The withdrawal of Thailand's 12,000 troops from South Vietnam is now under way. On Saturday,?
The withdrawal of Thailand's 12,000 troops from South Vietnam is now under way. On Saturday, about 560 men from the Royal Thai Black Panther Division flew home to Bangkok.
By next February, the last of the Thai troops is expected to have been pulled out and the Thai base at Bearcat, 20 miles northeast of Saigon, handed over to the South Vietnamese.
It was almost four years to the day since the first Thais arrived in South Vietnam when their commander, Major-General Erm Chirapongse, said farewell to Bearcat at the weekend.
South Vietnamese and other allied officers and officials were there to see the Thais off.
Back in Thailand, the troops will be used bolster the country's sensitive borders with the Khmer Republic and Laos to carry on the fight against communist guerillas.