Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty-two years ago today, May 31, 1963, the Joint Chiefs of Staff began evaluation of a report filed by Admiral Harry D. Felt*, Commander-in-chief of United States Pacific Forces.
In his report, Admiral Felt is skeptical that South Vietnam would be stable enough by the end of the year 1965 for a proposed withdrawal of US military forces.
He wrote that it was his opinion that the Viet Cong would seek..."a prolonged" war of attrition. Felt supported only the organization, training and equipping of South Vietnamese forces by the United States. It was his belief that the war could not be won solely by military means.
Felt, who created the United States Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) in February 1962, retired from service in July 1964. He spent his later years in Hawaii.
*Admiral Harry Donald Felt (1902-1992) was born in Topeka, Kansas and graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1923. He rose from Ensign to Admiral during his years of service.
HDF was awarded the Navy Cross for actions in WWII of August 24, 1942 which resulted in the sinking of a Japanese aircraft carrier & damage to an enemy cruiser & destroyer.
HDF also won the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit & Distinguished Flying Cross.
"Harry Donald Felt," www.valor.militarytimes.com/