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dad's article - US Marines Smash Viet Cong Forces In Bloody...
US Marines Smash Viet Cong Forces In Bloody Valley Encounter SAIGON (UPIJ-U.S. Marines striking inlo a valley of rice paddies near Da Nang killed 160 Viet Cong in a b!oody battle for strategic Hill 63 Monday and drove forward with tanks today against the fleeing enemy, some of whom hid beneath water buffaloes to escape detection. The battle, which cost the Marines 54 dead and 84 wounded, was one of a series that flared from the Demilitarized Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to the Mekong Delta with end of the presidential elections. The ries of battles cost Communists more than dead. A total * se- the 300 61 Americans * died. The air war also stepped up Monday and carrier - based planes streaked in from the Gulf of Tonkin and blasted two spans of one of Haiphong's two southern bridges only three miles from' .the center of the city. The 127 missions over the North cost one F105 and pilot- trie 672nd U.S. plane shot down over North Vietnam. In Saigon, U. Gen. William B. Rosson, commander of the U.S. Army's I Field Force, said the U.S. 4lh Infantry Division .had shattered a Communist attempt to launch a major offensive into the Central Highlands. He said * * * the offense was planned for June but the Americans killed 470 North Vietnamese regulars in battles since they Hunted the offensive. He said the Reds had lost 36,000 men dead there in the past 18 months. The big Marine battle was fought for 20 hours in the Que Son Valley 30 miles south of Da Nang. the area from which Communist troops carried out daring forays in Quang Ngai last week and freed more than 1,000 prisoners. It was also the area where Marines killed 1,6.15 Communist soldiers last spring. Maj. Ernest CheaUiam of Long Beach, Calif., executive officer of the 1st Marine Battalion, said the haUle began when a Marine company came under attack from enemy troops who crept to within hand grenade range under cover of darkness. Col. Stan Davis of Carlsbad, Cnlif., and Niagara Falls, N.Y., the regimental commander, said the first Communist fire was silenced almost immediately immediately with the help of artillery and Air Force C47 "Dragonships" using flares to find the enemy. Two helicopters were shot down. One was a gunship firing at the Communists, the other was a rescue ship en route to pick up wounded Marines. UPI correspondent Thomas Corpora reported from the scene that four companies of Marines used classic assault tactics of the Marine Corps to storm the hill against heavy fire. The Leathernecks were from the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 5th Regiment. Artillery fire and aerial bombardment turned the knob into a mass of bomb and shell craters with trees and shrubs torn and broken into piles. For 20 hours the Marines fought for the hitl before the Communists broke and ran. "They just beat them off the hill," Cheatham said. "They went up there on top and pushed them off." Corpora said aerial observers reported some of the southward fleeing Viet Cong concealed themselves beneath water buffalo buffalo trying to hide from the planes and helicopters flying low overhead. Hill 63 stretches about 1,000 yards through the valley. The first shot in the fight came at 4:50 a.m. and ended after midnight this morning. A second b a t t a l i o n command group was sent in and today both battalions were trying to establish contact with the Viet Cong. Although the valley is filled with rice paddies its floor in sandy and the Marines were able to bring in tanks. Other heavy fighting was reported near Con Thien, a Marine outpost just below the DMZ. The Marines killed 37 Viet Cong in this battle but gave up two dead and 47 wounded. U.S. B52s flew in and struck three times against enemy artillery positions harassing harassing the Marines. Fighting started in one area that had been dormant for months--the jungle country near Tay Ninh city and the Cambodian border 5-1 miles southwest of Saigon. Three Americans of the U.S. 5th Infantry Division were killed and 33 wounded. Enemy losses were not known. South Vietnamese battled the Viet Cong along the central coast and killed 57 while suffering light casualties. Smaller Smaller actions flared as far south as the Mekong Delta. One of the casualties in the Leatherneck s's battle in the Quen Son Valley was a Marine company commander, cut down by Communist fire when. he waved a bright light lo mark his position for air support. TEMPERATURE

Clipped from
  1. The Delta Democrat-Times,
  2. 05 Sep 1967, Tue,
  3. Page 1

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