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Six Americans Killed in Vietnam

Mar. 15, 1964 - Communist ground fire downed a U.S. helicopter and a spotter plane in separate actions in South Vietnam this weekend. Six American airmen were killed.

The Defense Department announced today that the two men killed aboard the spotter plane were Capt. Thomas J. Bergin (top) of Schenectady, N.Y., and First Lieut. Richard Jaeck (bottom) of Milwaukee. The helicopter fatalities were First Lieut. Roger E. Gauvin of Caribou, Me.; Specialist 5 Carleton W. Upton of Auburn, Calif.; Pvt. Frank J. Holguin of Los Angeles; and First Lieut. Kenneth A. Shannon of Lynchburg, Va.

A U.S spokesman said three men aboard the helicopter were killed instantly, and the fourth died while being flown to Saigon.

Elsewhere, South Vietnamese forces, operating near the Cambodian border, captured about 300 suspected Communist Viet Cong fighters, 35 of whom immediately asked to join Government forces. In this operation, at Cai Cai, 17 Viet Cong were killed, and a U.S. Army sergeant was wounded by a land mine. Government losses were put at four wounded.

The prisoners were flown to Tan Hiep, 50 miles west of Saigon, aboard U.S. Air Force transport planes. On arrival, they were marched off under guard in column formation, hands on their heads.

American advisers in the area said the operation was the most satisfactory performance by the South Vietnamese Army in months.

“Speed and mobility of armored personnel carrier troops were excellent,” one adviser said. “Rangers who rode with them were aggressive, air strikes and air reconnaissance were well-coordinated with ground movements, local strike forces knew their area, the airlift moved without prior notice, and we caught the Viet Cong by surprise.”


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