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Good Week for Government Forces in South Vietnam

May 26, 1962 - U.S Army and Marine helicopters carried Vietnamese troops in a raid today against remnants of two Communist guerrilla battalions that were routed Wednesday on the Plains of Reeds. But unlike the successful earlier operation, the new hunt flushed only a handful of Viet Cong. Nearly 1,000 troops of the Seventh Division spent several hours combing the marshy flats of Kien Tuong Province and killed only three Viet Cong. Despite today’s failure, the week was one of the most successful in the Government’s long struggle against Communist subversion. In actions throughout the country, Government forces killed 227 guerrillas and captured 82, while reporting losses of only 10 killed and 13 wounded. Captured Communist documents disclosed future planning and showed painstaking detail in the assembling of intelligence. A map of one village even noted the canine population: “This house has one dog, this house two dogs.” Can the Viet Cong recruit fast enough to make up for last week’s losses? U.S. military observers believe they can. The Viet Cong still control vast portions of the country. But they cannot easily replace the trained officers and noncoms that are being killed or captured. There will have to be an increasing stream of these from training camps in Communist North Vietnam.

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