Christmas Day at U-S first positions on the edge of zone D -- northwest of Saigon.
Christmas Day at U-S first positions on the edge of zone D -- northwest of Saigon. The silence was broken only by an occasional Christmas song from a transistor radio.
There had been a few round of VietCong sniper fire Christmas Eve, but nothing during the day.
Elsewhere in VietNam, at least 12 Americans and perhaps 50 vietnamese soldiers were killed during the truce period.
For more than 30 hours, U-S forces acted only in self-defence.
At bien hoa, vehicles of the first infantry division remained out of action.
And so did the men.
No one knew then weather the truce would hold up, how long it would hold, or whether it would be extended.
Marines at Danang were said to feel that the cease-fire played into the hands of the VietCong.
Nonetheless, they went thru the ancient ritual of giving Christmas gifts to children, despite the rain.
Outside the camp, at least one marine was killed, and several were wounded.
The irony of the Christmas celebration was not lost on these men.
And in Saigon on Christmas night, there was a forced attempt at holiday gayety.
But out in the countryside by now, there had been 84 incidents of violence, initiated by the VietCong.
By midnight, hopes for extending the truce had ended.
U.S. forces did not resume the attack for another four hours.
The tactical air control center at tanson ??? airbase ordered a resumption of activity. So far, all air operations have been against targets in south vietnam. But less than three hours after midnight, Christmas nite, the first jet reconnaissance plane was airborne.
Tom Pettit, NBC News, Reporting.