One of the first groups of Viet Cong prisoners to be released from South Vietnam under the new exchange agreement, flew out of Bien Hoa base yesterday (Tuesday 13 February).
SV & CU Viet Cong prisoners sitting on ground prior to release (5 shots)
CU Prisoner's artificial leg
SV Wounded POW carried into aircraft on stretcher
GV Aircraft with engine trouble
SV Prisoners transferred to second aircraft (2 shots)
GV Aircraft taxiing
CU Returning South Vietnamese prisoner waving flag
SV Prisoners walk to lorry past band (2 shots)
Initials ESP/2155 ESP/2210
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: One of the first groups of Viet Cong prisoners to be released from South Vietnam under the new exchange agreement, flew out of Bien Hoa base yesterday (Tuesday 13 February). A total of 450 prisoners were released.
But for one plane load of prisoners, the exchange turned into a frustrating business. Their aircraft developed engine trouble and they were forced to return to Bien Hoa and board another transport.
The exchange was completed by the return of 500 South Vietnamese captives from North Vietnam. They flew in, obviously in high spirits, to be greeted by a military band. Later the exchange of prisoners slowed down after Saigon accused the North Vietnamese of using delaying tactics.
SYNOPSIS: More Viet Cong prisoners of war were released in South Vietnam on Tuesday by the Saigon Government. 450 Viet Cong prisoners were repatriated in return for 500 men of the South Vietnamese forces.
Released from Bien Hoa air base, the Viet Cong were flown to Loc Ni???h, north of Saigon.
But for one planeload, exchange turned into a frustrating business. Their aircraft developed engine trouble and they returned to Bien Hoo for transfer to another transport.
The government troops returned in high spirits. The exchange was close to one for one... unlike the original agreement which proposed two Viet Cong be released for every government soldier.