United States military authorities reported on Wednesday (March 20) that North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers had withdrawn from two important areas in South Viet Nam: Saigon and Khe Sanh.
United States military authorities reported on Wednesday (March 20) that North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers had withdrawn from two important areas in South Viet Nam: Saigon and Khe Sanh. They claim 13,000 Viet Cong have retreated from the Saigon area, where Allies are conducting their largest offensive of the war. Near Khe Sanh, according to reconnaissance reports, two regiments have withdrawn of the 40,000 North Vietnamese soldiers that surround U.S. Marines. A top U.S. "intelligence" officer estimated that 4000 to 5000 North Vietnamese have been killed in the Khe Sanh area.
What happened at Khe Sanh, it was reported, is the result of tremendous U.S. air power. Air power is diverse, complex and costly, but the essential characteristic of the U.S. war effort.
The plane liked best by pilots in the war is the Phantom F-4 fighter-bomber. It can fly 1600 miles an hour and costs $2.8 million.
The helicopter is a vital part of airpower. It is used to airlift supplies and men, for close artillery support for infantrymen, and for rescuing downed pilots. The "Jolly Green Giant" shown in this film has just returned from rescuing a downed Phantom pilot and co-pilot off the coast of North Viet Nam. These machines can land and take off from almost any place a man can walk.
The road shown on the film runs to Khe Sanh, but North Vietnamese closed it to U.S. use two months ago. The only way to supply U.S. Marines besieged in this base near the Demilitarized Zone is by air. Fighter sometimes drop smoke bombs to hide cargo-carrying C-123 planes or helicopters from the eyes of North Vietnamese gunners. Giant C-130 cargo planes are too big to land at Khe Sanh. They supply the base by air drops. Without complete control of the air the U.S. could not supply the 6000-man Marine garrison.