Nearly 40 countries provided material support, but a handful contributed numerous soldiers 


In April 23, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson appealed for a “Many Flags” initiative to support the embattled Republic of Vietnam. Nearly 40 countries provided some form of material support, but five contributed thousands of troops. The largest was the Republic of Korea, which committed 320,000 army, navy, marine and air force personnel from September 1964 to March 1973. The South Koreans lost 5,099 dead and 10,962 wounded. Australia sent advisers to Saigon as early as 1962 and in 1965 added the 1st Australian Task Force. A destroyer and an air force squadron also assisted. The Australian presence, totaling 60,000 troops, ended in March 1973, with 521 killed and 3,000 wounded. New Zealand sent 3,890 troops between 1964 and December 1972, with 41 killed and 187 wounded. Thailand, besides providing bases for U.S. airmen, sent the Royal Thai Volunteer Regiment (Queen’s Cobra) in October 1967 and the Royal Thai Expeditionary Division (Black Panthers) in 1968 for a total of 40,000 troops—351 were killed and 1,358 wounded before the February 1972 withdrawal. The Philippines provided 2,064 personnel in Philippine Civic Action Group, Vietnam to assist civilians between 1966 and 1969.

  • Yanks and Aussies on patrol from Khe Sanh in northern South Vietnam pause at the Laotian border marker on May 21, 1965. From left, Richard Best of Fresno, California; Ted Wade of Tupera Lakes, New South Wales; Antony Tufts of Westford, Massachusetts; and Pete Pavla of Rockhampton, Queensland. (Getty Images)
  • New Zealanders of V3 Company, 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand, prepare to go on patrol with ample ammo for their M60 team. New Zealand units were attached to Australian forces in Vietnam. (New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage)
  • South Korean soldiers in 1972 assault a communist position in South Vietnam’s central coast region. (Getty Images)
  • Troops from the Tiger Division (officially the Korean Capital Mechanized Infantry Division) look for enemy soldiers in January 1968. (Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Image)
  • South Koreans in the White Horse Division guard three prisoners—part of the political and administrative cadre of a village controlled by the Viet Cong—who were found in a cave near Hon Be Mountain in central South Vietnam during November 1966. (AP Photo)
  • Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos pins medals for valor on members of the Philippine Civic Action Group, Vietnam in July 1967. (Corbis via Getty Images)
  • Specially trained Thai troops were assigned to U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Studies and Observations Group, an elite unit sent on secret missions in enemy territory. (U.S. Army)