South Vietnamese troops - many of them seriously injured - were being airlifted by United states helicopters into Ham Nghi Base near the Laos border on wednesday, March 17.
GV Red Cross jeep arriving at Ham Nghi base, S.Vietnam
SV & CU Ambulances with crews waiting (3 shots)
GV Helicopter lands (3 shots)
CU Injured soldier in helicopter
IV Troops and ambulance men round helicopter
CU Injured men helped into ambulance (3 shots)
SV & LV Another helicopter lands (2 shots)
SV Injured helped from helicopter (5 shots)
GV Ambulance drives away
Initials SGM/0136 SGM/0208
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: South Vietnamese troops - many of them seriously injured - were being airlifted by United states helicopters into Ham Nghi Base near the Laos border on wednesday, March 17. They were part of the 1,000 troops which had been hurriedly evacuated from Firebase 'Lolo" 15 miles (24 kms) inside Laos, following one of the fiercest and bloodiest battles of the fighting in Laos. As the wounded and retreating South Vietnamese poured into Ham Hghi, a National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) camera crew was on hand to film the first of the defeated troops arriving at the base, which is the South Vietnamese headquarters for directing operations in Laos.
South Vietnamese officers are reported to say that Lolo and other similar fire support bases are being abandoned anyway as part of the third and final phase of the Laos operation - but there is little to substantiate this claim in the evacuation of Lolo. It is neither planned nor orderly and no figures of dead of wounded are available - those who have survived can only say that the numbers are "Many, many".