• Short Summary

    Everything is ready and waiting at the big Clark Air Base in the Philippines for the first flight of United States Prisoners of War from Hanoi...

  • Description

    SV Clark Airbase control tower PULL BACK TO GV Airfield

    LV & SV Aircraft lands and taxis (4 shots)

    CU Emblem on side of aircraft: Pacific Air Force

    CU Red Cross on tailfin

    GV & SV Hydraulic platform operating inside aircraft (3 shots)

    GV & SV Aircraft staff checking patient seating & medical needs (5 shots)

    GV & SV Clark Hospital (2 shots)

    SV Patients on verandah

    LV hospital buses

    SV & GV Hospital staff check patients' records (2 shots)

    GV & SV Hospital staff using equipment (5 shots)

    SV Doctor talks to patient (2 shots)

    GV General activity in corridor

    There's still no word from Hanoi about plans to release United States Prisoners-of-War, but as soon as the green light is given, a massive operation to bring them back safely and look after them will go into operation. From the moment Hanoi decides the men will be released, a virtual army of doctors and nurses will stand by them at the big Clark Air Base in the Philippines, and specially equipped aircraft will take off for Hanoi to get them.

    This aircraft is called a C-Nine. It's a virtual flying hospital, and it's the aircraft chosen to make the repatriation flights. During the Vietnam war, it was used to fly inured troops from Vietnam to safety. It is equipped like a hospital complete with a small operating theatre and a ward. With a range of 2,300 miles, the C9 will be able to carry forty prisoners-of-war from Hanoi to the Clark Air Base in about two and a half hours.

    The Clark hospital itself is said to be one of the finest of its type in Asia. The United States Government has organised a team of about fifty doctors and one hundred nurses to be on standby round the clock from the moment the word is given that the prisoners are freed.

    There's also plenty of physical therapy equipment there to help start getting the men's injured arms and legs back into action. There'll also be psychiatrists and doctors for the special needs of prisoners.

    All that's needed now is the word from Hanoi,and the world's biggest instant hospital goes into action.

    Initials TS/BOB/BB/1836

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Everything is ready and waiting at the big Clark Air Base in the Philippines for the first flight of United States Prisoners of War from Hanoi...but even as late as Thursday (1 Feb.), there's no word on their arrival.

    A United States Military spokesman said on Wednesday (31 Jan.),that the released prisoners of was would be given a real welcome to the Air Base, which has been set up as huge so-called 'processing centre', where the men will be de-briefed, and if necessary, given medical treatment.

    But the frustration over the actual release of the prisoners continues. Informed military sources say that there's every indication that release of the first batch of 550 Americans is still days rather than hours away.

    The sources said that the go-ahead to start bringing back the prisoners would probably be made only after the four-nation commission supervising the ceasefire in Vietnam gives the thumbs-up that it can go ahead smoothly.

    But when the green light is given, everything is ready for the prisoners--some of whom have ben in the hands of North Vietnam for eight years.

    One of the units specially equipped to handle the released prisoners-of-war is called the Ninth Aeromedical Group. It specialised in flying wounded G.I.'s out of Vietnam to the rear during the war. Now the same men will handle the bulk of the returning prisoners.

    The 'plane they'll use is called a C-NINE, a sort of flying hospital. the aircraft has a range of two-thousand, three hundred miles, and with a load of forty patients, it can fly from Hanoi to Clark in about two and a half hours.

    After their flight, the men will be taken to hospitals where they'll be looked after by a big team of doctors and nurses.

    However, American Army officials have clamped down on security. They have made it clear that the returning prisoners-of-war will have no contact with the world outside the hospital during their period at the base.

    At the moment though, it's a case of marking time. The Flight and medical crews are on constant standby for the fourth consecutive day, waiting for the signal which will send the big 'planes to Hanoi to pick up the first load of freed prisoners-of-war.

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