Saturday Deadliest Day for Arkansas Troops Since Korea

APRIL 27, 2004 - Posted at 5:47 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Vietnam never produced as deadly a day for Arkansas soldiers as Saturday, when four Arkansans were killed in rocket attacks on their base in Iraq.

That's the most to die in combat in one day since December 2, 1950, when five Arkansans were killed in Korea.  The Associated Press reviewed National Archives casualty reports.

Nick Bacon, director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, says it is not surprising that no more than three Arkansans died in any single day of fighting in Vietnam.  Single states or regions tended to be more heavily hit during a single engagement in Korea because American forces there included large numbers of National Guard and Reserve units, which are organized by state.

Vietnam-era troops were composed of volunteers and draftees who were largely formed into units without regard to their home state.

With Arkansas' 39th Infantry Brigade now mobilized in Iraq, Arkansans face that heightened risk again.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)