South Vietnamese troops this week (Sunday) began a huge operation in Cambodia to clear VietCong forces from along the banks of the two major rivers linking Cambodia with South Vietnam.
South Vietnamese forces board landing craft
Landing craft down Mekong River (two shots)
CA soldier watches
Troops off-load artillery ammunition (two shots)
Men fell coconut tree & drink milk
Villagers leave Pagoda
Villagers towards homes (two shots)
Helicopter and ARVN officers
CU ARVN officers (Colonel Hanh centre)
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Background: South Vietnamese troops this week (Sunday) began a huge operation in Cambodia to clear VietCong forces from along the banks of the two major rivers linking Cambodia with South Vietnam. The Mekong and the Bassac - a branch of the Mekong - now shoulder a large proportion of traffic between the two countries with the road system under constant attack.
Taking part in the operation are more than 4,000 South Vietnamese troops including marines, 100 landing craft, 60 helicopter and sixty supply and troop ships.
Troops boarded the landing craft in the Neak Luong ??? - an important ferry crossing over the Mekong River which links Phnom Penh with Saigon. One landing point was the village of Kaoh Tiev, 40 miles from Navy artillery and ammunition proved hot work and there was an eager rush for coconut milk.
With the arrival of the South Vietnamese forces, the Cambodian villagers left the security of bunkers around their pagoda and returned to their homes. The South Vietnamese say two battalions of Viet Cong are operating in the area around Kaoh Tiev. In command of the South Vietnamese troops is Colonel Vo Huu Hanh, who flew in by helicopter to attend a briefing. The Vietnamese navy units are under the command of Colonel Nguyen Van Thong.
The first day of this operation resulted in the capture of three Cambodians said to be working with the Viet Cong forces.