More than 600 Viet Cong troops were killed in a clash with U.S. troops in?
More than 600 Viet Cong troops were killed in a clash with U.S. troops in "War Zone C" about 70 miles northwest of Saigon, Wednesday (22 March). The battle, which took place 12 miles from the Cambodian border was described by the U.S. Military Command as "the bloodiest this year."
After the Viet Cong were routed, members of the U.S. 3rd Brigade 4th Infantry Division had the trying task of burying the dead Vietnamese.
In this short furious battle, the U.S. casualties were 39 dead and 109 wounded.
The clash was set off by the Viet Cong's 272nd Main Force regiment, which General William Westmoreland -- the Commander of the U.S. military forces in Viet Nam-- had wanted flushed out.
According to a U.S. military spokesman, the 272nd was absorbing considerable punishment from a U.S. artillery unit attached to the Fourth Infantry Division. So, the spokesman said, the Viet Cong unit tried to destroy the source of punishment.
The U.S. artillery unit, numbering 300 men, repulsed the 2500 Viet Cong time after time. To accomplish this, the U.S. troops lowered their cannon and fired into the charging Vietnamese. But the outnumbered U.S. troops couldn't hold the line firmly and had to give around three times.
Reinforcements in the way of tanks and armoured personnel carries arrived -- thus increasing U.S. fire power.
Finally, the Viet Cong were forced to flee. U.S. warplanes -- flying low -- strafed the retreating soldiers, many of them carrying wounded and dead comrades.