United States supervisors are working in Vung Tau Harbour, 130 kilometres (80 miles) from Saigon, to prepare a shipment of ammunition for Government forces in the Khmer Republic.
GV PAN FROM Harbour TO Troops loading sandbags
CU Japanese flag ZOOM OUT TO GV Boat in fore-ground
MV Troops on ammunition ship (4 shots)
MV ZOOM IN TO SV South Vietnamese troops inspecting equipment
CV ZOOM IN TO MV Asiatic Enterprise (2 shots)
GV ZOOM IN TO Timber jack loaded with sandbags on bridge
MV Naval personnel welding
GV ZOOM IN TO Ship and harbour
Initials CL/0134 CL/0146
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: United States supervisors are working in Vung Tau Harbour, 130 kilometres (80 miles) from Saigon, to prepare a shipment of ammunition for Government forces in the Khmer Republic. The supplies are part of the overall US aid package to Indo-China, but they are the first for the Khmer to be taken from South Vietnam stockpiles.
The convey of 12 tugboats and eight barges was to depart from Vung Tau on 3 January, but heavy fighting along the route ... the Mekong River ... forced a delay. No new date has yet been set for the departure.
The tugboats fly either the South Vietnamese or Japanese flags ... but the whole operation is supervised by Americans working for the Military Sealift Command -- or Alaska Barge and Transport Inc., as it's Known commercially.
Any trip up the Mekong from Vung Tau to the Khmer capital, Phnom Penh, would be hazardous ... but this will be even more dangerous. As the barges contain only ammunition, all are heavily sandbagged. However, the convoy with its cargo precious to the Khmer Government forces will be a prime target for the insurgents. And there's no guarantee it will survive the three-day journey up the river.