The new United States Ambassador to Thailand flew into Bangkok on Wednesday (14 May) to face anti-American demonstrations and the diplomatic storm provoked by the Mayaguez affair.
SV U.S. Ambassador Charles Whitehouse arrives in VIP lounge
SV U.S. Ambassador surrounded by Thai officials (2 shots)
SV U.S. Ambassador walks past demonstrators with placard "Ford you destroy the international law".
Initials BB/0110 RS/JB/BB/0115
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Background: The new United States Ambassador to Thailand flew into Bangkok on Wednesday (14 May) to face anti-American demonstrations and the diplomatic storm provoked by the Mayaguez affair.
Ambassador Charles S. Whitehouse was met by Thai student demonstrators shouting "Get your troops out and go home".
The same day Thailand ordered more than 1,000 U.S. Marines out of the country less then 24 hours after being airlifted in for the military action to recover the U.S. merchant ship Mayaguez seized by Cambodian gunboats.
The Thai Government told Washington in a statement that if the marine task force was not withdrawn immediately "the good relations and co-operation existing between Thailand and the U.S. will be exposed to serious and damaging consequences."
All the Marines were withdrawn early Thursday (15 May) to the U.S. aircraft carrier Coral Sea in the international waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
News of the American attack on Cambodian gunboats was received in shocked silence in Bangkok.
Thailand, anxious to reach an accommodation with North Vietnam and the new Communist Governments in Phnom Penh and Saigon, wanted ;to avoid charges of collusion with the U.S. in attacks on Cambodia.
Later Preeda Wattanathabut, Minister attached to the Thai Prime Minister's office told reporters that the warplanes used in the attack on the Cambodian gunboats did not come from Thai bases.
Observers say the incident has left a permanent scar on Thai-U.S. relations and might spark off demands for a complete U.S. troop withdrawal from Thailand before the March 1976 deadline set by the Thai Government.