• Short Summary

    THE WAR IN SOUTH VIETNAM HAS BROUGHT INTO PROMINENCE THE NAMES OF WHAT ONCE WERE UNKNOWN TOWNS AND VILLAGES, AND NOT LEAST AMONGST THESE IS DA NANG.

  • Description

    THE WAR IN SOUTH VIETNAM HAS BROUGHT INTO PROMINENCE THE NAMES OF WHAT ONCE WERE UNKNOWN TOWNS AND VILLAGES, AND NOT LEAST AMONGST THESE IS DA NANG. A RAMBLING CITY SET ON THE SHORES OF DA NANG BAY, IT HAS CEASED TO BE JUST A QUIET, SLOW-MOVING FISHING PORT AND HAS EMERGED, PERHAPS, AS THE MOST VITAL MILITARY BASE IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA.

    NOT ONLY DOES DA NANG SIT ASTRIDE THE MAIN SUPPLY ROUTE FROM SAIGON TO THE NORTH, BUT IT POSSESSES THE MOST MODERN AIRFIELD IN SOUTH VIETNAM - AN AIRSTRIP WHICH HANDLES AS MUCH TRAFFIC IN 24-HOURS AS THE MAJOR CIVIL AIRPORTS OF EUROPE AND THE AMERICAS. FROM ITS TWO RUNWAYS ARE LAUNCHED AMERICAN AND SOUTH VIETNAMESE AIRCRAFT FOR SORTIES OVER NORTH VIETNAM AND ON SUPPORT MISSIONS FOR GOVERNMENT TROOPS FIGHTING SOUTH OF THE 17TH PARALLEL DIVIDING VIETNAM.

    THE RUNWAYS OF THE AIR BASE ARE CROWDED WITH AN ESTIMATED 500 AIRCRAFT AND 150 HELICOPTERS. SOPHISTICATED SUPERSONIC JETS LIKE THE PHANTOM, VOODOO, DELTA DART AND SUPER-SABRE JOSTLE FOR SPACE WITH SKYRAIDERS, HERCULES TRANSPORT AND SPOTTER PLANES. D NANG IS NOT ONLY VITAL, BUT TO THE VIET CONG IT IS PROBABLY THE MOST TEMPTING TARGET OF THE WAR.

    SAFEGUARDING THE DA NANG AIRFIELD HAS BECOME A MAJOR OPERATION IN ITSELF. AN EXPEDITIONARY BRIGADE OF THE ELITE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS HAS BEEN ASSIGNED THE TASK OF DEFENDING THE BASE. TO ENSURE THAT IT IS DEFENDED, THE 'LEATHERNECKS' BROUGHT WITH THEM TANKS. FIELD GUNS AND THE HAWK GROUND-TO-AIR ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILE.

    FOR A RADIUS OF 5,000 YARDS AROUND THE AIRSTRIP THE MARINES HAVE OCCUPIED EVERY HILL, ELIMINATING THE RISK OF HIGH GROUND OVER-LOOKING THE BASE FALLING INTO THE HANDS OF THE VIET CONG. FROM THIS HEAVILY GUARDED PERIMETER, THE MARINES, IN PATROLS OF 40 TO 50 MEN,HAVE PROBED INTO VIET CONG TERRITORY TO DRIVE THEM BACK INTO THE MOUNTAINS WHICH FLANK DA NANG TO THE NORTH, WEST AND SOUTH.

    ESTIMATES OF VIET CONG STRENGTH IN THE AREA ARE PUT AT 20,000, IN WELL-ORGANISED UNIT EQUIPPED WITH AUTOMATIC SMALL ARMS, RECOILLESS RIFLES AND HEAVY MORTARS. IT IS SUFFICIENT STRENGTH, SAY AMERICAN PLANNERS IN SAIGON, FOR THE VIET CONG TO LAUNCH AND ATTACK ON THE BASE AND ATTEMPT ANOTHER SIEGE REMINISCENT OF DIEN BIEN PHU.

    DESPITE THIS CONCENTRATION OF VIET CONG IN THE MOUNTAINS BEYOND THE PADDY FIELDS OF THE DA NANG VALLEY, THE AMERICANS ARE CONFIDENT THAT ANY ATTACK WOULD FAIL. BEHIND THE MARINES ARE ANOTHER 15,000 TROOPS OF THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE ARMY QUARTERED IN DA NANG CITY; AND BEYOND THEM, THE AMERICAN SEVENTH FLEET.

    IF THE AIRCRAFT AND MARINES HAVE BROUGHT A CHANGE TO DA NANG, THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY DO NOT SHOW IT. THE FISHERMEN MEND THEIR NETS, THE BUSINESSMEN TRADE IN THE MARKETS AND THE PEOPLE SHOW LITTLE CONCERN AS CONVOYS OF TROOPS AND SUPPLIES SPEED OVER ITS DUSTY STREET. ONLY THE STRICT CURFEW FOR CIVIL AND MILITARY PERSONNEL SEEMS TO INTERFERE WITH THE TEMPO OF LIFE IN THIS MOST VITAL CITY OF SOUTH-EAST ASIA.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7MXUUWNF2JZTXTA5ECUHG13ND
    Media URN:
    VLVA7MXUUWNF2JZTXTA5ECUHG13ND
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    16/05/1965
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:46:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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