Pacific Stars And Stripes, December 26, 1969

Pacific Stars And Stripes

December 26, 1969

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Issue date: Friday, December 26, 1969

Pages available: 31

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Publication name: Pacific Stars And Stripes

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Pages available: 580,340

Years available: 1948 - 1999

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All text in the Pacific Stars And Stripes December 26, 1969, Page 1.

Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - December 26, 1969, Tokyo, Japan** ** * Report Claims 7th Fleet To Halt Taiwan Patrols I 1 I f=. Ai 11 5, 18 K ^ TOKYO (UPI) — The UnitedStates has told Japan the 7th Fleet will be withdrawn frompatrols of the Strait of Formosa off the China Mainland, KyodoNews Agency reported Wednes- day.The agency, quoting ''in- formed diplomatic sources,''said the official reason given for the move was to save money.But it said the sources believed it was aimed at relaxing ten-sions to try to speed a resump- tion of diplomatic talks betweenthe U.S. and the Peking regime. In Washington, the State De-partment said that any naval re- ductions now under way will notreduce the U.S. commitment to Nationalist China's defense un-der the 1954 U.S.-Chinese Mutual Defense Pact.Press officer Robert J. McCloskey was asked whetherreduced naval deployment or patrolling by the 7th Fleet wouldlower the U.S. protection. Tne State Department spokesman,without confirming whether or not a 7th Fleet reduction is tak-ing place, said: "This will in no way affect theU.S. defense commitment to the Republic of China nor the ability (Continued on Back Page, Col. 1) AN AUTHORIZED UNOFFICIAL PUBLICATION FOR THE U.S. ARMED FORCES OF THE PACIFIC COMMAND */-%!voi- Friday, Dec. 26, 1969 Truce a Ray of Peace Christmas Orbits the World American Red Cross girls and nurses from Cu Chi, headquartersof the 25th Div., sing Christmas carols with infantrymen of the division's 3rd Brigade at Patrol Base Handle, 30 miles west of Sai-gon, as the Christmas cease-fire begins. (AP Radiophoto) By The Associated Press Christmas 1969 came as it has in recent years with hostilities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, It emerged in a temporary truce on South Vietnamese bat- tlefields and seemed to overshadow some of the world's prob- lems. Decorations ranged fromevergreen boughs in Canada to bamboo leaves inthe Philippines. Gifts told of the giver and his cus-toms. Prayers in different tongues spoke of the birthof Christmas and its mes- sage: "Peace on earth." In the Middle East Israeli se-curity forces moved through Bethlehem, the birthplace ofChrist, as thousands of pilgrims poured in. At times the militaryseemed to outnumber the resi- dents and visitors. An Israelihelicopter kept watch for any suspicious movements. Three loud explosions rattledwindows in Bethlehem Christ- mas Eve, but one Israeli officialbrushed aside fears they were the work of Arab saboteurs. Hesaid they probably were caused by supersonic aircraft.It was Bethlehem's third Christmas under Israeli rule.That little town was taken from Jordan in 1967.In Vietnam, the allied com- mands and the Viet Cong ob-served cease-fires. Fighting had been at a low level for several (Continued on Back Page, Col. 1) Spirit of Bastognes—25 Years and 2 Wars Apart By SPEC. 5 ALAN MAGARY S&S Staff Correspondent FIRE SUPPORT BASE BAS-TOGNE — This is a story about Christmas at two places namedBastogne. Both were celebrated, 25 years apart, by the 101st Air- borne Div.In December, 1944, the 101st was at Bastogne, Belgium, sur-rounded by several German di- visions. Christmas was cold andbleak and there was a lot of fighting and suffering.You might say that Fire Sup- port Base Bastogne in Vietnam is "isolated," also. It's the west- ernmost base of the 101st, but helicopters are a lifeline andRoute 547, which runs to Hue and Camp Eagle, the divisionbase camp, is open. The enemy is not as active as the Germans were.And the Christmas being cele- brated here by the 2nd Bn., 501st Inf., and the crews of the bigguns is not as bitter cold as the one the Screaming Eagles tried to celebrate in 1944.On Dec. 16, 1944, two German armies — 26 divisions, 1,800 ar-mcred vehicles, 2,000 artillery pieces — were suddenly thrown against only four U.S. divisionsguarding the line west of the Rhine River. This was the bigGerman counteroffensive aimed at reaching the Meuse River,and the Allies were not pre- pared. The line buckled andcreated "The Bulge." The 101st was on standdown inFrance. On Dec,, 18, the division — many of the paratrooperswithout helmets, some without weapons — loaded on 380 "cattle" trucks and headedncrth to Bastogne. Somebody there asked anM.P. What was happeaing. "I don't know," he said, "every-body else is leaving and the 101st is coming in." The first unit to arrive —-which bore the brunt of the fighting in the first days — wasthe 501st Parachute Inf. Regt, Col. Julian J. Ewell command-ing. The 2nd Bn., 501st Inf. is adescendant of the 501st of Bas- togne, and Ewell is now a three-star general commanding II Field Force, Vietnam.The division commander, Maj. Gen. Maxwell Taylor, who was away in Washington in mid-De- cember 1944, became ambassa-dor to Vietnam and greeted the first brigade of the 101st when itarrived in July, 1965. The man who led the armor spearheadwhich broke through to Bas- togne Dec. 26, 1944, was Lt. Col.Creighton W. Abrams, now MACV commander."What's merry about all this, you ask?" wrote Brig, Gen. An-thcny McAuliffe, the man who said, "nuts!" to a German sur-render ultimatum. "We're fight- ing. It's cold. We aren't home . .. but we have stopped cold ev- (Continued on Back Page, Col. 1) ;

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