Saigon is preparing to usher in Christmas and the new year with mix feeling....a combination?
Christmas shopping scenes in Saigon
GV Food market
Woman buying food in market
Aerial Firebase Gibraltar
GV Soldiers relaxing at fire base
Ditto ZOOM TO Christmas tree
Soldiers read christmas mail from home
GV Makeshift altar
Painting showing Mary with baby Jesus
CU Peace symbol on soldier's arm
Helicopters land at firebase
Officers look at map as discussing operation
Aerial as helicopter takes off from firebase
Back view pilot PAN TO co-pilot
Gun pointing out helicopter door
Aerial showing helicopters landing
Initials DS/2323 OS/2339
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Background: Saigon is preparing to usher in Christmas and the new year with mix feeling....a combination of festive spirit and fear of a major communist offensive. Many inhabitants are trying to buy in or store larger quantities of provision than usual, and hoarding of food and agricultural produce has been reported in the Saigon market in the wake of rumours of a full-scale Vietcong attack. Unofficial reports indicate food prices have more than doubled. Meanwhile the U.S. First air Cavalry Division has been establishing a ring of protective firebases around the capital
SYNOPSIS: Like other cities around the world, Saigon has been preparing for Christmas, but it's ushering in the holiday season with mixed feelings...a combination of festive spirit and fear of a major communist offensive. Many inhabitants have been trying to buy in and store larger quantities of provision than usual, and hoarding of food and agricultural produce has been reported in the Saigon market. food prices have risen sharply.
Security measures in South Vietnam are normally reinforced during the holiday season, and this Christmas is no exception. The military still remember a massive communist offensive at New Year in 1968. For the time being they can only prepare and wait.
These troops at Firebase Gibraltar were last week catching up on Christmas mail. Some of them made this altar.
For the present there's time for prayer an reflection.
In a bid to counter a possible attack on the Saigon area, the United States First Air Cavalry Division has been building up a circle of protective firebases around the capital. Firebase Gibraltar is 35 miles northeast of Saigon.
The Air Cavalry is the last U.S. combat division operating in South Vietnam.Early last week several platoons of troops were lifted by helicopter into an area where communist units are thought to be operating. Reconnaissance and ambush missions have continued in the hope of ensuring at least a peaceful Christmas for the Vietnamese.