May 6, 1962 - Authoritative military sources said yesterday that there had been more than 16,000 casualties this year in South Vietnam’s war against the Communist guerrillas. Of a total of 16,235 casualties, the Government suffered 5,585 and the Communist guerrillas, known as Viet Cong, suffered 10,650. The Government said that 1,660 of its own troops had been killed and that 5,050 Communists had been killed. The remainder of the casualties were wounded, captured, missing, or deserted on both sides. The casualty rate of about 1,000 a week was far higher than at any previous stage of the Communist offensive, which began late in 1959. Prior to that, the country enjoyed an uneasy peace following the end of the 8-year French-Indochinese War in 1954. In the last 5 years, the U.S. has spent $2 billion in support of South Vietnam. About 5,000 American troops are reported to be in South Vietnam as advisors to the 180,000-man Vietnamese army under the U.S. Military Assistance Command.