If you didn’t know Canada had troops in Vietnam your not alone. The Vietnam War is the other forgotten war conveniently wiped from the country’s collective memory because of its complex and secretive nature.
From Now Magazine
No homage, however, to those Canadians who fought in the war the horrors of which gave all other wars a bad name. I’m speaking of the Vietnam war.
As many as 40,000 Canadians, by one estimate, volunteered for military service with the American forces in Vietnam. That’s more Canadians than took part in the Korean War.
But aside from a small memorial in Windsor (which Vietnam vets themselves fought for two decades to have built) and another in Calgary, Canada’s involvement in the Vietnam War has been nearly wiped from the history books here.
The Library and Archives of Canada, which has a website dedicated to Canada’s wars, makes no mention of Canadians who fought in Vietnam. The Canadian War Museum is also mostly silent on the subject. I found some references online to an official recognition being planned by the feds at the museum back in 2005, but that hasn’t happened. A mannequin in American uniform and a couple of info panels is all there is.
Canada wasn’t officially a participant in the war in Vietnam.
Canada was torn on the subject – on the one hand providing humanitarian aid to Vietnam during the conflict with the U.S., on the other, backing with equipment and military supplies, American efforts there – and, not to mention, providing diplomatic cover.
In some respects Vietnam is Canada’s dirty little secret.