A Viet Cong force estimated at 1,000 troops battered a South Vietnamese Ranger battalion Wednesday (28 June) near Saigon and then melted away into the dense undergrowth as United States infantry and armoured units moved in to aid the South Vietnamese.
MS 3 soldiers firing into jungle from armoured personnel carrier (APC)
MS .50 cal machine gun (MG) being fired
M 2 shots " same
CU Soldiers face
MS A.P.C. soldiers firing
CP .50 cal MG firing
MS A.P.C. moving into jungle
MCP " same
MCP A.P.C. in jungle
CU Soldier firing M-16 rifle
MS Soldier loading ammo
M 2 shots Soldier firing .50 cal MG
M 2 shots A.P.C. firing into jungle
M 3 shots A.P.C. moving into jungle
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Background: A Viet Cong force estimated at 1,000 troops battered a South Vietnamese Ranger battalion Wednesday (28 June) near Saigon and then melted away into the dense undergrowth as United States infantry and armoured units moved in to aid the South Vietnamese.
One U.S. officer at the scene of the clash, about 40 miles northeast of Saigon in Longkhanh Province said "most of the Viet Cong just slipped away."
In the section of the battle fought by armoured personnel carriers, of the 11th Armoured Cavalry, the roar of battle was os loud that even commands could not be heard. The A.P.C.'s fired a "blanket" of .30 and .50 calibre bullets into the Viet Cong positions. The Viet Cong responded with automatic weapons, and hand grenades. The first encounter lasted about half an hour, the U.S. Army "half track" personnel carriers pulled back to let the U.S. Air Force jets bomb and staff the area. During this lull, the wounded were evacuated.
Then the troops attacked the Viet Cong again. This time, the Viet Cong responded with a Soviet anti-tank rocket, the same kind that they used to nearly wipe out a U.S. cavalry troop several weeks ago. At the end of this encounter, the U.S. troops withdrew without taking the Viet Cong position.
In the whole battle area, latest figures put the Viet Cong dead at 31, while 8 U.S. troops were wounded. South Vietnamese casualties were unofficially reported as 9 dead, 119 wounded and 163 missing.
The battle followed a recent pattern of brief but bitter clashes that Have sharply increase United States casualties.