A Communist Viet Cong raid on the U.S.base at Pleiku, South Vietnam, early Sunday morning?
Sign "Camp Holloway"
Soldiers walking amid damaged aircraft
Soldiers walking amid debris
Interior of helicopter
Soldiers looking at damaged helicopter
Soldiers examines damaged helicopter
Two soldiers with machine gun
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A Communist Viet Cong raid on the U.S.base at Pleiku, South Vietnam, early Sunday morning (7 February) killed eight Americans, injured 108 others, and heavily damaged aircraft and buildings at the base.
An American colonel estimated the attacking Viet Cong force at about 300 men.The attack lasted about 30 minutes.The Communists had set up mortars near the base and were able to pour in a heavy volume of fire in a short period.An American captain said the first mortar round landed in an area where armed helicopters were kept.The second landed in the unarmed-helicopter area and the third on company headquarters."Then", the captain said, "they started hitting all over the place".
Six helicopters were destroyed and ten damaged.One Caribou transport plane was badly damaged, and three observation planes suffered lesser damage.The Ciet Cong penetrated the outer defense perimeter of the airfield, guarded by Vietnamese government troops, and moved on to the northwest corner of the field.They placed satchel charges next to parked helicopters and aircraft.Three of the copters were destroyed by these hand-carried charges.
The 2 AM attack on the airfield began almost simultaneously with the attack on the barracks area.The housing area at the southeast corner of the airfield was reduced to a shambles.It was there that six of the Americans were killed, in one barrack hut.