The Newnan Times-Herald is running a series on the Vietnam War and how it affected Coweta County as we prepare for the visit of the Traveling Wall this October. This is another story in this series.
Although the United States had been sending military "advisors" to Vietnam since the 1950s, American armed forces did not take an active combat role until 1964.
On Aug. 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox was attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats while sailing in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam. That incident provided the excuse President Lyndon Johnson had been seeking to send U.S. forces to war.
On Aug. 7, 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, authorizing Johnson to take all action necessary to protect American forces in or near Vietnam. Within days, carrier-based U.S. Navy planes were flying bombing runs against North Vietnamese targets.
U.S. Navy forces would not leave Vietnam for the next nine years.
Read the rest of the story at http://www.times-herald.com/Local/Attack-on-USS-Maddox-triggers-sending-troops---into-Vietnam--1792806