European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Feb 19 1968, Page 23

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European Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - February 19, 1968, Darmstadt, HessePage 24 the stars and stripes monday february 19, Battle is raging at Tan son Nhut talks with marines president Johnson talks to marines at Al Tore calif., before they leave for Vietnam. He also saw paratroopers att. Bragg n.c., also War bound. Up continued from Page coordinated precision rocket and mortar pounding of at least half dozen american airfields including such major fighter bases As Tan son Nhut and Bien Hoa just to the North. At Leas six american planes including four f4c phantom fighter bomb ers were destroyed a loss of about $14 million. Several other aircraft were damaged but were said to be raids hit a nation still reeling from the initial attack last month. Incomplete reports 1 put new damage in millions of dollars and the number of killed and wounded in the hundreds. At Nightfall heavy fighting was still in Progress around Tan son Nhut just three Miles from Down town Saigon and in the streets . Considers hiking troop level thinks they reall out they re continued from Page 1 their second wave Johnson said. There is a Little doubt that this is or. Big that this is he also said that Gen. Westmorelan going to go going for broke. Heretofore has been a hit and run when a reporter said that i sounded As if the current communist attempt is a weaker one the president replied that Only fragmentary reports were in but i think that s a fair Conlu troops Johnson saw in Battle dress at it. Bragg n.c.,and Eltoro Marine air station calif., Are part of the 10,500-Manincrease ordered last monday for . William c. Westmore land the . Commander there asked for these specific Pueblo. Continued from Page the vessel had violated their 12-mile territorial limit but the United states said the seizure was nothing More than piracy on the High addition to the apology broadcast Friday North Korea has broadcast two alleged confessions by the ship s skipper cmdr. Lloyd Bucher and five alleged confessions by other crewmen in which they con fessed to entering North Korea territorial Waters. These All included a paragraph pleading for leniency and Freedom. The state department said that the language substance of a. The latest confession made i Clear that the words were those of the North korean authorities and not of the Crew. Passage quoted . Officials quoted a length passage in which the crewmen were alleged to have admitted their crimes acknowledged that they were not Mere prison ers of War but criminals and should be severely punished i accordance with North korean state department also quoted a key sentence which said we May expect such severe punishment As May deprive us of even the possibility of this awkwardly worded sen tence was understood to be a possible threat by North Korea to execute the prisoners if the Pyongyang regime saw fit. Units monday morning and begot them monday Johnson paratroopers afternoon Are from the 82nd airborne div based att. Bragg. The marines Are members of the 27th regimental Landing team of the 5th Marine div. Asked whether they came within the 525,000 limit on . Forces authorized for Vietnam duty the president said they is not to say we won t raise that Force level he added. We will if we need he said Westmoreland had planned tentatively on 525,000 men and the reinforcement Snow going Over would bring the total to about 510,500. But the enemy has brought in about 25,000 men since the lunar newyear Holiday began he said. In a speech to the marines Atel Toro late saturday night he said the enemy has brought new Heartbreak to South Vietnam and marked his path with Flam and terror. This is a decisive time i Vietnam he said. The eyes of the nation and the world the eyes of history itself Are on that Brave band of defender who hold the pass at Khe Sanh and the area around do not doubt the out come Khe Sanh is a Marine bastion near the demilitarized zone. Troops praised on the Constellation to which he flew by helicopter Johnson lauded air Force men he said were going out about every hour ferrying reinforcements to Viet Nam. He voiced his Pride in the 82nd airborne. And he paid trib Ute to the marines. The commander of the 82nd,maj. Gen. Richard j. , the president said gave him exam Ples of the spirit of his men. In one instance a Soldier who had been awol for 24 Days Learned his unit was going to Vietnam and called up to say he was coming another a reservist with one Day left on his enlistment said he did t want to make a career of the army but did want to re enlist for six months be cause he belonged with his Bud Dies. At Eltoro he said he went aboard a giant transport plane just before it took off for the trip across the Pacific and asked How Many of the 93 marines aboard had been in Viet Nam before. Practically Ever hand went up. One Man told him he was going Back for the fourth time. When he met a boy from Abi Lene kan., who had been in Vietnam three times he asked whether he had a family. Yes the Marine said have a Little boy born yester very impressive group Johnson said. They Are proud of themselves and we Are proud of them. I am glad to be wit them and spend part of my Sun Day that Way to show them our interest our appreciation and our president showed a bit More interest by inviting 25 or30 of the enlisted men in the Constellation s Crew to break fast with him. That was for 8 there on the schedule included Church services on the hangar deck at 9, a briefing on the ship at 9 30. And a Short speech to the Carrier s comple ment on the flight deck at 10. Of Phan Thiet a100 Miles East. Coastal City in Phan Thiet capital of Bichthuan province a Force of about 600 communists stormed int town seized. The jail and re leased prisoners who had Bee captured As Viet Cong or suspected Viet Cong. The communists held the jail and repulsed . And South vietnamese troops trying to take it Back reports reaching Saigon forces battled a big communist Force within rocket rang of Tan son Nhut sunday night and commanders reported 180north vietnamese and Viet Cong killed in fierce fighting around Tan thai Hiep Village just West of the air base which Servetas the nerve Center for the Amer Rome police Battle anti-. Marchers hundreds of nearly 2,000rome a police fought off left Wing demonstrators who tried to March on the . Embassy sunday shouting anti american and pro Viet Cong slogans. An estimated 20 persons were Hurt in the fighting and 25 demonstrators were taken into custody. Lean and South vietnamese Mill tary. Viet Cong commando teams aided nine provincial capitals in the Mekong River Delta Southof Saigon wreaking More death and destruction in the Rice bowl area where More than 100,000 people had been made homeless by the first wave of attacks last month. Berlin. Continued from Page t

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