Frederick C. Weyand, who was the last commander of U.S. military operations in the Vietnam War from 1972-1973 and who was Army Chief of Staff from 1974-1976, died last week in Honolulu. He was 93.
As a deputy to Gen. William Westmoreland, head of U.S. forces in Vietnam, Weyand became concerned about unusual movements of North Vietnamese forces in the weeks before the Tet festival in 1968 and urged that U.S. troops be redeployed closer to Saigon to repel a possible attack. Westmoreland called off a series of strikes on Vietcong sanctuaries near the Cambodian border and let Weyand shift 15 battalions back to the Saigon area, a move that made it possible for U.S. forces to inflict heavy casualties when the North Vietnamese mounted the Tet Offensive. Westmoreland called the redeployment one of the most critical decisions of the war. In his later years, Weyand surmised that "Iraq and Afghanistan will be with us for a long time to come."