In Memoriam – 2006

May 30, 2006

This blog is too infrequent to have many traditions. The following is my only annual one. It's the third time I've had to update it.


I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.

— John Adams (1735-1826)

As a theoretical physicist with major metaphysical leanings, I've long felt the above quote by President Adams to be especially pertinent to me personally. Therefore, to the many who have made the sacrifice to study the ugly side of life so that others may study the beautiful side, I offer my humblest thanks.


And there have been so many…

War/Conflict Personnel Served Battle Deaths Other Deaths Wounds Not Mortal
World War I
4,734,991 53,402 63,114 204,002*
World War II
16,112,566 291,557 113,842 671,846*
Korean War
5,720,000 33,741 2,835 103,284
Vietnam Conflict
8,744,000 47,415 10,785 153,303
Persian Gulf War
2,225,000 147 235 467

* See reference notes below for sources of these figures.  Note that World War I "Wounds Not Mortal" as well as the Marine Corps contribution to WWII "Wounds Not Mortal" (68,207 of the 671,846) are actually "Wounded In Action" (i.e., number of soldiers wounded) and technically not "Wounds Not Mortal" (of which one soldier could receive multiple ones during his tour of duty, of course).

US Casualties Suffered in Major Ongoing Operations**

[For comparison, bracketed figures give the DoD official totals as they stood last year on Memorial Day 2004, which reflected casualties up through May 27, 2005 10 AM EST.]

Operation Killed in Action Nonhostile Deaths Wounded In Action
Enduring Freedom
(Sep 2001-present)
Iraqi Freedom
(Mar 2003-present)

** This year's figures current as of May 30, 2006, 10 AM EDT. See reference notes below.

Notes and References for the Tables:

For 1st Table:

Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, Statistical Information and Analysis Division. "DoD Principal Wars – US Military Personnel Serving and Casualties"

All names used (notably, "Vietnam Conflict" and "Persian Gulf War") as well as all years chosen for tabulation (notably, including 1946 casualties in "World War II" and including only 1964-1973 casualties in the "Vietnam Conflict") are those used by the Department of Defense in the above source.

For 2nd Table:

Source: The most recent (which, in this case, was May 30, 2006 10 AM EST) "Casualty Reports" link of, the official web portal to all of the public US Department of Defense websites. Note that the Casualty Reports link is regularly updated and the most current one can always be found at the bottom of the "Press Resources" linklist in the right column of

NB: A useful general source for all military casualties from all US military engangements is the "Military Casualty Information" webpage of U.S. Department of Defense, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, Statistical Information and Analysis Division. The “DoD Personnel & Procurement Statistics” page of the Statistical Information and Analysis Division has a wealth of information on many other topics too.


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