The arms build-up in Laos...Four United States World War Two fighter-trainer planes - "Harvard T-6's"?
The arms build-up in Laos...Four United States World War Two fighter-trainer planes - "Harvard T-6's" - delivered recently to the Prince Boun Our Government, warmed up at Vientiane Airport, Jan 13, before taking off on a sortie against left-wing forces.
These planes are propeller driven, and reported to be equipped with rockets. America also supplied four helicopters for ferrying supplies, reinforcements and wounded soldiers.
In Moscow, USSR, Jan 16, the American Ambassador was called to the Soviet Foreign Ministry. The US was warned not to engage in a "further extension of interference" in Laotian affairs. Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Kuznetsov claimed that the Americans were also handing over a number of "Thunderjet" fighters. This was later denied in Washington.
Latest reports from Vientiane said that Russian "Colt" planes had gone into action to counter the "Harvards". A Jan 17 report said a Laotian Government column, supported by American-supplied aircraft with rockets, fought their way into the strategic rebel base of Vang Vieng on the road to the royal capital of Luang Prabang.
Our cameraman was detained for some hours by the authorities for filming the American planes at Vientiane Airport. He (and the film) was released after interrogation.