Military Records

Electronic Data Records Relating to Military Objectives and Activities During the Vietnam War

Electronic Records Reference Report

Introduction

This reference report provides an overview of the electronic data records in the custody of the National Archives that contain data related to military objectives and activities during the Vietnam War.

The National Archives holds a large body of electronic records that reflects the prolific use of computers by the military establishment in carrying out operations during the Vietnam War. Under the auspices of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, the military implemented an extensive data collection effort intended to improve the conduct of the conflict. The raw data documented details of casualties, military operations, military logistics, pacification programs, and other aspects of the war. With the data in electronic form, analysts performed statistical and quantitative analysis to assess and influence the direction of the conflict. After the conflict ended in the 1970's, various Department of Defense organizations, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Joint Commands, transferred the raw data files to the National Archives. Some of these records include documentary material that has not been transferred to the National Archives in any other format.

This reference report is organized by nine broad categories of Vietnam War data as listed above in the table of contents. For each category, the relevant electronic records series are listed along with information about the number of files, available output formats (see Output Formats for details), and technical documentation. Many of the series listed also have supplemental documentation. Since some series contain data applicable to more than one category, researchers may wish to review all potentially related categories and review the full descriptions for more details on the content of the records.

In several cases, different Department of Defense agencies used the same data systems, but may have modified the system to meet their needs. Therefore, NARA may have two versions or series of the same system. For example, both the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Record Group 330) and the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (records found in Record Group 472) transferred files from the Hamlet Evaluation System (HES). In general, besides the fact that difference agencies transferred the files, the versions may differ in time coverage, format, and/or layout. While the different versions may contain some of the same records, there may be records in one version that are not in the other and vice versa.

Descriptions of the series and data files listed in this report are in NARA's online catalog. The online catalog can be searched by title, National Archives Identifier, type of archival material, or keyword.

NARA also has custody of textual (paper) records related to some of the Vietnam War data files described in this reference report. Some of these records may include outputs from the systems and reports based on the data. Users may wish to search the online catalog for descriptions of any related textual (paper) records.

Series and file units accessible online through the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) resource (www.archives.gov/aad) have an AAD logo AAD next to them. Some of the files listed in the report are also available online for downloading as computerized data files from the online catalog.

Researchers may order copies of computerized data files on removable media for a cost-recovery fee and analyze the records directly, using whatever hardware and software available to them. For more information see Ordering Information for Electronic Records.

Please note that NARA makes public use versions available of records containing personal identifiers that if released may result in an unwarranted invasion of privacy. Such public use versions mask or delete these sensitive personal identifiers. In general, records of deceased casualties are released in full. The description and/or the technical documentation for a series outlines the information masked in the public use version.

Data about Military Operations, Incidents, and Activities

Record Group 218: Records of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

  • Republic of Vietnam Incidents Files (INCDA), 1/26/1973 - 4/21/1975 AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 601815
    Data Files: 4 (ASCII translated) (NIPS version also available)
    Technical Documentation: 56 pages or through AAD

    This series contains information on ceasefire violation combat incidents.

  • Terrorist Incident Reporting System (TIRSA), ca. 10/01/1967 - ca. 06/30/1972
    National Archives Identifier:7423670
    Data Files: 1 (NIPS)
    Technical Documentation: 10 pages

    This series contains data on Viet Cong (VC) incidents against South Vietnam (SVN) indigenous civilian population plus damage or destruction of private or government property and /or installations. These files came from Headquarters, Pacific Command (PACOM) via the Survivability/Vurnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC) [Wright-Paterson Air Force Base].

Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense

  • Records About Combat Incidents in Cambodia During the Vietnam War [KHMER], 6/30/1970 - 6/12/1974 AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 574517
    Data Files: 1 (ASCII translated) (NIPS version also available)
    Technical Documentation: 18 page, 4 electronic documentation files or through AAD

    This series contains information on incidents involving friendly and enemy military units operating in Cambodia during the Vietnam War and Cambodian War.

  • Southeast Asia Province Summary (SEAPRS), 1/1967 - 4/1973
    National Archives Identifier: n/a
    Data Files: 1 (NIPS)
    Technical Documentation: 164 pages

    This series contains selected military and pacification activity data from other systems at the province level. The data was extracted from other systems such as the Vietnam Database (VNDBA), Viet Cong Initiated Incidents File (VCIIA), Terrorist Incident Reporting System (TIRSA), All Derived Hamlet Evaluation System (ADHES), and other.

  • Terrorist Incident Reporting System (TIRSA) Files, 10/1967 - 2/1973
    National Archives Identifier: 5956273
    Data Files: 1 (de-NIPS'd)
    Technical Documentation: 44 pages

    This series consists of records of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese initiated incidents of violence against the civilian population of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. TIRSA is part of the Operations Analysis (OPSANAL) system.

  • Viet Cong Initiated Incidents Files (VCIIA), 1/1/1965 - 12/31/1968 AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 600133
    Data Files: 3 (ASCII translated) (NIPS version available)
    Technical Documentation: 73 pages

    This series provides select data on enemy initiated incidents during the Vietnam War. VCIIA is part of the Operations Analysis (OPSANAL) system.

Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia

  • Psychological Operations Files 3/1970 - 2/1973
    National Archives Identifier: n/a
    Data Files: 3 (EBCDIC) for PSYOPQA; 2 (NIPS) for PSYOPSIS
    Technical Documentation: about 32 pages for PSYOPQA; about 40 pages for PSYOPSIS)

    This series consists of records about psychological operations as captured in the Psychological Operations Quarterly Analysis System (PSYOPQA) and the Psychological Operations Information System (PSYOPSIS). PSYOPSIS contains data on aerial psychological operations such as dropping leaflets and surface psychological operations such as loudspeaker broadcasts and radio transmissions. This data served as input for PSYOPQA where it was aggregated by quarter and linked with selected data from the Hamlet Evaluation System (HES).

  • Terrorist Incident Reporting System (TIRS), 6/1968 - 2/1973
    National Archives Identifier: n/a
    Data Files: 3 (EBCDIC)
    Technical Documentation: estimated 20 pages basic documentation; estimated 285 pages full documentation

    This series contains data about incidents by the enemy against the civilian population, and public and private property. Incidents captured in the system include deaths, abductions, seizure of property, damage to property, and injuries, to name a few. This system was used as input for "Terrorist Incident Reporting System (TIRSA) Files, 10/1967 - 2/1973."

Data specific to Land Military Operations and Activities

Record Group 218: Records of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

  • Records About the Ground Combat Operations by the Army During the Vietnam War, 5/20/1966 - 3/12/1973 (also known as Situation Report Army (SITRA)) AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 604416
    Data Files: 4 (ASCII translated) (NIPS versions available)
    Technical Documentation: 49 pages, 2 electronic documentation files or through AAD

    This series contains records of ground combat operations in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and includes but is not limited to information on the type of military operation, nationalities of armed forces, location, and dates.

  • FO System Data Files, ca. 01/01/1963 - ca. 06/30/1970
    National Archives Identifier: 7451157
    Data Files: 11 (NIPS)
    Technical Documentation: 4 pages (no angency documentation)

    This series includes statistical operations data about friendly initiated (FO) incidents and actions in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It appears this series may conain data from the Republic of Vietnam Operational Statistics System (RVNOSS). These files came from Headquarters, Pacific Command (PACOM) via the Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC) [Wright-Patterson Air Force Base].

  • VC System Data Files, ca. 01/01/1962 - ca. 08/31/1971
    National Archives Identifier: 7423976
    Data Files: 18 (NIPS)
    Technical Documentation: 4 pages (no agengy documentation)

    This series includes operations data about enemy initiated (VC) incidents and actions in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It appears this series may contain data from the Republic of Vietnam Operational Statistics System (RVNOSS). These files came from Headquarters, Pacific Command (PACOM) via the Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC) [Wright-Patterson Air Force Base].

Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense

  • Enemy Base Area File (BASFA), 7/1/1967 - 6/1/1971 AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 600139
    Data Files: 1 (ASCII translated) (NIPS version available)
    Technical Documentation: 40 pages or through AAD

    This series contains data that define enemy base area locations in South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and Cambodia on a monthly basis. BASFA is part of the Operations Analysis (OPSANAL) system.

  • Southeast Asia Friendly Forces File (SEAFA), 10/1966 - 7/1972
    National Archives Identifier: 602104
    Data Files: 1 (de-NIPS'd)
    Technical Documentation: 38 pages

    This series contains information on the identity and location of American, South Vietnamese, and Allied maneuver battalions (infantry, armored, cavalry, airborne, and air mobile) deployed in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. SEAFA is part of the Operations Analysis (OPSANAL) system.

  • Vietnam Database (VNDBA) Files, 1/1963 - 4/1971
    National Archives Identifier: 5927921
    Data Files: 9 (NIPS and/or de-NIPS'd)
    Technical Documentation: 68 pages

    This series contains data on ground combat operations, whether enemy or friendly initiated, in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. VNDBA is part of the Operations Analysis (OPSANAL) system.

Record Group 335: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Army

  • Battalion Tracking Study Files, 10/1/1966 - 3/31/1969
    National Archives Identifier: 644345
    Data Files: 55 (ASCII)
    Technical Documentation: 61 pages

    This series contains data for 48 U.S. Army ground combat battalions that were located in III Corps during the Vietnamese Conflict. The data was compiled as part of a study on the exposure of U.S. Army personnel to Agent Orange. It was created in conjunction with the series "Vietnam Experience Study Files, 1967 - 1968" (see Data about U.S. Military Personnel).

Record Group 338: Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations

  • Records About Combat Operations by Army Units and Their Use and Loss of Military Supplies During the Vietnam War (COLED-V), 7/1/1967 - 6/30/1970 AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 572881
    Data Files: 6 (ASCII)
    Technical Documentation: 32 pages or through AAD

    These records contain information about the use and the loss of military supplies, such as ammunition and equipment, by unit and by type of combat activity during the Vietnam War.

Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia

  • Ground Operations Reporting System (GORS) Files for the Army of the Republic of South Vietnam, 1967 - 3/29/1973
    National Archives Identifier: 609200
    Data Files: 5 (NIPS)
    Technical Documentation: estimated 77 pages basic documentation; estimated 430 pages full documentation

    This series contains information on ground combat missions involving military units of the Army of the Republic of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Data specific to Air Military Operations and Activities

Record Group 218: Records of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

  • Combat Air Activities Files (CACTA), 10/1965 - 12/1970 AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 634496
    Data Files: 32 (ASCII Translated) (NIPS version available)
    Technical Documentation: 160 pages, 2 electronic layout files, or through AAD

    This series contains bimonthly data on air combat missions flown in Southeast Asia by U.S. and allied forces during the first part of the Vietnam War. It is the predecessor to the series "Records About Air Sorties Flown in Southeast Asia, 1/1970 - 6/1975." These CACTA files contain two months of data, with some gaps. There is some duplication between these CACTA files and those in Record Group 529 and there are some records in one version that are not in the other and vice versa.

  • Combat Air Activities (COACT) System Files, ca. 04/01/1969 - ca. 01/31/1970
    National Archives Identifier: 7451124
    Data Files: 2 (NIPS)
    Technical Documentation: 1,993 pages

    This series contains data on Fixed-Wing Aircraft Combat and Combat Support Sorties for U.S. and South Vietnam military forces. These files came from Headquarters, Pacific Command (PACOM) via the Survivability /Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC) [Wright-Patterson Air Force Base].

  • Combat Air Summary Files (OPREA), 1/31/1962 - 8/15/1973
    National Archives Identifier: 625084
    Data Files: 3 (NIPS and/or de-NIPS'd)
    Technical Documentation: 41 pages

    This series contains data on air warfare missions flown over Southeast Asia during the Vietnamese Conflict.

  • Strategic Air Command Combat Activities Report (SACCOACT) Files, 6/1/1965 - 10/31/1973
    National Archives Identifier: 2367339
    Data Files: 1 (ASCII Translated) (NIPS version available)
    Technical Documentation: 188 pages

    This series contains data on air combat missions flown in Southeast Asia by the Strategic Air Command (SAC) during the Vietnam War.

  • Records About Air Sorties Flown in Southeast Asia, 1/1970 - 6/1975 (also known as Southeast Asia Database (SEADAB)) AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 602566
    Data Files: 23 (ASCII Translated) (NIPS version also available)
    Technical Documentation: 118 pages, 1 electronic layout file, or through AAD

    This series consists of files with records on air combat missions flown in Southeast Asia by U.S. and allied forces during the last part of the Vietnam War. It is the successor to the series "Combat Air Activities Files (CACTA), 10/1965 - 12/1970."

Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense

  • Herbicide File, 1965 - 1971
    National Archives Identifier: 623176
    Data Files: 4 versions: Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) de-NIPS'd version; NARA de-NIPS'd version; National Academy of Science (NAS) version; and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Revised version
    Technical Documentation: 70 pages

    This series contains data on herbicide spraying missions, including the use of Agent Orange, during the Vietnam War.

Record Group 341: Records of Headquarters U.S. Air Force (Air Staff)

  • Airlift Operations Data Files, 10/1/1966 - 4/30/1972
    National Archives Identifier: 630623
    Data Files: 92 (NIPS) for ALOREP; 51 (NIPS) for MACAL
    Technical Documentation: 18 pages and 2 electronic documentation files for ALOREP; 14 pages and 3 electronic documentation files for MACAL

    This series contains sortie-level data on the operational employment of airlift resources during the Vietnam War. The series includes the Airlift Operations Files (ALOREP) and Military Airlift Command Airlift Operations Report (MACAL) files.

Record Group 529: Records of U.S. Pacific Command

  • Combat Air Activities Files (CACTA), 10/1/1965 - 1/31/1971
    National Archives Identifier: 2123846
    Data Files: 50 (ASCII Translated) (NIPS version also available)
    Technical Documentation: 50 pages NARA prepared documentation, 1 electronic layout file (for agency documentation see CACTA RG 218)

    This series contains monthly data on air combat missions flown in Southeast Asia by U.S. and allied forces. These CACTA files are mostly by month, with some gaps. There is some duplication between these CACTA files and those in Record Group 218 and there are some records in one version that are not in the other and vice versa.

  • Southeast Asia Imagery Reconnaissance Files (SIRFA), 5/5/1971 - 5/13/1975
    National Archives Identifier: 630982
    Data Files: 2 (ASCII)
    Technical Documentation: 17 pages

    This series contains data identifying reconnaissance objectives, imagery requests, and imagery characteristics for imagery reconnaissance missions flown over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

Data specific to Sea Military Operations and Activities

See also Data specific to Air Military Operations and Activities for Navy air sorties

Record Group 38: Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

  • Records About Hostile Fire Against U.S. and Australian Warships During the Vietnam War, 10/25/1966 - 4/5/1970 (also known as Hostile Fire File (HOSTA))
    National Archives Identifier: 572877
    Data Files: 1 (ASCII)
    Technical Documentation: 23 pages (includes full printout of file)

    This series contains information about combat incidents of hostile fire directed at U.S. and Australian warships patrolling North and South Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea.

Record Group 218: Records of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

  • Records About Naval Gunfire Support During the Vietnam War, 3/1966 - 1/1973 also known as Combat Naval Gunfire Support File (CONGA) AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 572874
    Data Files: 1 (de-NIPS'd) (NIPS version available)
    Technical Documentation: 274 pages or through AAD

    This series contains data from daily and weekly Operations Summary Reports (OPREP-5) that document naval gunfire support missions.

  • Mine Warfare Operations Files (MINEA), 5/9/1972 - 1/14/1973 AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 630554
    Data Files: 2 (ASCII Rendered) (NIPS version available)
    Technical Documentation: 49 pages, 1 electronic layout file or through AAD

    This series contains data from two military operations during the Vietnamese Conflict, Operation Linebacker and Operation Pocket Money, which concerned all mining operations conducted against North Vietnamese interior waterways and harbors.

  • Naval Surveillance Activities File (NASVA), 2/22/1966 - 12/9/1972
    National Archives Identifier: 630565
    Data Files: 3 (de-NIPS'd, NIPS, EBCDIC)
    Technical Documentation: 38 pages

    This series contains information on operation Market Time (surveillance of the coastline of South Vietnam) and operation Game Warden (patrolling South Vietnamese rivers).

Data specific to Tactical Military Intelligence

Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia

  • Small Unit Combat Actions Files, 1969 - 1970 (also known as Integrated Tactical Data File (ITDF))
    National Archives Identifier: 610020
    Data Files: 3 (EBCDIC)
    Technical Documentation: estimated 200-250 pages

    This series contains records on small unit combat actions reported in the Corps Tactical Zone of the I field Force Vietnam (IFFV).

  • Tactical Information Deposit and Retrieval System (TINDERS) Files, 1968 - 1970
    National Archives Identifier: 609806
    Data Files: 1 (EBCDIC)
    Technical Documentation: estimated 65 pages

    This series contains records of small unit combat actions reported in the Corps Tactical Zone of the Third Marine Amphibious Force (III MAP) during the Vietnam War.

Data about U.S. Military Personnel

Series containing data on U.S. military casualties are described in a separate reference report, Records of U.S. Military Casualties, Missing in Action, and Prisoners of War from the Era of the Vietnam War.

Record Group 335: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Army

  • Vietnam Experience Study Files, 1967 - 1968
    National Archives Identifier: 648567
    Data Files: 8 (ASCII)
    Technical Documentation: 72 pages

    This series contains data on selected Army personnel who served in the Vietnamese conflict during 1967 and 1968 and were assigned to units tracked in the series "Battalion Tracking Study File, 10/1/1966 - 3/31/1969" (see Data specific to Land Military Operations and Activities). Public use versions of the files are available.

Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia

  • Records of Awards and Decorations of Honor During the Vietnam War (also known as Awards and Decorations System (AWADS) AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 604413
    Data Files: 1 (ASCII)
    Technical Documentation: 131 pages

    This series contains information about some of the awards and decorations of honor awarded to U.S. military officers, soldiers, and sailors, and to allied foreign military personnel. A public use version is available.

Data about Vietnamese and Allied Military Forces

Record Group 218: Records of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

  • Southeast Asia Casualty File (SEACA), 1/27/1973 - 4/20/1975
    National Archives Identifier: 630221
    Data Files: 1 (NIPS)
    Technical Documentation: 16 pages

    This series contains counts of the number of war casualties during the ceasefire period. Casualty counts include South Vietnam civilians, Army of the Republic of Vietnam forces, North Vietnamese Army, and Viet Cong.

Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense

  • Cambodian Friendly Units Files, 1/1970 - 3/1973 AAD
    National Archives Identifier: 610063
    Data Files: 1 (ASCII Translated) (NIPS version available)
    Technical Documentation: 32 pages, 1 documentation (layout) file or through AAD

    This series contains data on over 900 military units in the Cambodian Armed Forces (Forces Armees Nationales Khmeres (FANK)) that were friendly to the allied side during the Cambodian War and the Vietnam War.

  • National Police Evaluation System File (NAPE), 1969 - 1971
    National Archives Identifier: 620476
    Data Files: 1 (de-NIPS'd)
    Technical Documentation: 24 pages

    This series contains monthly data on the total number of policemen within the South Vietnamese National Police Force by both administrative unit and assigned police function.

  • Army and Marine Forces of the Republic of South Vietnam Evaluation Files, 1/1969 - 1/1971
    National Archives Identifier: 609212
    Data Files: 3 (NIPS) for AMFESMA; 1 (NIPS) for AMFSA
    Technical Documentation: estimated 200 pages

    Also known as the Army and Marine Forces Evaluation System Monthly Activity (AMFESMA), this series contains monthly activity data on the effectiveness of the armed forces of the Republic of South Vietnam. AMFESMA was part of the System to Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Republic of Vietnam Forces (SEER). There is an additional file, Army and Marine Forces Monthly Activity (AMFSA), that covers 1968.

  • Territorial Forces Activity Reporting System (TFARS) Files, 9/1972 - 4/1974
    National Archives Identifier: 617479
    Data Files: 2 (NIPS)
    Technical Documentation: estimated 86 pages

    This series contains information relating to personnel, training, unit deployment, military readiness, and operations of Vietnam Armed Forces. It is the predecessor to the series "Monthly Reports of Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces, 4/1970 - 9/1972."

Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia

  • Monthly Reports of Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces, 4/1970 - 9/1972
    National Archives Identifier: 598773
    Data Files: 1 (EBCDIC) for TFES; 1 (EBCDIC) for VNUS
    Technical Documentation: 66 pages

    This series consists of the Territorial Forces Evaluation System (TFES) and Vietnamese/United States System (VNUS). Both systems contain data on the combat effectiveness of regional and popular forces with South Vietnam. These systems were merged and expanded into the "Territorial Forces Analysis Reporting System (TFARS) Files, 9/1972 - 4/1974."

  • Peoples Self-Defense Force / Management Information System (PSDF/MIS), 2/1972 - 8/1972
    National Archives Identifier: n/a
    Data Files: 1 (EBCDIC)
    Technical Documentation: estimated 200 pages

    This series contains information on local defense forces, such as the number of people in combat training, the number and type of weapons in each hamlet, the number of friendly and enemy casualties, the training status of defense units, and if the defense unit engaged in combat, along with demographic information. The agency used the data to evaluate the progress and effectiveness of various components of local defense forces.

  • Vietnamese Air Force Automated Personnel Accounting System (VAPAS) Files, 1971 - 1973
    National Archives Identifier: 613892
    Data Files: 4 (ASCII) (includes one partially restricted file)
    Technical Documentation: 193 pages

    This series contains information about personnel with the Vietnamese (Republic of Vietnam) Air Force.

  • National Police Directory Table Subsystem (NPDTSS)
    National Archives Identifier: n/a
    Data Files: 1 (EBCDIC)
    Technical Documentation: estimated 60 pages

    This series contains data on national police units and correction centers. It was used in conjunction with the National Police Infrastructure Analysis Subsystems (NPIASS).

Data related to Intelligence Gathering and Pacification Efforts

Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense

  • Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) Files, 1967 - 1974
    National Archives Identifier: 4616225
    Data Files: 12 (de-NIPS'd) (NIPS version available)
    Technical Documentation: varies per file(s) (421 pages total, plus supplemental documentation)

    This series contains geopolitical and demographic information for South Vietnamese villages and hamlets, along with observation ratings relating to security conditions and socio-economic factors in each village and hamlet.

  • Pacification Attitude Analysis System (PAAS) Files, 3/1970 - 7/1972
    National Archives Identifier: n/a
    Data Files: 3 versions: Original NIPS file; De-NIPS'd file with one record per question; and De-NIPS'd file with one record per respondent
    Technical Documentation: estimated 400 pages

    This series contains monthly public opinion poll responses from Vietnamese interviewees in both rural and urban areas about the Vietnamese Conflict, Cambodian War, Pacification Program, economic conditions, and other public issues. Interviewers memorized the survey questions, used indirect questioning techniques to obtain the responses, and then memorized the responses.

Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia

  • Hamlet Evaluation System (HES), 1969 - 1973
    National Archives Identifier: n/a
    Data Files: 1 (EBCDIC, variable-length records)
    Technical Documentation: none compiled

    This series contains geopolitical and demographic information for South Vietnamese villages and hamlets, along with observation ratings relating to security conditions and socio-economic factors in each village and hamlet.

  • South Vietnamese National Police Force Counterinsurgency Files, 1971 - 1973
    National Archives Identifier: 609777
    Data Files: 2 (ASCII)
    Technical Documentation: 40 pages for the data files; 4 electronic documentation files and 84 pages for the documentation files; 1 program source file

    This series contains two subsystems of the National Police Infrastructure Analysis Subsystems (NPIASS I and NPIASS II) that have information about Viet Cong (VC) infrastructure by position and name, and document by dossier suspected VC members and the countermeasures taken against each suspect. A public use version of NPIASS II is available.

    This series also contains the following electronic documentation files:

    • Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) / Viet Cong Infrastructure (VCI) Gazetteer, 1971-1973
    • Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) Gazetteer Source File, 1971-1973
    • Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) Gazetteer, 1971-1973
    • Greenbook File

    The gazetteer files include codes and names for the geographic levels of Province, District, Village, and/or Hamlet, along with codes for the Corps Region, population numbers, ratings, and Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates. The files may serve as the source for the meanings for the district, village, and hamlet codes used in Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) and other related Vietnam War data files. The Greenbook file contains a table of all Viet Cong Infrastructure (VCI) political position codes, position title, and reporting level indicators.

  • Pacification Attitude Analysis System (PAAS) File, 1/1970 - 2/1973
    National Archives Identifier: 631425
    Data Files: 1 (EBCDIC)
    Technical Documentation: estimated 1,300 pages

    This series contains monthly public opinion poll responses from Vietnamese interviewees in both rural and urban areas about the Vietnamese Conflict, Cambodian War, Pacification Program, economic conditions and other public issues. Interviewers used memorized the survey questions, used indirect questioning techniques to obtain the responses, and then memorized the responses.

  • Viet Cong Biographical File, 1/1969 - 6/1972
    National Archives Identifier: 609857
    Data Files: 1 (EBCDIC)
    Technical Documentation: 86 pages (192 pages supplemental)

    Also known as the Phung Hoang Management Information System (PHMIS), this file contains biographical data on all suspected or confirmed members of the Viet Cong. A public use version is available.


Data related to Logistics

Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia

  • Automated Movement Management System Files [MACAMMS], 1968 - 1972
    National Archives Identifier: 609199
    Data Files: 9 (ASCII)
    Technical Documentation: estimated 100 pages basic documentation; estimated 600 pages full documentation

    This series contains records that broadly describe shipments of cargo within and away from South Vietnam.

  • Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Material Management System Files [RAMMS], 1971 - 1975
    National Archives Identifier: 602454
    Data Files: 3 (EBCDIC/Binary)
    Technical Documentation: estimated 110 pages

    This series contains information on supplies and requisitions for the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces

Output Formats

Contact staff for more details about specific files

NIPS

During the Vietnam War, the Department of Defense used an early data base management system called the National Military Command System (NMCS) Information Processing System 360 Formatted File System, commonly known as NIPS. The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) developed the system. NIPS allowed users the ability to structure files, generate and maintain files, revise and update data, select and retrieve data, and generate reports. In some ways, NIPS supported relational database functionality.

Department of Defense agencies transferred to NARA many of the data files created during the Vietnam War in the software-dependent NIPS format. Although most of the file contains data, the beginning of the file consists of supporting information used during file maintenance, data retrieval, and output processing. The data are composed of fixed, non-repeating data with repeating subsets (i.e. a one-to-many relationship). The data are organized into the following sets of elements or tables:

  • Control Set, containing the unique record identifier that links to the Fixed Set and Periodic Sets;
  • Fixed Set, containing non-repetitive data; and
  • Periodic Sets, containing fields that can be repeated as needed; there can be more than one type of Periodic Set.

For example, a record for a military mission in a NIPS file would include a control set that contains a unique identifier or fields that can be combined to create a unique identifier; a fixed set with data about the mission as a whole; a periodic set with data about the ordnance used in the mission that would be repeated for each type of ordnance used in the mission; and a periodic set about the losses incurred in the mission repeated for each type of loss incurred. Therefore, a single mission record would consist of the control set, fixed set, none-to-many periodic sets per ordnance, and none-to-many periodic sets per loss.

In addition, NIPS files can include Variable Sets that appear only when data is present. These sets are usually "Comments" data in a free-text field of variable length. Data records in NIPS files are usually of varying length since the number of periodic sets vary for each record. NARA only provides exact copies of NIPS files.

De-NIPS'd

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, NARA staff "de-NIPS'd" or reformatted some of the files transferred in the NIPS format, outputting the data in a flat-file format using then-standard EBCDIC encoding. This was done in order to have a software-independent version of the data. However the "de-NIPSing" process output some numeric fields in a zoned decimal format; these fields usually need to be reformatted before using with contemporary software.

In addition, the NIPS records have a control set, fixed set, and periodic set of fields. In the "de-NIPS'd" version, the control set or the fixed set of fields may appear in the first instance of the record, but may not appear in the subsequent instances with multiple periodic set fields for that record, which immediately follow the first instance. For example, the first instance of a record would be a row in the database containing the control set, fixed set, and the first periodic set. If there are multiple periodic sets for that record, the next row would only include the control set and the second periodic set, followed by another row with the control set and the third periodic set, and so forth for each periodic set. Therefore the records are preserved in a specific sequential order and need to be "read" by the computer in that order. "De-NIPS'd" files may contain fixed-length or variable-length records. NARA only provides exact copies of de-NIPS'd files.

ASCII Translated

In 2002, NARA staff and volunteers developed computer programs written in Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) to translated the NIPS files into ASCII, fixed-length records per each periodic set that contained the control set, fixed set, and periodic set fields. This format allows users to sort the records (i.e. the records are no longer in a sequential order).

ASCII Rendered

In 2007, NARA staff developed another software program, NIPSTRAN, to convert the NIPS files into more usable ASCII rendered tables. The program produces a table for the fixed set and tables for each periodic set. The tables function like a relational-database with one-to-many relationship (i.e. one fixed set record to many periodic set records). All the records in the tables include the corresponding control set fields to allow for linking between the fixed set table and periodic set table(s). The records in the tables are fixed-length and there may be versions of the tables where the records are field delimited.

EBCDIC and/or Binary

If not in the NIPS format, most of the other Vietnam War data files in NARA's custody are preserved in EBCDIC encoding. Some of these files may include binary characters, fields with zoned decimal data, variable-length records with binary counters, or other aspects that require the file be reformatted before using with contemporary software and may not properly auto-convert to ASCII. NARA can only offer exact copies of these files.

Selected Supplemental Documentation

Civil Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS), Research and Analysis Directorate, Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) Command Manual, Document No. DAR R70-79 CM-01B, Military Assistance Command Vietnam, 1 September 1971. (RG 472; 108 pages)

Civil Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS), Research and Analysis Directorate, Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) Operations Manual, Document No. DAR R70 OM-01A, Military Assistance Command Vietnam, June 1972. (RG 472; 150-200 pages)

Defense Communications Agency, Command and Control Technical Center, NMCS Information Processing System 306 Formatted File System (NIPS 360 FFS) General Description, Computer System Manual Number CSM GS 15-17, 1 September 1978. (41 pages)

Defense Communications Agency, Command and Control Technical Center, NMCS Information Processing System 306 Formatted File System (NIPS 360 FFS) Volume I Introduction to File Concepts, Computer System Manual Number CSM UM 15-78, 1 September 1978. (106 pages)

National Military Command System Support Center, The Operation Analysis System (OPSANAL) User's Manual (Revision A), Computer System Manual Number CSM UM63A-68, 30 September 1969. (405 pages)

Selected Additional Resources

Adams, Margaret O. "Vietnam Records in the National Archives: Electronic Records." Prologue 23 (Spring 1991): 76-84.

Campbell, Curt. "Essay on the Potential Research Value of the OPSANAL System Files," July 1996.

Carter, G. A., et al. An Interim Guide to Southeast Asia Combat Data. Prepared for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency by Rand (WN-8718-ARPA). Santa Monica, CA: Rand, June 1974.

Carter, G. A., et al. A User's Guide to Southeast Asia Combat Data. Prepared for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency by Rand (R-1815-ARPA). Santa Monica, CA: Rand, June 1976.

Electronic Records Reference Report, Records of U.S. Military Casualties, Missing in Action, and Prisoners of War from the Era of the Vietnam War

Eliot, Duong Van Mai. RAND in Southeast Asia: a history of the Vietnam War era. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2010.

Harrison, Donald F. "Computers, Electronic Data, and the Vietnam War." Archivaria 26 (Summer 1988): 18-26.

Harrison, Donald F. "Machine-Readable Sources for the Study of the War in Vietnam." In Databases in the Humanities and Social Sciences-4: Proceedings of the International Conference on Databases in the Humanities and Social Sciences, July, 1987, ed. Lawrence J. McCrank. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, Inc, 1989.

Hull, Theodore J. "Electronic Records of Korean and Vietnam Conflict Casualties," Prologue, 32 (Spring 2000).

NARA Reference Information Paper 90, Records Relating to American Prisoners of War and Missing in Action from the Vietnam War Era, 1960-1994

Thayer, Thomas C., ed. A System Analysis View of the Vietnam War: 1965-1972, 12 volumes, 1975. These volumes contain articles printed in the "Southeast Asia Analysis Report" from January 1967 to January 1972. The volumes include:

  • Volume 1 - The Situation in Southeast Asia
  • Volume 2 - Forces and Manpower
  • Volume 3 - Viet Cong - North Vietnamese Operations
  • Volume 4 - Allied Ground and Naval Operations
  • Volume 5 - The Air War
  • Volume 6 - Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF)
  • Volume 7 - Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF)
  • Volume 8 - Casualties and Losses
  • Volume 9 - Population Security
  • Volume 10 - Pactification and Civil Affairs
  • Volume 11 - Economics: War Costs and Inflation
  • Volume 12 - Construction and Port Operations in South Vietnam

Contact Information

Reference Services
Electronic Records
National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
(301) 837-0470
Email: cer@nara.gov

updated August 2014

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