After nearly two months of comparative quiet, bitter fighting has broken out between United States Marines and North Vietnamese troops just south of the demilitarized zone separating North Viet Nam and South Viet Nam.
CU Inside damaged building
MS Bombed out roof
MS Pan from debris to building
MLS Debris on ground
MCP M.P. on duty
MS Signs: "Dong Ha Combat Base"
"9th Marine Regiment"
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Background: After nearly two months of comparative quiet, bitter fighting has broken out between United States Marines and North Vietnamese troops just south of the demilitarized zone separating North Viet Nam and South Viet Nam. The United States Military Command in Saigon reports that in one 24-hour period North Vietnamese gunners fired 300 rounds of mortar, rocket and artillery shells in eight separate attacks against Marine positions. The Marine air base at Dong Ha, 100 miles south of the buffer zone, came under heavy rocket fire.
The rockets were fired from North Vietnamese positions just north of the demilitarized zone, which means they had to travel 16 miles to hit their target. About 125 shells rounds fell on the Dong Ha base.
The primary target was the Air Force compound, where sensitive electronics equipment is housed. There was considerable damage to the building, but officials would not allow newsmen inside to survey the wreckage. Barracks and other buildings were also hit.
Specific casualty fixtures for the Dong Ha shelling were not available. But a military spokesman said 15 Marines were killed and 51 injured in shelling against Dong Ha and Con Thien, the Marine outpose which lies only a mile south of the demilitarized zone. It was near Con Thein that North Vietnamese troops ambushed two Marine companies and inflicted heavy casualties on them.