During a week in which the South Vietnamese have been evacuating several battered fire bases within Laos, they have fought tenaciously to hold on to one particular stronghold.
SV & CU ARVNs firing heavy artillery (4 shots)
GV US Cebra helicopters in action bombing enemy positions (4 shots)
CU ARVN officer guides choppers by radio from trench
GV US jets bombing (2 shots)
SV ARVN Fire Base "Bravo"
SV Helicopter overhead
SV Soldier runs past tanks
SVs Soldiers past jeeps & upturned military trucks & runs for cover (3 shots)
SV Troops guiding lorries into position
SV Soldiers in action on base (2 shots)
GV Read PAN upturned armoured vehicles (2 shots)
SVs Tanks & soldiers
GV Jets bombing Viet Cong positions smoke rising from jungle (8 shots)
SV Camp Bravo smoke rising in distance
SV PAN ARVN troops along roadway waiting to be picked up by helicopters
GV Helicopters - soldiers on ground (2 shots)
SV Wounded being treated (2 shots)
SV Soldiers waiting to be pulled out
SV Wounded into helicopters
SV Dead soldiers laid on stretchers
SV Soldiers sitting in camp - helicopter landing in B/G
Initials SGM/0053 SGM/0203
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: During a week in which the South Vietnamese have been evacuating several battered fire bases within Laos, they have fought tenaciously to hold on to one particular stronghold. Fire Base "Bravo", only 10 kilometres (6 miles) inside the Laotian border and providing cover for the strategic Khe Sanh base. Reports today (Saturday) indicate that "Bravo" may have had to be abandoned in spite of last-ditch attempt to held-out.
VISNEWS Cameraman Tran Huu Trong, a South Vietnamese from Saigon, has been living with the troops on camp "Bravo" for the last week, and was able to film these scenes at the height of the battle for the defence of the important base.
SYNOPSIS: South Vietnamese heavy artillery firing towards enemy positions in the jungle surrounding Five Base "Brave" in Loos.
Overhead, United States Cebre helicopters provide support to the ground forces by bombing the Viet Cong. Although South Vietnam has been evacuating several battered bases in Laos during the last week, they are fighting tenaciously to hold this important stronghold only ten kilometres inside the Laotian border - because it provides cover for Khe Sanb, the strategic supply base just across the line in South Vietnam.
Bravo had been hit for several days by strong Viet Cong attacks with mortar and fifty-seven millimetres recoilless rifles. Casualties to men and equipment have been high, but no figures are yet available, as survivors reposition to best hold-out.
All around the base are signs of the fierce attacks - upturned armoured vehicles show the violence of some of the explosions. Near the perimeter of the base, tanks and soldiers wait for orders.
Jets from the United States seventh Air Force, keep strafing and bombing the surrounding jungle in an effort to clear out the Viet Cong gun emplacements.
In spite of the massive defences - and what appears to be the burning of many enemy positions in the distance, reports on Saturday, the day following this film, indicate the Brave had to be abandoned in spite of the last-ditch fight to save it. Theses soldiers were among early evacuees who lined the road waiting for the heavy transport helicopters to fly them back to the Sanh along with the wounded.
On this day, some one thousand men of the ARVN first division were prepared for the return to South Vietnam, along with the wounded and the dead.