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Communist Terrorists Toss Bomb at Americans in Saigon

May 2, 1964 - A terrorist bomb was thrown into a crowd of Americans gathering tonight to look at a bombed United States ship in Saigon.

The explosion wounded eight American servicemen, including five officers, and a Vietnamese pedestrian in sight of the vessel, the U.S.S. Card (pictured), an aircraft ferry. She lay at her pier in the Saigon River crippled and waterlogged after having been temporarily sunk by a massive explosion early yesterday.

A U.S. demolition expert speculated that terrorists used poles to shove the charge against the ship’s side from under the adjacent commercial wharf and then detonated it electrically from a distance. He said the explosive might have weighed 50 pounds and could have been plastic.

The Card is the first American ship crippled in the U.S.-backed war against the Communist Viet Cong.

United States officials considered it remarkable that none of the Card’s 70 civilian crewmen were injured by the explosion, which ripped a gaping hole in her hull.

Security officers said the blame for both incidents rested on the Communist Viet Cong guerrillas, who were said to have chosen the May Day weekend for the terrorist attacks.

The wounded Americans in tonight’s incident were in a crowd of Vietnamese moving along a boulevard about 200 yards from the U.S. Embassy. A man either in a car or on a bicycle — witnesses disagreed — tossed the bomb, possibly a grenade.

The full force of the explosion hit one serviceman in the back. Ambulances carried four of the victims to hospitals. The others received superficial wounds.

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