2.6% regard themselves as black. In a massive sampling of the database we were able to establish that between 5.0 and 6.0> had Hispanic surnames. These were Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and other Latino-Americans with ancestries based in Central and South Amer. The 1970 census which we are using as our V’nam era population base, estimated Hispanic-Americans at 4.5% of the US population.

Thus we think it is safe to say that Hispanic-Americans were over-represented among Vietnam casualties-an estimated 5.5% of the casualties against 4.5% of the 1970 population. These casualties came largely from California and Texas with lesser numbers from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida and New York and some from many states across the country.


Casualties by Country in Southeast Asia

Country      Army   USMC    Navy       USAF

Cambodia     459        16          2            44

China               —         —            6             —

Laos               214        22          33        457

N’ Vietnam    13         47         590      422

Thailand         —          —            —        177

S’ Vietnam  37,496   14,734  1,904    1,476

 It should be noted that 2,502 or 4.3% of all casualties took place outside of South Vietnam. 70% of these were Navy and Air Force personnel, most of them the pilots and crewmen who flew the recon and bombing sorties into North Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.

The Cambodian invasion launched in 1970 to interdict North Vietnam supplies on the Ho Chi Minh trail was largely an Army op resulting in 459 Army casualties – 88.0% of the 521 total casualties.

20% of all officer casualties in all the 4 services took place outside of South Vietnam.

55% of all Navy and Air Force officer casualties came as the result of action outside of South Vietnam.

On the Vietnam Vets Memorial Wall a plus sign (+) indicates that the casualty is missing in action (MIA). There were 1300 casualties who were and are listed as MIA. The great majority of these men were Air Force and Navy pilots who were shot down in all the countries of Southeast Asia that are shown above.

nursesboots on wall

Military Females – 8 nurses – names are on the wall.

Capt. Mary Therese Klinker  Capt. Klinker, a flight nurse with the 10th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron temporarily assigned to Clark Air Base in the Philippines, was on the C-5A Galaxy which crashed on April 4 outside Saigon while evacuating Vietnamese orphans.  This is known as the Operation Babylift crash.  From Lafayette, IN, she was 27. She was posthumously awarded the Airman’s Medal for Heroism and the Meritorious Service Medal.

2nd Lt. Elizabeth Ann Jones

2nd Lt. Carol Ann Elizabeth Drazba  Lt. Drazba and Lt. Jones were assigned to the 3rd Field Hospital in Saigon.  They died in a helicopter crash near Saigon, February 18, 1966. Drazba was from Dunmore, PA, Jones from Allendale, SC. Both were 22 years old.

 Lt. Col.  Annie Ruth Graham  Chief Nurse at 91st Evac. Hospital, Tuy Hoa.  From Efland, NC, she suffered a stroke in August 14, 1968 and was evacuated to Japan where she died four days later. A veteran of both World War II and Korea, she was 52.  Buried at Arlington National Cemetery

1st Lt. Sharon Ann Lane  Lt. Lane died from shrapnel wounds when the 312th Evac. at Chu Lai was hit by rockets on June 8, 1969. From Canton, OH, she was a month short of her 26th birthday. She was posthumously awarded the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm and the Bronze Star for Heroism.

2nd Lt. Pamela Dorothy Donovan  Lt. Donovan, born in Wirral, Merseyside, UK of Irish parents, and raised in Brighton MA, became seriously ill and died on July 8, 1968 in Gia Dinh, South Vietnam.  She was assigned to the 85th Evac. in Qui Nhon and was 26 years old at her death

1st Lt. Hedwig Diane Orlowski

Capt. Eleanor Grace Alexander  Capt. Alexander of Westwood, NJ, and Lt. Orlowski of Detroit, MI, died November 30, 1967. Alexander, stationed at the 85th Evac., and Orlowski, stationed at the 67th Evac. in Qui Nhon, had been sent to a hospital in Pleiku to help out during a push.

If you would like to learn more about these women listed above, then visit this link:

wall again

 Casualties – Married vs. Single

Enlisted      Army        USMC         USN         USAF

Married          9,180            2,125           598              492

Single            23,343         11,773          1,323             344


Married          2,599            534             398            1,245

Single             2,030            387             222              333

The USMC, youngest of all the enlisted men, had the lowest percentage of married men.  Air Force enlisted men, older and with longer service, had a majority of married men.

Officers, generally older with longer service and greater means, had a 60% married rate among its casualties.  Almost 3-quarters of all Air Force officers were married.  Over 70% of all Air Force casualties were married men.


Casualties By Medal of Honor Recepients-Posthumous

 Rank                ARMY         USMC         USN           USAF

Enlisted           76                  39                4                    0

Officer             20                    5                 2                    3

Of the 204 Medals of Honor awarded during the Vietnam War, 73% were awarded posthumously.

80% of the posthumous Medals of Honor were awarded to enlisted men. Whites accounted for 87% of the Medals of Honor, Blacks 11% and Asians were awarded 3%. 10 of the awards were given to men with Hispanic surnames.

50% of the posthumous Medals of Honor were awarded to men 18 to 21, 72% to men 18 to 24 and 88% to men 18 to 29.

Protestants were awarded 64% of the posthumous Medals of Honor, 30% went to Catholics and 1 to a Buddhist. 9 men had no religious preference or it was unknown/unreported.

102 of the Medals of Honor were awarded posthumously to single men and 47 of the men were married.

vietnam memorial

Casualties By Most Common Surname
 100 surnames account for 11,417 or 20% of the names on the wall.

Adams — 112                      Alien — 121               Anderson — 178      
Bailey — 56                        Baker — 119               Barnes — 66
Bell — 75                             Bennettt — 68             Brooks — 65

Brown — 383                     Bryant — 50                   Burns — 52
Butler — 54                        Campbell — 94              Carter — 108
Clark(e) — 170                  Coleman — 50                Collins — 79
Cook(e) — 99                    Cooper — 62                   Cox — 75
Davis — 298                      Ellis — 56                        Evans — 98
Ferguson — 51                   Ford — 54                      Foster — 75
Garcia — 102                     Gonzalez(s) 85              Good — 100
Graham — 61                     Gray — 82                      Green(e) — 161
Hall — 111                           Hamilton — 67              Harris — 138
Harrison — 51                    Hayes — 59              Hernandez(s) 53
Hill — 119                           Howard — 61                Hughes — 66
Jackson — 178                   James — 60                  Jenkins — 66
Johnson — 526                 Jones — 350                  Kelly — 61
King — 111                          Lee — 98                        Lewis — 115
Long — 69                          Lopez — 58                    Martin — 175
Miller — 282                     Mitchell — 104              Moore — 205
Morgan — 84                     Morris — 77                  Murphy — 82
Myers — 51                         Nelson — 119                Parker — 92
Patterson 55                       Perry — 61                    Peterson — 86
Phillips — 94                       Pierce — 50                  Powell — 62
Price — 67                            Reed — 71                     Richardson 71
Roberts — 95                      Robinson — 116           Rodriguez(s)82
Rogers — 75                        Ross — 70                     Russell — 58
Sanders — 59                      Scott — 123                   Simmons — 54
Smith — 667                       Stewart — 80                Sullivan — 61
Taylor — 201                      Thomas — 185              Thompson — 182
Turner — 85                      Walker — 128                 Wallace — 56
Ward — 73                         Watson — 73                   West — 58
White — 172                      Williams — 406              Wilson — 210
Woods — 52                      Wright — 134                   Young — 122

Civilian – American Red Cross

Hannah E. Crews – Died in a jeep accident, Bien Hoa, October 2, 1969

Virginia E. Kirsch  –  Murdered by a U.S. soldier in Cu Chi, August 16, 1970

Lucinda J. Richter  – Died of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Cam Ranh Bay, February 9, 1971

Civilian – Army Special Services

Rosalyn Muskat –  Died in a jeep accident, Long Binh, October 26, 1968

Dorothy Phillips  –  Died in a plane crash, Qui Nhon, 1967


Civilian – Catholic Relief Services

Gloria Redlin  –  Shot in Pleiku, 1969

Civilian – Central Intelligence Agency

Barbara Robbins – Died when a car bomb exploded outside the American Embassy, Saigon, March 30, 1965

Betty Gebhardt – Died in Saigon, 1971

 Civilian – Entertainer

Cathy Wayne – Australian murdered by a soldier who shot at his commander, but she was in the way.

Civilian – Journalists


Georgette “Dickey” Chapelle -Killed by a mine on patrol with Marines outside Chu Lai, November 4, 1965 (pictured above)

Marguerite Higgins     Died after picking up a parasite on her last visit to Vietnam, January 3, 1966

Philippa Schuyler        Killed in a helicopter crash into the ocean near Da Nang, May 9, 1967

Civilian Volunteers – Knights of Malta

Maria L. Kerbeer – Dental Assistant, age 20, died due to illness in a POW camp in late 1969. Her remains have never been recovered.

Hindrika Kortman –  Nurse, age 29.  Both women were assigned to a Knights of Malta volunteer hospital called the “Maltaserhildienst Hospital” in the Danang area. On April 27, 1969, they were lured to a village in Que Son district by a female communist agent also working at the hospital as a nurse under the pretext of taking pictures of the local scenery.

On April 10, 1986, the communists repatriated what they said were the remains of an American Marine captured and held as a POW during the war.  An examination of the remains determined that they were actually the remains of Ms Kortman.

Civilian – Missionaries

ruth thompasson

Ruth Thompson – Killed in a raid on the leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot, February 1, 1968 (pictured above)

Evelyn Anderson – Captured and burned to death in Kengkok, Laos, 1972

Carolyn Griswald – Killed in a raid on the leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot during Tet 1968

Beatrice Kosin – Captured and burned to death in Kengkok, Laos, 1972

Janie A. Makil – Shot in an ambush, Dalat, March 4, 1963. She was four months old

Betty Ann Olsen –  Captured during a raid on the leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot during Tet 1968. Died in 1968 and was buried somewhere along the Ho Chi Minh Trail by fellow POW, Michael Benge.

Eleanor Ardel Vietti – Captured at leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot, May 30, 1962.  Still listed as POW.

Ruth Wilting – Killed in a raid on the leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot, February 1, 1968

Civilian – United States Agency for International Development  (USAID)

Marilyn L. Allan – Murdered by a U.S. soldier in Nha Trang, August 16, 1967

Dr. Breen Ratterman – American Medical Association – died from injuries suffered in a fall from her apartment balcony in Saigon, October 2, 1969

Civilian – U.S. Department of the Navy OICC

(Officer in Charge of Construction)

Regina “Reggie” Williams  – Died of a heart attack in Saigon, 1964

Civilian – New Zealand Foreign Affairs Ministry (?)

Sister Lesley Cowper – Died May 2, 1966 (68?) Member of the New Zealand Surgical Team based at Qui Nhon.  Buried in Auckland NZ.

Operation Babylift

The following women were killed in the crash, outside Saigon, of the C5-A Galaxy transporting Vietnamese children out of the country on April 4, 1975.   All of the women were working for various U.S. government agencies in Saigon at the time of their deaths with the exception of Theresa Drye (a child), Laurie Stark (a teacher) and Nova Bell (a student at the University of Maryland Far East Division in Saigon & the wife of an employee in the US Defense Attach� Office in Saigon.)  Capt. Mary Therese Klinker was killed in the crash, but is listed above.

Sharon Wesley had previously worked for both the American Red Cross and Army Special Services. She chose to stay on in Vietnam after the pullout of U.S. military forces in 1973.

Barbara Adams                  Clara Bayot                      Nova Bell

Arleta Bertwell                   Helen Blackburn            Ann Bottorff

Celeste Brown                    Vivienne Clark                Juanita Creel

Mary Ann Crouch             Dorothy Curtiss              Theresa Drye

Mary Lyn Eichen               Elizabeth Fugino            Ruthanne Gasper

Beverly Herbert                 Penelope Hindman       Vera Hollibaugh

Dorothy Howard               Barbara Kauvulia           Lee Makk

Rebecca Martin                  Sara Martini            Martha Middlebrook

Katherine Moore               Marta Moschkin            Margaret Joan Pray

Sayonna Randall                Anne Reynolds             Marjorie Snow

Laurie Stark                         Barbara Stout       Doris Jean Watkins

Sharon Wesley                    Twila Donelson            Marion Polgrean

Barbara Maier Moses        Helen Drye                    June Poulton

“They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”


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