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Pacific Stars and Stripes: Friday, December 26, 1969 - Page 1

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   Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - December 26, 1969, Tokyo, Japan                              *****Report Claims 7th FleetTo Halt Taiwan PatrolsI 1I f=. Ai115, 18K^TOKYO (UPI) — The UnitedStates has told Japan the 7thFleet will be withdrawn frompatrols of the Strait of Formosaoff the China Mainland, KyodoNews Agency reported Wednes-day.The agency, quoting ''in-formed diplomatic sources,''said the official reason given forthe move was to save money.But it said the sources believedit 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 toNationalist China's defense un-der the 1954 U.S.-Chinese MutualDefense Pact.Press officer Robert J.McCloskey was asked whetherreduced naval deployment orpatrolling by the 7th Fleet wouldlower the U.S. protection. TneState Department spokesman,without confirming whether ornot a 7th Fleet reduction is tak-ing place, said:"This will in no way affect theU.S. defense commitment to theRepublic of China nor the ability(Continued on Back Page, Col. 1)AN AUTHORIZED UNOFFICIAL PUBLICATIONFOR THE U.S. ARMED FORCES OF THE PACIFIC COMMAND*/-%!voi- Friday, Dec. 26, 1969Truce a Ray of PeaceChristmas Orbits the WorldAmerican 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 PressChristmas 1969 cameas it has in recent yearswith hostilities in Asia,Africa and the MiddleEast, It emerged in atemporary truce onSouth Vietnamese bat-tlefields and seemedto overshadow someof the world's prob-lems.Decorations ranged fromevergreen boughs in Canadato bamboo leaves inthe Philippines. Gifts toldof the giver and his cus-toms. Prayers in differenttongues spoke of the birthof Christmas and its mes-sage: "Peace on earth."In the Middle East Israeli se-curity forces moved throughBethlehem, the birthplace ofChrist, as thousands of pilgrimspoured in. At times the militaryseemed to outnumber the resi-dents and visitors. An Israelihelicopter kept watch for anysuspicious movements.Three loud explosions rattledwindows in Bethlehem Christ-mas Eve, but one Israeli officialbrushed aside fears they werethe work of Arab saboteurs. Hesaid they probably were causedby supersonic aircraft.It was Bethlehem's thirdChristmas under Israeli rule.That little town was taken fromJordan in 1967.In Vietnam, the allied com-mands and the Viet Cong ob-served cease-fires. Fighting hadbeen at a low level for several(Continued on Back Page, Col. 1)Spirit of Bastognes—25 Years and 2 Wars ApartBy SPEC. 5 ALAN MAGARYS&S Staff CorrespondentFIRE SUPPORT BASE BAS-TOGNE — This is a story aboutChristmas at two places namedBastogne. Both were celebrated,25 years apart, by the 101st Air-borne Div.In December, 1944, the 101stwas at Bastogne, Belgium, sur-rounded by several German di-visions. Christmas was cold andbleak and there was a lot offighting and suffering.You might say that Fire Sup-port Base Bastogne in Vietnamis "isolated," also. It's the west-ernmost base of the 101st, buthelicopters are a lifeline andRoute 547, which runs to Hueand Camp Eagle, the divisionbase camp, is open. The enemyis not as active as the Germanswere.And the Christmas being cele-brated here by the 2nd Bn., 501stInf., and the crews of the bigguns is not as bitter cold as theone the Screaming Eagles triedto celebrate in 1944.On Dec. 16, 1944, two Germanarmies — 26 divisions, 1,800 ar-mcred vehicles, 2,000 artillerypieces — were suddenly thrownagainst only four U.S. divisionsguarding the line west of theRhine River. This was the bigGerman counteroffensive aimedat 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 withoutweapons — loaded on 380"cattle" trucks and headedncrth to Bastogne.Somebody there asked anM.P. What was happeaing. "Idon't know," he said, "every-body else is leaving and the101st is coming in."The first unit to arrive —-which bore the brunt of thefighting 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 IIField Force, Vietnam.The division commander, Maj.Gen. Maxwell Taylor, who wasaway in Washington in mid-De-cember 1944, became ambassa-dor to Vietnam and greeted thefirst brigade of the 101st when itarrived in July, 1965. The manwho led the armor spearheadwhich broke through to Bas-togne Dec. 26, 1944, was Lt. Col.Creighton W. Abrams, nowMACV commander."What's merry about all this,you ask?" wrote Brig, Gen. An-thcny McAuliffe, the man whosaid, "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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