A force of 824 soldiers, the last of Thailand’s 12,000 troops serving in South Vietnam, departs. The Thai contingent, which had first arrived in country in the fall of 1967, had been part of the Free World Military Forces, an effort by President Lyndon B. Johnson to enlist allies for the United States and South Vietnam. By securing support from other nations, Johnson hoped to build an international consensus behind his policies in Vietnam. The effort was also known as the “many flags” program. In all, 44 countries responded to Johnson plea for military aid to South Vietnam, but only Australia, New Zealand, Korea, and Thailand provided combat troops. In the end, the program never achieved the widespread international support that Johnson sought.
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