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1-5Jan70-6 GIs Die, 11 Hurt In 111 Violations Of Allied Truce
S&S Vietnam Bureau
Five Americal Div. infantrymen were killed - the first Americans to die in Vietnam in 1970 - and three others wounded shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday morning in a 20-minute mortar, rifle and machine gun attack by a North Vietnamese Army Sapper unit on an Americal Div. night position 33 miles south-southeast of Da Nang.
The brief action cost the NVA two dead as the GIs backed by artillery repulsed the Red attack by popping 15-20 rounds of 82mm mortar fire into the U.S. encampment.
05Jan70-Red Assault Halted; 7 GIs Die, 12 Hurt
S&S Vietnam Bureau
SAIGON - Americal Div. infantrymen paid a high price - seven dead and 12 wounded - in stopping a four-hour assault by Communist mortarmen, machine gunners and riflemen that left 29 enemy dead late Friday 108 miles south-southeast of Da Nag, U.S. military spokesmen said.
The enemy troops failed to break through the perimeter of the U.S. trooper's temporary night camp, a spokesman said.
The Red attack began shortly before midnight Friday with a barrage of about 60 mortar rounds, followed by enemy rifle and machine gun fire.
The Americans fought back and aided by artillery and helicopter gunships, forced the Communists back four hours later. The attack took place five miles southwest of Duc Pho in Quang Nam Province (Typo, Quang Nam is north of Duc Pho).
05Jan70-U.S. Inf. Capt. Relieved After Red Night Attack
CHU LAI, Vietnam (AP) - The commander of a company of U.S. infantry troops was summarily relieved of his command after enemy sappers slipped through his unit's night bivouac during the New Year's ceasefire, killing eight Americans and wounding five others.
"The battalion commander felt the company commander failed to observe, order and supervise the proper night defensive procedures," a spokesman for the Americal Div. said Saturday.
Reliable informants said there were indications the company's foxholes were not well dispersed nor deep enough.
Most of the American dead and wounded were hit by grenade fragments in the fist moments of the sneak attack by a sapper company that penetrated two sides of the night bivouac on a knoll in rolling country nine miles west of Tam Ky in northern Quang Tin Province.
The company was part of the 2nd Bn., 1st Inf., 196th Brigade, but was not further identified pending notification of the victims' families.
The name of the captain who led the company also was withheld.
05Jan70-Probers Search Homes, Sift Ruins at My Lai
CHU LAI, Vietnam (AP) - Following a minesweep team and a scout dog trained to sniff out mines and boobytraps, Lt. Gen. William R,. Peers and his Army investigators poked through the ruins of My Lai hamlet Saturday.
The three-star general probing whether field commanders tried to cover up the alleged massacre of My Lai inhabitants by U.S. troops, made a house-to-house search of the hamlet and walked its perimeter ankle deep in mud. Rain fell steadily.
"The visit was extremely helpful," an aide said. "The general was looking for certain key areas and building that figure in the testimony." Peers may return to My Lai for another first-hand look, the aide added.
Peers was accompanied by South Vietnamese Sgt Nguyen Dinh Phu, who was an interpreter with the Americal Division company that swept through My Lai on March 16, 1968, and allegedly killed 109 or more civilians.
Phu was questioned by the Peers panel Thursday and Friday, and his presence in My Lai Saturday seemed to indicate that he was considered an important witness.
Tight security regulations were in force during the three-hour visit to My Lai, and newsmen were not allowed to accompany the investigators.
An Americal Division task force has been combing the area for several days, and suffered at least five men wounded by booby-traps. When the Peers team arrived its members donned flak jackets and helmets. Two helicopter gunships hovered overhead.
But there was no sign of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers who are known to roam the area.
Two weeks ago an American armored force killed 54 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong Troops in a battle 1 1/2 miles southeast of My Lai.
After Saturday's visit, sources close to Peers said he is "prepared to stay as long as possible in this area to make sure he leaves no stone untouched."
With Peers were three members of the Army investigating team, Robert McCrate and Jerome K. Walsh Jr., both New York Lawyers, and Army Lt. Col. Billy Stanberry.
There was a chance the Peers investigation in Vietnam would coincide with the visits by the trial and defense counsel in the forth-coming court-martial of 1st Lt. William L. Calley Jr., 26, of Miami, Fla., who is charged with murdering 109 civilians at My Lai. Staff Sgt. David Mitchell, 29 of St. Francisville, La., a former platoon sergeant under Calley, faces trial separately on a charge of assault with intent to commit murder.
Calley's military counsel, Maj. Kenneth Raby, and the Army prosecutor, Capt. Aubrey Daniel, left Ft. Benning, Ga., Friday for Vietnam.
"There will be no contact whatsoever should they come here," a spokesman for Peers said, however.
The Peers investigation is being conducted independently of the courts-martial proceeding.
(*Note - A/123rd Avn Bn flew inspection teams into the My Lai area. It took quite an effort by the infantry to secure the area).
06Jan70-VC Prisoner Testifies At Army My Lai Inquiry
QUANG NGAI, Vietnam (AP)
-A Viet Cong prisoner who once lived in My Lai was questioned Sunday by a special U.S. Army panel investigating whether field commanders tried to conceal the alleged massacre of civilians in the village.
The Viet Cong was brought from prison to appear before the panel of investigators headed by Lt. Gen. William R. Peers. The prisoner was not identified.
A spokesman said the prisoner testified willingly. Details of his testimony were not revealed in accordance with ground rules laid down by the panel.
The general and his staff prepared to return to Saigon Monday to "Start putting pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together," the spokesman said.
The investigators have gathered volumes of documents and testimony since their arrival in Vietnam a week ago. A Peers aide said their departure for Saigon had no connection with the arrival in Vietnam Sunday of the military trial counsel and defense attorney in the murder case against Lt. William L. Calley Jr., 26 of Miami, Fla. Calley faces court-martial on charges of slaying 109 My Lai inhabitants while in charge of a platoon that swept through the village March 16, 1968.
The two attorneys are expected to make an inspection of My Lai in the next few days. They are Maj. Kenneth Raby, the defense counsel, and Capt. Aubrey Daniel, counsel for the prosecution.
There was no word of how long Peers would remain in Vietnam after he visited My Lai Saturday, a spokesman said the general planned to stay in Vietnam as long as necessary in order "to leave no stone unturned."
Also interviewed Sunday were two U.S. servicemen who were stationed in the My Lai area at the time of the incident and three residents of Co Lay, a hamlet near My Lai.
The two Americans were Staff Sgt. Robert W. Ragsdale, formerly assigned to Charlie Company of the 37th Signal Battalion and CWO William R. Murphy of the 132nd Aviation company.
The three Co Lay residents were Nguyen Amm, Ho Quyen and Truong Tinh.
The investigators have been questioning Co Lay residents in an effort to trace the whereabouts of potential witnesses from My Lai, which is now deserted.
Sunday's interviews brought to 30 the number of persons to be questioned since the investigators arrived in Vietnam. The general also has conferred with a number of high U.S. and South Vietnamese officials.
07Jan70-Peers Back From 'Massacre' Area
Compiled From S&S and AP
SAIGON - Lt. Gen. William R. Peers returned here Monday after an investigation of My Lai, the alleged massacre area.
At Tan Son Nhut AB, Peers said, "We'll be busy all the time we're here" in Saigon, "two or three days."
Peers said, "we're pretty much on schedule. W have a lot of work to do."
In five days of investigating in the Chu Lai and My Lai areas. Peers and his team of lawyers and aides interviewed 30 American and Vietnamese witnesses about the alleged massacre.
Peers wound up his investigation in the My Lai area Monday after interviewing three South Vietnamese National policemen who were in the hamlet at the time of an alleged massacre.
Sources said the policemen had taken part in a cordon-and-search operation as an Americal Div. company swept through My Lai on March 16, 1968.
The policemen were and still are assigned to the National Police Force in Son Tinh district which includes My Lai.
07Jan70-S. Vietnam Senate Rebukes Thieu on My Lai 'Incident'
SAIGON (AP) - South Vietnam's Senate cast aside Monday a resolution calling the incident at My Lai a massacre by U.S. troops, but accepted a watered-down version saying a regrettable incident happened there involving Americans.
The resolution adopted was a rebuke for President Nguyen Van Thieu, but not so sharp a one as the original document which held him entirely responsible for what it called the inaccuracy of a government report that contended there was no massacre at My Lai.
But the resolution that was voted by 25 of the 29 lawmakers present in the 60-member Senate-in effect rejected that report of Nov. 22 which said 20-25 civilians were accidentally killed by U.S. artillery fire.
The stronger resolution was introduced by Sen. Tran Van Don, one of Thieu's leading opponents in the National Assembly. Don's resolution had the support of the Senate's Defense Committee, which he heads.
The adopted version said "a regrettable incident happened causing fatalities and damaging the properties of civilians and is the single act of a U.S. unit." It did not use the word "massacre."
Addressing itself to Thieu, the resolution demanded he take steps to safeguard "the lives and property of the people, especially those in contested areas."
The Senate suggested he do this by taking "the initiative in the conduct of the war ... by unifying the commands between the South Vietnamese armed forces and the allies."
07Jan70 - U.S. Troops At 474,400
SAIGON (AP) - The United States begins 1970 with 474,400 American troops in Vietnam, a weekly military strength summary showed Monday.
The troop strength figure, as of Jan 1, was a drop of 900 over the previous week.
For the past month, figures have been fluctuating from as low as 472,500 to as high as 475,300.
But the U.S. Command has said these are normal fluctuations caused by rotation and replacement flows.
A spokesman noted U.S. strength is still well below the authorized ceiling of 484,000.
07Jan70-A 12-Month Course That Must Last Lifetime
By SPEC 4. CRES VELLUCCI
QUANG NGAI, Vietnam (Special) - I can give the Vietnamese an idea to help eliminate a problem, and I can even take them by the hand to show the correct way to follow through on that idea....but I won't do the work for them."
This is the frank and dedicated philosophy of Spec. 5 Ronald W. Polk, public health specialist for the 4th Platoon, 29th Civil Affairs Co., in Quang Ngai Province.
Polk, who works in an advisory capacity in six districts in the province, has a firm belief in doing more for the villagers than juts "handing" a better life to them.
"I can't make promises, because I can't always keep them," he says. Besides, my job here is to show the people how to set up their own community and make it work."
By avoiding what has been described as an American trait of doing, rather than advising, Polk says he can be more assured of progress continuing even after he leaves the country.
"I want to feel confident when I go home that the people can continue without outside help," says Polk.
Recently work was completed on a dispensary and a shower facility at the Catholic Orphanage in Quang Ngai. Polk was largely responsible for this.
Holding to his philosophy of self-help, the Army medic really didn't do any physical work, but advised the Sisters in charge of the institution how to acquire the building materials, medicine and other essentials.
The dispensary, which took four months to complete, is just a building with one waiting room and four smaller wards. But it means much more to the 375 orphans at the institution, who had nothing before.
After Polk determined such a dispensary was needed at the orphanage, he coordinated with civilian and military aid groups, both Vietnamese and American, to have the facilities constructed.
Staffing the dispensary proved to be a problem. The civil affairs soldier remedied this by arranging to have a local Vietnamese girl sent to a Saigon nursing school.
Polk them merged the services of military and civilian to have the showers constructed. And, he claims they do the job.
During a typical work period Polk may find himself in the village square helping a Vietnamese Catholic nun bargain for the sale of a pig, or supervising the digging of a sewage ditch, or even enjoying an eight-course dinner with a grateful Vietnamese family.
"We aim our self-help program at the young," observed the specialist. "In my time here, I can help rid this province of only a very few ills..but through the education of the young there is a chance for a new prosperous life for the Vietnamese."
In hard facts, the American advisor has but 12 months to teach the Vietnamese what they'll need...for a lifetime.
07Jan70- American Forces Vietnam Network
Chu Lai TV
Thursday Jan 8
12:00-Young People's Concert
07Jan70-Down in the Dumps? Never!
S&S Photos By SPEC 4 JOHN BEARD
DA NANG, Vietnam - Torn, busted, blasted, rusted, 18,000 tons in 23 acres of un-military heaps. That's Da Nang's military junkyard (the officers here wince when their "property disposal yard" is called a junkyard). This is a gathering point for war machines when they cease to be of any use to soldiers.
But the "property disposal yard" does a brisk business with their piles of twisted metal. Lt. Col. Charles McLean, assistant chief of staff for retrograde and disposal of the U.S. Army Support Command (he manages the junk yard) said they sold $98,000 worth of used-up war machines in December. In the past two years they have unloaded $816,000 worth of disposed property.
Business is so good in turn-up, worn-out helmets, tanks, trucks, canteens, helicopters, stoves, barrels, tires, refrigerators, and typewriters that the "property disposal yard" is being expanded more than double to 50 acres. And when the yard expands the disorderly piles of trash will carefully, methodically, systematically, precisely, ordered into rigid, parade ground rows, neatly dressed right and covered down.
09Jan70-Near Da Nang, Saigon
191 Enemy Slain In Fierce Battles
By SPEC. 4 STEVE WARSH, S&S Staff Correspondent
SAIGON - Fierce fighting erupted Tuesday in two areas of Vietnam and U.S. and Vietnamese forces claimed at least 191 Communists were killed.
Americal Div. armored cavalrymen and Vietnamese militiamen killed 87 North Vietnamese in a fierce daylong battle near Tam Ky, 40 miles south-southeast of Da Nang. Allied military spokesmen said.
Meanwhile, 1st Air Cav. Div. and 25th Inf. Div. troopers killed 90 Communists in two jungle slugfests near the Cambodian border northwest of Saigon in Tay Ninh Province.
Pacific Stars & Stripes correspondent Spec. 4 Tom Benic, reporting from Chu Lai, said that NVA riflemen and machine-gunners caught Americal GIs atop armored personnel carriers and tanks and walking Vietnamese regional and popular force
10Jan70-2 More GIs Charged With Murder at My Lai
WASHINGTON (UPI) -The Army Thursday charged two more soldiers with premeditated murder in connection with an alleged massacre of South Vietnamese civilians at My Lai. One was also charged with rape and the other with "indecent assault on a female."
The new charges brought to four the number of men formally accused of crimes during a U.S. sweep through the hamlet in search of Viet Cong March 16, 1968.
Charged Thursday were :
- Pvt. Gerald A. Smith, 22, of Chicago, now stationed at Ft. Riley , Kan., accused of premeditated murder, and indecent assault on a Vietnamese female.
-Sgt. Charles E. Hutto, 21, of Tallulah, La., now serving at Ft. Lewis, Wash., accused of premeditated murder, rape and assault with intent to commit murder.
Earlier, 1st Lt. William Calley Jr., Ft. Benning, Ga., was charged with premeditated murder of at least 109 persons and S. Sgt. David Mitchell, Ft. Hood, Tex., was charged with assault with intent to murder 30 persons.
The sex offenses charged against Smith and Hutto were the first such charges to be made in the Army's investigation of the reported slaughter of men, women and children..............................................
10Jan70-114 More Reds Slain as Fighting Flares 2nd Day (S&S Vietnam Bureau)
SAIGON-Intense fighting flared for the second day in a row in Vietnam's northernly Quang Tin Province Wednesday as Americal Div. infantrymen and armored Cavalrymen cut down 39 Reds in a six-and-one-half-hour battle 28 miles south of Da Nang, a U.S. military spokesman said.
Americans lost five killed and 16 wounded in the clash, 12 miles northwest of the provincial capital at Tam Ky.........................
10Jan70-Photo Caption - Lt. Gen. William R. Peers, flanked by an aide, talks with newsmen in Saigon after completing an 11-day investigation into the alleged My Lai massacre. Peers refused to tell newsmen whether he had found any evidence of an Army coverup of the incident (UPI Radiophoto.)
SAIGON (AP) - Lt. Gen. William R. Peers flew to Washington Thursday after completing an 11-day investigation into whether U.S. field officers attempted to conceal the alleged My Lai massacre.
Peers declined to tell newsmen on his departure what, if anything, his inquiry team had uncovered.
"The one think I think is very important is not to do anything or say anything that would prejudice this investigation, he said in an airport news conference.
The inquiry team visited the alleged massacre site and questioned 32 Vietnamese and nine Americans during its stay. Peers said he still had other witnesses to interview in Washington and would be able to say in a week or 10 days when his final report might be completed.
It will be delivered to U.S. Army Secretary Stanley Resor and the Army chief of staff, Gen. William C. Westmoreland.
Peers said he found Quang Ngai Province relatively peaceful compared to what it apparently was at the time of the alleged massacre of Vietnamese civilians by U.S. troops on March 16, 1968.
"Anyone who goes to Quang Ngai today and looks at the situation you see a comparatively peaceful situation," Peers said.
The coastal hamlet of My Lai, where 100 or more civilians are alleged to have been slain by U.S. troops, is deserted but Viet Cong troops still operate in the area and Peers' own group made its visit there under heavy security.
Peers, who headed the U.S. 1st Field Force based farther south at the time of the My Lai incident, said he could nevertheless, recall the situations that existed in many areas just after the Communists' Tet offensive of early 1968.
"I can tell you that, particularly right after Tet, this area was torn up," he said. A great part of the area was actually Viet Cong country, no question about it."
Asked if the change in security from a Viet Cong area in 1968 to a relatively peaceful area today would influence the nature of his report, Peers replied:
"No, but I do think it is always necessary to put things in their proper context. We must also look back to see the environment that existed at the time.
10Jan70-'Viets Can Handle Reds in Quang Tin' S&S Vietnam Bureau
TAM KY, Vietnam-American efforts in Quang Tin Province, south of Da Nang can be sharply reduced without affecting the Allied military superiority in that region, the province chief, Col. Hoang Dingh Tho said.
His comments followed Tuesday's day-long engagement in which Vietnamese and American forces mauled elements of an NVA REgiment just west of this provincial capital.
"I expect at least one third of the American troops in this province will be pulled out within the next few months," Tho said. "When we work together we are unbeatable, but we will still do very well without American troops."
Tho, province chief for three years and a military figure in the region since 1961, said the enemy is reeling. He expects isolated acts of terrorism to continue but feels the enemy is incapable of launching any major attack on the scale of Tet 1968.
"We have wiped out perhaps 60 per cent of the Viet Cong in this region," Tho said. "The NVA troops we see today are better equipped than VC but do not know the terrain and have very poor morale."
Tho claimed the allegiance of 93 per cent of the people of Quang Tin - up from 77 percent at the same time last year.
Even with an accelerated American withdrawal, the enemy can be totally defeated in the province within two years, he said. Americans presently comprise about 25 percent of the province's allied troop strength, he added.
"All our regional force and popular force troops now have the M16 rifle. That was not the case a year ago," he noted. "The regular ARVN forces are better equipped and their morale is high."
An ARVN armored cavalry unit went to the aid of an Americal cavalry unit in Tuesday's battle. Five companies of regional forces soldiers were committed to the action. A combined action platoon (CAP) of PFs and U.S. Marines fought in three separate engagements in the area of the battle.
"I am very sad when people talk about dealing with the Viet Cong politically," Tho said, "We can beat the VC."
11Jan70-62 Enemy Die in Day-Long, Head-on Firefight With GIs
Three Red 122mm rockets killed seven Vietnamese civilians and wounded four in an early evening attack Thursday on Thang Binh District town 25 miles southeast of Da Nang in embattled Quang Tin Province.
12Jan70-GIs Inch Up Rugged Slope
'Black Virgin' Battle Rages On ......
Elsewhere, Vietnamese soldiers and militiamen killed 74 enemy troops in five skirmishes Friday and early Saturday ranging from near Tam Ky in I Corps tactical zone to 105 miles west of Saigon in the Mekong Delta province of Chau Doc. Vietnamese losses in the scattered contacts were said to four killed and eight wounded.
12Jan70-My Lai- Time Is Frozen
By SPEC. 4 TOM BENIC
S&S Staff Correspondent
MY LAI, Vietnam-Although the bombed=out red brick and cement ruins of My Lai 4 hint of a once prosperous town, there is no talk of rebuilding.
The original inhabitants have left; for those who now live in a refugee village nearby, there seems to be little reason to return.
This isolated hamlet with its overgrown vegetation resembles an archaeological-discovery. It is something to be searched, photographed, mapped and its contents analysed. For the hamlet and those who have lived there the present has been suspended. The future is uncertain.
It is the past that is of greatest concern. What exactly did happen at My Lai 4 on March 16, 1968, when an element of the Americal Div. entered the village and allegedly massacred more than 100 civilians?
Investigating teams from both the South Vietnamese and American governments, the U.S. Army and most recently prosecution and defense attorneys in the trial of 1st Lt. William L. Calley, accused of murder in the alleged incident, have visited the hamlet in search of clues. What, if anything, they have found will remain a secret for quite some time as the search continues.
My Lai, 4, located near the coast 75 miles southeast of Da Nang, is nestled in an island-like bamboo thicket 400 yards long and 300 yards wide. It is completely surrounded by rice paddies.
The hamlet appears to have been far more prosperous than the average. About 40 brick houses - up to 30 yards long and 15 yards wide - with tile roofs, partitioned rooms, cement pillars and porches lay in ruins.
My Lai 4 was considered an insecure area until cordoned off Dec. 30 by Americal Div. troops. Four Viet Cong were routed from their hiding places and taken prisoner during an initial sweep of the area. A booby trap wounded five Americans several days later.
Several incidents of sniper fire have been recorded since the security force arrived. Visitors are required to wear steel helmets and flak jackets.
Most of the original trails in the hamlet have been checked for mines and the vegetation cleared away.
The security force is dug in and conducts day and night patrols and ambushes in the surrounding area.
But the security detachment is here only on a temporary basis. Once the investigations are finished, the troops will leave and the vegetation will be allowed to grow back.
It is hardly likely, however, that My Lai will soon be forgotten.
12Jan70-Calley Hearing May Be Delayed
FT. BENNING, Ga (AP) - The Jan 20 hearing on a score of defense motions in court-martial of Lt. William L. Calley, Jr. may be postponed as much as 15 days, it was learned Friday.
The two army lawyers involved in the Calley trial have been delayed in their on-the-spot investigation of the scene at My Lai where Calley is charged with murdering 109 Vietnamese civilians during a military operation in March 1968.
The two lawyers, defense counsel Maj. Kenneth Raby, and trial counsel Capt. Aubrey M. Daniel, left Ft. Benning a week ago to conduct the investigation. They were to have returned Saturday. A source said that now the pair will not return until Jan. 15. No reason was given for the delay.
A hearing for Calley scheduled for Jan 19 on a murder charge that the Army alleges took place a month and a half before the My Lai incident is expected to be held on schedule, the same source said.
13Jan70- Hanoi Releases 127-Man POW Roster.
13Jan70- Army ,Air Force Won't Return Wounded to Viet...
13Jan70- Infiltrators Nailed at Tay Ninh
174 Reds Die as War Heats Up
......Also in I Corps, enemy artillerymen shot five 122mm rockets at an Americal Div. base-camp 31 miles southeast of Da Nang. No casualties or material damage resulted.
13Jan70- American Forces Vietnam Network
Chu Lai TV
Wednesday Jan 14
3:15-Movie - It's A Small World
14Jan70-Tay Ninh Battles Taper Off;
Red Toll Tops 300 in 5 Days
To the north two Americans were killed and seven wounded in a three-hour late afternoon duel between Americal Div. infantrymen and NVA mortar crews, riflemen and machinegunners in the marshy lowlands west of Tam Ky and 36 miles south-southeast of Da Nang in Quang Tin Province. Enemy losses in the battle are unknown.
Earlier in the day, Americal Div. GIs netted five NVA in a short exchange of rifle and machine-gun fire 13 miles west-northwest of Tam Ky and 33 miles south of Da Nang. There were no U.S. casualties in the action .............
Four Vietnamese civilians were wounded in a 50-round 60mm mortar attack on Tri Trung hamlet 88 miles southeast of Da Nang in Quang Ngai Province an ARVN spokesman said.
15Jan70-Allies Wipe Out 67 NVA In Battles Near Da Nang
S&S Vietnam Bureau
SAIGON-Sixty-seven North Vietnamese were killed Monday as brisk fighting erupted anew south of Da Nang in Quang Tin Province, Allied spokesman said.
Last week, more than 150 Reds were killed by Vietnamese and American soldiers in heavy fighting in the marshy lowlands west of the provincial capital at Tam Ky.
In Monday's fighting, six miles west of Tam Ky and 27 miles south-southeast of Da Nang, Americal Div. infantrymen armored cavalrymen, artillery and armed helicopters wiped out 55 NVA soldiers in three on-and-off again battles.
U.S. losses for the actions were put at one killed and 10 wounded by an official spokesman.
Nearby, late Monday afternoon, Vietnamese militiamen and U.S. soldiers flushed out and killed 12 Communists six miles southwest of Tam Ky, Regional Force losses were said to be three injured U.S. casualties were not reported.
16Jan70-B52s Belt Border Areas; War Sputters on Ground
S&S Vietnam Bureau
To the north Americal Div. infantrymen killed seven NVA while unearthing a large enemy bunker complex west of Tam Ky near where 57 NVA were killed Monday by U.S. ground troops. The complex, 37 miles south-southeast of Da Nang contained 41 bunkers, 26 of which had been destroyed by artillery and air strikes during Monday's battle with an estimated NVA battalion.
Mortar Attack Veils Sappers
S&S Vietnam Bureau
Vietnamese militiamen and Special Forces troops killed 21 Reds and suffered no casualties in an all-day sweep Wednesday in southern Quang Tin Province 50 miles south-southeast of Da Nang, an ARVN spokesman said. Nearby, Vietnamese troops and popular force soldiers killed another six Communists.
??Jan70-My Lai Witness Testifies
SAIGON (AP) - A special investigation team headed by Lt. Gen William R. Peers, probing the Army's original investigation of the alleged My Lai massacre, has heard its first witness in Vietnam, the U.S. Command said Tuesday.
A spokesman said the witness was heard at the U.S. Command headquarters in Saigon, where Peers and his staff spent Monday reviewing records.
The U.S. Command would not identify the witness, saying this would be made public eventually by the panel.
Peers and his staff arrived in Saigon sunday. the three-star general said he brought his investigators to Vietnam to talk to people who weren't in Washington, look at some documents that weren't available in Washington and visit My Lai if possible.
The Army has said an investigation was conducted in the Americal Div. shortly after reports were received that one of its units had massacred civilians at My Lai during an operation on March 16, 1968. The probe concluded there were no grounds for action.
After a major Army investigation began more than a year later, the Defense Department named the Peers board to determine if there was any attempt to cover up the incident itself" during the first probe.
19Jan70-28 Reds Killed by Viet Troops
S&S Vietnam Bureau
.......A Vietnamese Army spokesman reported that Vietnamese militia men and regulars killed 28 Reds Friday in light sporadic fighting that ranged from the Communist-infested U Minh Forest in Vietnam's southern most An Xuyen Province to Quang Ngai Province in southern I Corps.
Early Friday morning, Communist marauders attacked a Montagnard rural development team stationed in Mai Linh village 218 miles northeast of Saigon in the central highlands. One civilian was killed, five wounded and three dwellings burnt to the ground in the raid. One RD worker was also injured the attack cost the reds two dead..........
20Jan70-Rocket Grenades Wound 16 101st GIs
S&S Vietnam Bureau
SAIGON - ........
Another ambush near Mo Duc, 320 miles north-northeast of Saigon, netted the 47th Popular Forces Platoon five enemy soldiers killed with no loss to the PFs reported.
21Jan70-Calley's Lawyer Reveals Tapes of My Lai Copter Talk
FT. BENNING, Ga (AP) - Attorneys for Lt. William L. Calley Jr. revealed Monday that tape recordings were made of conversations between helicopter gunships at My Lai on the day the Army officer is accused of murdering 109 Vietnamese civilians.
Maj. Kenneth Raby, a military defense lawyer, referred to the taped conversations at an unusual partially open hearing. There was no indication of what was said in the conversation.
Monday's hearing was to determine whether Calley will face a court-martial on a charge of murdering a Vietnamese man about six weeks before the alleged massacre at My Lai.
Calley appeared at the hearing, but he refused to make any statement.
His civilian defense lawyer, George Lattimer of Salt Lake City, Utah, moved for dismissal of the charges on grounds there was no competent evidence, no right of confrontation for the accused and no right of cross-examination in the hearing.
Col. Mack H. Hopper the investigating officer, denied the motion.
Although part of Monday's hearing was open, the hearing on evidence was closed.
The reference to the tape recordings was the first indication that they existed. Raby said Capt. Charlie R. Lewellen made the recordings of conversations between helicopters assaulting the village of My Lai on the morning of March 16 ,1968, the date of the alleged massacre.
Lewellen was an assistant intelligence officer for Task Force Baker, to which Calley was attached at the time.
Raby objected to the proceedings because, he said Calley was being denied equal protection of the law,. He said the proceedings, which have been equated to a grand jury hearing, falls short of such proceedings.
Raby said there are not subpoena powers. He said also that the investigation is still under way and is being financed by the Army. He said that the defense is receiving nor funds in its investigation.
The objections were overruled by Hopper.
Lattimer charged that details of the case are being leaked to the news media by every source. "The defendant's rights have been impaired until they can't be restored. Nothing has been leaked by the defense," he said.
23Jan70-Red Gunners Shell Allies 60 Times
.......To the north Americal Div. artillery fire left 19 enemy dead in a late afternoon fire mission 75 miles south-southeast of Da Nang in Quang Ngai Province.
24Jan70-Reds Hit Viet Marines in Delta
S&S Vietnam Bureau
SAIGON - ........
In Quang Ngai Province, soldiers from the Americal Div. killed 18 enemy soldiers and detained 12 suspected Viet Cong in close combat 80 miles south-southeast of Da Nang. U.S. casualties were one killed and six wounded.
28Jan70-Textbook GI Counterattack
Ambush Backfires on North Viets
S&S Vietnam Bureau
Vietnamese Rangers gunned down 43 Reds in a series of brief firefights Sunday morning 19 miles southeast of Da Nang in Quang Nam Province. Friendly losses were given as five wounded. Further south, ARVN 2nd Div. infantrymen left 19 enemy dead in sporadic fighting near Mo Duc District Town 88 miles southeast of Da Nang in Quang Ngai Province. There were no ARVN casualties in that action.
Americal Div. infantrymen, checking out a suspected enemy rocket firing site five miles southwest of division headquarters at Chu Lai Sunday morning, met with heavy Communist rifle and machine-gun fire and lost two dead and one wounded. Three Communists died in the clash.
Earlier in the morning, "less than 10" 122mm rockets slammed into the division's base camp 55 miles southeast of Da Nang killing one Vietnamese civilian. No U.S. casualties were reported. Material damage was described as light.
30Jan70- Ship 'Sanctuary' For Wounded GIs
(*Note-Many Americal Division Casualties were treated on this ship)
By SPEC. 4 ERNST H. ROBL
ABOARD THE USS SANCTUARY (Special) -Take one of the busiest heliports
in the Republic of Vietnam, a water purification plant capable of handling 60,000 gallons a day, the electrical system of a town of 10,000 and enough air conditioning from 500 average-size homes.
Now put them in a 71-by-520 foot space capable of going anywhere in the world under various conditions. Sounds impossible?
These are just some of the everyday statistics of the U.S. Navy ship AH-17, better known as the USS Sanctuary, which specializes in doing the impossible every day.
For soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines from throughout the XXIV Corps area of operations - Vietnam's two northernmost provinces and their coastal waters - the Sanctuary provides the most modern medical facilities when every second counts.
Helicopter evacuation of the injured directly from the scene of a combat action or accident puts even the most serious cases within minutes of complete medial care. including all kinds of surgery and an artificial kidney machine.
Laboratories complete with the latest equipment, electrocardio- and electro-encephalographs, X-ray and fluoroscope units, provide speedy diagnosis. Three operating rooms can be used for major surgery at the same time.
A pressure chamber is available for treatment of a variety of emergencies ranging from internal bleeding to "bends" suffered by a diver who surfaces too rapidly.
But as impressive as the array of emergency medical equipment is Capt. George S. Taylor, commander of the hospital, points out a major part of the patient load handled does not consist of emergency cases.
Clinics such as the ear, nose and throat provide treatment on an outpatient basis. Military personnel can also have their eyes checked and leave with new glasses - precision made to a specific prescription and fitted - all within a few hours.
Dental work, including oral surgery, is handled by still another clinic. Rare drugs, including many not otherwise available in Vietnam can be furnished by the pharmacy which stocks a three-month supply of more than 4,000 items.
Taylor, head of one half of the hospital ship's dual command - the other half, headed by Capt. C.E. Briggs Jr., concerns itself with the operation and navigation of the ship - notes that though the ship's main mission is providing emergency treatment for American line troops, the hospital will treat anyone requiring immediate medical attention.
Capt. Carl Simpkins, executive officer of the hospital, explains that in order to keep its unique emergency treatment facilities available when they are needed most, the hospital ship tries to retain patients only for a minimum amount of time - just enough to bring them through the critical period.
Patients needing hospitalization after leaving the Sanctuary are transferred to other hospitals in the Pacific Command or the States.
Vietnamese and other nationals are returned to provincial hospitals or their respective country's medical facilities as soon as possible.
Though the ship occasionally comes in to port at Da Nang, virtually all patients and supplies arrive by helicopter while the Sanctuary is cruising in the South China Sea. Theoretically, the ship can remain at sea indefinitely, refueling at sea and taking on supplies by air, leaving the hospital mobile yet out of reach of hostile action.