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McNamara: U.S. Personnel in Vietnam Return Fire from Viet Cong

Mar. 15, 1962 - Asked today about the United States’ huge military training program in South Vietnam, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara (pictured) said: “I think our mission in South Vietnam is very clear. We are there at the request of the South Vietnamese Government to provide training.” He at a press conference that “there has been sporadic fire aimed at U.S. personnel and in some minor instances they’ve had to return that fire.” It is believed that nearly 4,000 U.S. military men are supporting the South Vietnamese struggle against the Communist insurgents known as the Viet Cong. U.S. officials have said that this Government is committed to help the South Vietnamese win their struggle. Although many reports have been published describing U.S. participation in combat operations in South Vietnam, Mr. McNamara was the first top officials to describe these operations publicly.

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