BLYTHEVILLE COURIER NEWS VOL. 63—NO. 88 BLYTHEVJLLE, ARKANSAS (72318)' MONDAY, JUNE 17, 1968 14 PAGES 10 CENTS General Falls To Thieu Purge By PETER ARNETT SAIGON (AP) - A dynamic South Vietnamese general regarded as too honest by many of bis colleagues has been dumped from another top job, reliable sources reported today. The ouster of Lt. Gen. Nguyen Due Thang was regarded here as part of President Nguyen Van Thieu's purge of senior military men allied with Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky. Thang, who is 37, was once the American-supported boss of the pacification program. For the past four months he has commanded the 4th Corps Area, which includes the Mekong Delta. Thang, a native of North Vietnam, has removed eight province chiefs for corruption and revitalized the military effort in the delta. Reliable sources said.Thang's closeness to Ky was the main reason that he was replaced today by Lt. Gen. Nguyen Van Le, former inspector general of the armed forces. Thang is for the time being on "indefinite sick leave," a euphemism for being fired, the sources said. His dismissal had been rumored for a week. Senior American officials considered the heavy-set, jut-jawed Thang the most energetic, efficient and competent figure in the Vietnamese government. But this was not enough to save him from fellow officers who disliked the manner in which he made war on corruption and from the power struggle between President Thieu and Vice President Ky. The delta command was the third job Thang had held in less than a year. He was removed from the pacification program last August and given the No. 2 job in the armed forces. This ostensibly was a promotion, but Thang found that he was powerless to introduce any reforms. He was appointed to the 4th Corps command on Feb. 27 to replace a mediocre officer about whom persistent reports cf corruption circulated. Gun Control Pressure On WASHINGTON (AP) - Pressure for tougher gun control laws continues to build across the nation, but one presidential candidate has called for caution in framing the bills and the National Rifle Association has started a campaign against stiffer legislation. (Story, Page -4) President Johnson over the weekend ordered a top-priority campaign to get Congress to pass an administration-proposed bill restricting the sale of rifles and other long guns. Presidential aide Joseph A. Califano Jr., told newsmen at the Texas White House Saturday that "there will be no stone unturned in trying to get this passed. There will be total involvement, not only of the attorney general and the Justice Department but also of the President himself." But the leading opponent of strong gun-control laws, the National Rifle Association, plans a letter-writing drive to get its 900,000 members to inundate Congress with mail against the bill. Past efforts by the NRA have been singularly successful. But there are indications that this time the organization will have tougher going as the public continues to press for the stiffer laws in the wake of the pistol slaying of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. Sen. Eugene . J. McCarthy, running for the Democratic presidential nomination, while calling for new laws, warned against legislation passed "under panic conditions." The Minnesota senator said Sunday he is for a federal program of registration of "sidearms and on what would be considered heavy guns." States ' also should pass stronger laws or enforce those now on the . .books, McCarthy said. There was one incident Sunday in Battle Creek, Mich., where pleas from a Roman Catholic priest to his parishioners that they turn in their guns to be destroyed went unheeded. In two sermons Sunday, the Rev. John Huhn, assistant pastor of St. Joseph's church, asked the 1,000 parishioners to "turn over their weapons of violence." Nobody did. Expressing disappointment, the Rev. Huhn said "perhaps it was just a general reluctance or fear ... to stand up publicly and do something." In addition to the President's bill, which is up for reconsideration in the House Judidary Committee Thursday after being blocked by a tie vote last week, even tougher legislation is before Congress. One bill, sponsored by Sen. Joseph D. Tydings, D-Md., and nine other senators, picked up an influential backer when Senate Majority leader Mike Mansfield added his support Saturday. The Tydings bill provides for federal registration and a permit for all firearms, unless states pass their own registration laws. President Johnson's bill is far less stringent in calling for a ban on mail-order sale of handguns, now contained in the omnibus crime bill, to be extended to "long guns." . Ike Not Critica ONE HOUR'S FUEL for this new oxygen-natural gas burner could heat an average home for - three years. World's largest of its type, it produces 480 million BTUs an hour, enabling steelmakers to increase useable scrap, content about 43 per cent. WASHINGTON (AP) - Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower was reported today to have remained "alert and in good spirits" since his heart attack on Saturday night. His heart rate and respiration have remained stable. "There has been no recurrence of pain since the initial episode the night of June 15th," a medical bulletin from the hospital said. "No signs of heart failure have appeared. The new seizure was Eisenhower's second within two months. Doctors did not minimize the danger although stable usually means the patient's treatment and condition are satisfactory. Maj. George Foster, public affairs officer at the hospital, said in answer to a question doctors said they considered this "a major" attack. The attack came Saturday night at Walter Reed, where the 77-year-old five-star general was recuperating from a mild heart seizure which struck him April 29 at Palm Desert, Calif, where he keeps a winter home. In the Sunday announcement disclosing the latest attack, the hospital said, "The general spent a comfortable night and his present condition is stable." The hospital Sunday said there was no change in this report. Mrs. Eisenhower was with him at the hospital. No details were given in Sunday's announcement, but several factors indicated no extreme danger for the general, who now lias suffered five heart attacks since 1955, when he was incapacitated for seven weeks. One indication that the attack was not considered grave came in the announcement by the hospital that Eisenhower's original plans to return June 24 to his Gettysbury, Pa., home will be delayed, seemingly implying that doctors expect the move to be made later on. , A . Also, when the former president was considered in more- See IKE on Page 2 June 17 French Students Capitulate By HARVEY HUDSON Associated Press Writer PARIS (AP) - The Sorbonns, symbol of France's student revolt, fell to the gendarmes Sunday after a month's occupation, and today a student organization said it would halt street fighting, recognizing "that the students alone cannot continue the battle without support." Angry students had battled the police again In the Latin Quarter Sunday night after the authorities had forced out the last 160 oMtipien, hauled down the red and black flags of revolution and anarchy, and run up iht French blue, white and red tricolor. A break was also apparently at hand among striking auto- workers, die-hard holdouts of .last month's national strike. About 65,000 workers at the state-run Renault plants were reported voting in favor to return to work on the basis of a 10 per cent salary increase by Oct. 1 and reduction of their work week. The National Students Union -UNEF- made its declaration of peaceful intentions, barring further "provocation," while police hygiene squads began cleaning up what they said was an "indescribable mess" in the Sorbonne. Classes are expected to resume ma week, The lecture halls were-strewn with stale bits of bread, rotten apples, empty bottles and other trash. The library was a shambles. In a radio interview, Premier. Georges Pompidou put in a new plug for a massive government majority in legislative elections beginning next Sunday. Only with such a majority, Pompidou said, can necessary reforms be made in universities and othw sectors of French society. The fighting Sunday night Involved hit-and-run skirmishes See FRANCE on Page I 12 Red Choppers FIVE.PERSONS DIED on .Mississippi County MgV ways last month, making it the deadliest county in the state according to a' report from the Arkansas State Police. Leading contributing cause of death was improper passing, according to-the.police report. There were 56 persons killed on state highway during May, the report, said. AN ATTEMPTED BOBBERY was stopped early yesterday morning when a suspect was apprehended on the roof of the Gibson Discount Center by Patrolman Boy Simmons and Lt. C. G. McNair, according to authorities. The man, a 42-year-old BIytheville resident, was arrested after police were alerted to his presence on the roof at approximately 12:45 a.m., Det. Sgt. Robbie Cox said. The suspect is being held in the city jail and charges will be filed against him later today, Cox said. BLYTHEVILLE POLICE reported that a second suspect being sought in connection with the robbery of Ben T. Mays Friday morning has been traced to Kansas City, Mo., and that authorities there have been alerted. The 18-year-old man is also believed to be wanted on a charge of robbery in .Missouri, according to Det. Sgt; Robbie .Cox. ... Approximately ?50 of the $125 taken in the robbery was recovered Saturday by Sgt. E. C. Morris at the home of the 17-year-old suspect already in custody, Cox added. Robbery charges against the man will probably be filed sometime today, police said. COUNTY HEAD START centers have room for more children, according to Lynn H. Cox, county director. Age requirement for enrollment is 5 to 6, he said. Area centers are at Lange, Promised Land and Sudbury Schools, he said. THREE JUVENILES HAVE been arrested by BIythe- ville police and charged with the theft of two aulos, two recent burglaries of the &1 Pig, and the burglary of Ben Mayes Grocery on West Rose Wednesday night, according to Det. Sgt. Robbie Cox. Two of the youths, ages 17 and 15, were picked up by police on Thursday, and the third, age 14, was arrested .yesterday, Cox said. , . Police recovered six of the eight cartons of cigarettes taken in the Wednesday night burglary and are holding the three suspects in the city jail, Cox added. By ROBERT D. OHMAN Associated Press Writer SAIGON (AP) - U.S. military headquarters said today that aircraft "suspected to be enemy helicopters" were fired on during the weekend near the demilitarized zone that divides Vietnam. A brief announcement added that a daylight reconnaissance was made today -to ascertain damage and obtain other information, but "no results are available." The statement from the military command tended to partly confirm other reports that from 2 to 12 Russian-built helicopters had been downed over the weekend south of the DMZ. However, the announcement from U.S. headquarters said the aircraft were sighted by radar near the eastern end of the DMZ and north of the Ben Hai river, meaning that they were over the demilitarized zone itself or to the north. Vietnamese military sources said the helicopters were downed by artillery and U.S. Navy F4 Phantom jets Saturday and Sunday. If true, this would be the first time any enemy helicopters have been downed in South Vietnam. It was not known whether-the enemy .craft were Sifting troops or material or were on a reconnaissance mission. The Vietnamese sources gave this account: Three turbo-powered, single- rotor M14 helicopters, capable of carrying 14 combat troops or about 2% tons of cargo, were shot down along the coast by allied artillery. Saturday night. Sunday night the North Vietnamese tried to slip another flight of the choppers down the coast, but the Navy Phantoms pounced on them. Nine were shot from the sky, and one exploded before crashing into the sea, indicating it was carrying ammunition. Six in all were downed in the South China Sea, one crashed on the beach and two went down farther-inland. U.S. Air Force planes spotted and destroyed four MM helicopters and two of the huge Soviet M16 helicopters last Oct. 6 at a field 30 miles west of Hanoi. In the ground war, grenade- throwing South Vietnamese troops raced from bunker to bunker to wipe out a Viet Cong itrormhoM In a Salgoo suburb. The elite Special Forces troops, brought to Saigon to fret a hamlet, held by the, Viet Cong for two weeks, killed 30 guerrillas and drove 100 . others into rice fields along the Saigon River. They took 15 prisoners. Only a few of the Green Beret soldiers were wounded in the daring night assault after two days of frustrating repulses. The Viet Cong on May 24 sent some 800 men into the hamlet, a collection of pleasant villas and garden plots in the suburb of Gia Dinh -about three miles northeast of the center of Saigon. Government troops blocked their advance, and at least one battalion dug in and prepared bunkers through an area of three fourths of a square mile. Government partaroopers and marines attempted to cordon off the area, and on Friday about 400 of the Special Forces troops with their American advisers made two frontal attacks. They were driven back, and Saturday they called in tanks and helicopters spewing tear gas. Two tanks fired from close in at the bunkers but were forced back by a hail of antitank rockets. Sunday night the Special Forces battalion divided into squads of 12 to 15 men, loaded up with hand grenades and dashed forward. They cut communications between the bunkers and then destroyed them one by one with the grenades. . ' They fired their rifles only when they spotted enemy soldiers trying to escape. Most of the prisoners were taken when they ran into the cordon around the area. Government paratroopers meanwhile splintered a fresh Viet Cong battalion that tried to relieve the beleaguered force over the weekend. In fighting about a mile to the north the paratroopers killed 90 Viet Cong, the Vietnamese command said. U.S. troops of the 1st Infantry Division killed another 25' enemy soldiers Sunday in a battle seven miles northeast of Saigon. And U.S. troops of the 25th Division repulsed an attack before dawn Sunday and said they killed 52 of the enemy, while three Americans were killed and 32 were wounded. The Viet Cong fired four rockets at Saigon Sunday and none on today. Allied artillery and planes made repeated aKacks on Viet Cong positions around the capital, and military spokesmen said the intensified coun- term'easures helped to keep the energy from making good his threat to bombard Saigon with 100 rounds a day. Gen. Creighton W. Abrams, the new commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, said the rocket attacks will be stopped "and we have the means to stop them." He did not elaborate but it was reported that new, top secret electronic devices installed within the past week provide quick detection of enemy firing positions and control the coun- terfire by radar. On the northern front, U.S. Marines reported killing 310 of the enemy in battles on the northern coast and along a new supply road that the North Vietnamese are building near Khe Sanh. North Vietnamese shore batteries near the demilitarized zone fired on the U.S. cruiser Boston and sank a 50-foot Navy Swift boat. Five of the seven crewmen aboard the aluminum craft were missing. The Marines scored their biggest kill about 12 miles south of See VIETNAM on Page 2 Crafty VC Sneak Rockets into South By .FRED S. HOFFMAN : AP Military Writer WASHINGTON '(AP) - Viet Cong rockets bombarding Saigon were brought into South Vietnam from Cambodian stor- age.areas in sampans moving at night along jungle-shrouded waterways,- according • to U.S< intelligence sources. When the sampans, each carrying four or five of the weapons, arrive at a designated point in South Vietnam, they are sunk—with the rockets encased in waterproof, containers—until the Viet Cong are ready to us« them. From prisoner interrogation and other sources,of information, American intelligence specialists have pieced together a pattern .indicating how ttw North Vietnamese are able to send the weapons deep into South Vietnam, to the point where they can be hurled against that country's capital and its population. .The.rockets, mostly 122 millimeter, come down from North Vietnam by truck, passing through the Laotian panhandle, U.S. officials say, and on into Cambodia where they are stored near the South Vietnamese border. They are then carried across the border along any of the more than 1,300 miles of waterways reaching from Cambodia into the Saigon region. Hundreds of sampans are said to operate along these streams for the Viet Cong, carrying rice as well as weapons and other supplies from Cambodia. Moving mostly at night, the boats are hard to spot. The Cambodian government, which' professes neutrality, repeatedly has denied that its soil is being used as a supply and troop base by North Vietnam and the Viet Cong. The waterways are running deep now, experts said, because of the rains and this creates '.favorable conditions for their use as supply routes into South Vietnam. At the appointed time, the Viet Cong raise the sunken boats, take the rockets from their containers and then move See VIET CONG on Page 2 Thundershowers Partly cloudy to cloudy with scattered thundershowers through tonight. Partly cloudy late tonight and Tuesday with slight chance of thundershowers near southern border. Not so warm most sections through tonight. Low tonight mainly ta the 80s.
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