Myth Blacks Served In Disproportionate Numbers

Of all the men and women who served in Vietnam, 275,000, or 10.6%, were black. The remaining 88.4% were Caucasian. At the time of the Vietnam War, Blacks represented approximately 12.5% of the total U.S. population.

There is a persistent myth that Blacks were used as "cannon fodder", being assigned to infantry units where they were forced to "walk point". This is not supported by the casualty data which indicates that 86.8% of those killed in action were Caucasian, while 12.1%, or 5,711, were Black. Again, this number is approximately the same as the percentage of Blacks in the general population during the war.

It appears as if this myth was generated by the anti-war movement in an effort to bolster their ranks by convincing Blacks (who could hardly be losing sleep over the fact that some white college students might have their education interrupted by military service) that they were being used as pawns to be sacrificed.