When the move across the border came, it was almost predictable - ARVN troops aboard armoured personnel carriers.
When the move across the border came, it was almost predictable - ARVN troops aboard armoured personnel carriers. It was estimated that two brigades crossed into Laos by road.
Bulldozers manned by South Vietnamese soldiers, cleared the way for the APC's - going beyond the last american check point and pushing into Laos.
One ARVN military policeman put up a new sign right at the border. Like the American sign, put up several days ago 150 metres back from the border, this one again warned that American personnel were not allowed beyond this point.
Helicopter Gunships flew protective cover over the convey as it penetrated into Laos. Convoys moved along the road leading to the border in an almost continuous stream - newsmen, waiting at Quang Tri, were herded aboard specially provided helicopters. They were told they may be going on a combat assault. Where or with whom was not stipulated.
Where the newsmen landed was at Khe Sanh. It was an incredible scene - more than 100 helicopters were on the ground and more flying in all the time. They all came in empty and took off empty. It was obviously the staging area for the helicopter assault but there were no combat troops visible to board them. When the choppers took off, they headed west toward Laos, apparently to a secret rendezvous with ARVN troops. All helicopter pilots were under strict order not to talk to newsmen. One helicopter commander pushed this correspondent aside when he attempted to talk to one of his pilots - but not before the pilot admitted he had come back from as far west as he cared to go.
There were reports that at least one full ARVN division was assaulted by helicopter into Laos over a six hour period. The number of helicopters landing at Khe Sanh would tend to bear this out.