A South Vietnamese Army battalion that was ambushed and encircled by the Viet Cong, eight miles from Cheo Rao, fought its way out of the trap last Wednesday.
LS Troop movement
LS Troops move through jungle
LS Plane and bombing
LS Troops fighting in jungle
LS Soldier throws grenade
LS Fighting and movement through jungle
LS Fire in dugout
LS 2 Shots of dead Viet Cong
LS Litter bearer carrying dead
LS 4 shots of prisoners and wounded
LS Helicopter evacuation
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Background: A South Vietnamese Army battalion that was ambushed and encircled by the Viet Cong, eight miles from Cheo Rao, fought its way out of the trap last Wednesday. It took reinforcements--the governments crack 1st Airborne unit--to do it.
It was a bitter fight. At least 122 Viet Cong regulars were killed; 37 government troops were killed and four American soldiers lost their lives. A U.S. warplane was knocked out of the sky and two of its crew were killed. The plane was used to strafe and bomb Viet Cong troops, dug in on top of hill overlooking the trapped government soldiers.
The Viet Cong trap was sprung on the South Vietnamese battalion which was on its way to help another government infantry battalion pinned down in Thuan Mong.
Government authorities say the ambush is part of a Viet Cong miliary pattern. The V.C. they say, pour large numbers of troops into a battle, forcing the government soldiers to ask for reinforcements. It is the reinforcements that end up being trapped.