Bill Thompson, a former American "Green Beret", now works as a civilian adviser among villager defence units in South Vietnam, and on Thursday (31 August) was filmed at Throng Bom village 30 miles north of Saigon, as he directed operations in defence of the settlement.
GV & SV Villagers leaving
SV & GV District military in and around village (3 shots)
SV & S. adviser with troops (2 shots)
GROUND TO AIR Helicopter overhead
SV U.S. adviser directing helicopter by radio
SV & GV Militia moving off with adviser accompanying.
"The people of Throng Bom village about 30 miles north of Saigon have had a tough time during the past week. The Vietcong and North Vietnamese have been threading to attack the village....on several accessions they've hit Throng Bom with mortar and sniper fire.
"When this film was taken a small V.C. unit was just outside the town.
"Since most of the residents here are Catholic and fled the north years ago....they are afraid what will happen if the communists take over the village even for a few hours.
"Throng Bom has been defended by local militia, called the People's Self Defence Force. The militia here is graded as a good unit primarily because of the basic anti-communism of its members, but also because they have been helped in their fight by an American adviser.
"Bill Thompson was a Green Beret but new he's a civilian...the district adviser for this area.
"Thompson says he's afraid of helicopter so he lets his South Vietnamese counterpart watch the war in a helicopter while he works for the militia on the ground.
"In this small action, Thompson directed the observation helicopter towards the Vietcong position...then he advised the hamlet chief to deploy his forces. His tactics in the situation must have worked....the Vietcong unit outside of town pulled back and the attack never came.
"Thompson has been in Vietnam now for nine years....in the past month the Vietcong claim to have killed him three times. Last week just outside this village he was wounded in the left side. While other Americans here are thinking about troop withdrawals and going home, Bill Thompson says he wonts to stay...he feels there is still a job to be done."
Initials BB/0212 BB/0145
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Background: Bill Thompson, a former American "Green Beret", now works as a civilian adviser among villager defence units in South Vietnam, and on Thursday (31 August) was filmed at Throng Bom village 30 miles north of Saigon, as he directed operations in defence of the settlement. On this occasion an expected attack didn't materialise. This coverage by NBC includes a sound track commentary by Arthur Lord....an alternative one is also provided.