A full-scale amphibious landing, reminiscent of many World War II maneuvers, took place recently on the South China Sea Coast in Quangnai province.
A full-scale amphibious landing, reminiscent of many World War II maneuvers, took place recently on the South China Sea Coast in Quangnai province. The 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army was moved into the area, near the demilitarized zone due to increased heavy fighting in the area. The arrival of the 101st brings U.S. troops strength in the area to division size, about 12,000 men.
The 101st Airborne Brigade, is the famed "Screaming Eagle" Brigade that has an illustrious history including many World War II battles. The full brigade of the 101st, some 5,000 men, was ordered into the area recently to relieve U.S. Marines who had been engaged in particularly bitter fighting with troops of the Viet Cong and the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam (commonly called North Viet Nam).
The 101st Airborne is made up of tough, combat troops that the U.S. military commander in Viet Nam, General William Westmoreland calls his "strike force." The Brigade has a good combat record despite having been moved 25 times since arriving in /south Viet Nam two years ago.
The situation in Quangnai has been called serious by same U.S. intelligence officers because the North Vietnamese Third Division has been getting stronger in the area recently. Two of the Division's regiments,as well as 12 local force guerilla companies are believed to be based in the nearby mountain valleys.
The Viet Cong is said to control most of the 500,000 people who live in Quangnai province.
The U.S. has weakened its military strength elsewhere in South Viet Nam by moving the 101st Airborne into the northern province, but apparently the increased fighting left U.S. leaders no alternative. And more U.S. troops are expected in the area in the coming days.