A United States officer and a Vietnamese pilot were killed on Saturday (December 15), when a party of Joint Military Commission officers was ambushed by guerrillas southwest of Saigon.
AERIAL SHOT Helicopter comes in for landing
AERIAL VIEW FARMS
SV Helicopters on ground
SV Vietnamese on stretchers taken to truck (2 shots)
SV Burning wreckage of helicopter
GV PAN Burning wreckage
CU Helicopter propeller blade carried by soldiers
GV Helicopter in field.
Initials AE/19.18 AE/19.31
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Background: A United States officer and a Vietnamese pilot were killed on Saturday (December 15), when a party of Joint Military Commission officers was ambushed by guerrillas southwest of Saigon.
The group -- taking part in the search for soldiers and airmen missing in the Vietnam war -- had just touched down in three helicopters in an overgrown rice paddy in the Binh Chanh area, 12 miles (19 km) from Saigon.
The American officer -- the first killed in South Vietnam since the January ceasefire--was shot dead as the guerrillas opened up with heavy rocket and machine gun fire. He was the leader of the search party.
Seven ???her Americans and these Vietnamese were wounded. One of the helicopters bearing the distinctive sign of the Joint Military Commission was blown to pieces.
The following day, the United States and South Vietnam protested to the International Commission of Control and Supervision, calling the ambush "a deliberate and outrageous attack on an unarmed search party."
The Viet Cong denied that any helicopter mission in south Vietnam had been authorised for that day by the four-party Joint Military Commission. An American survivor of the ambush said the search mission had been authorised by the Viet Cong earlier this month, but no check had been made with local Viet Cong forces before the group went to the area.