Three-Day Offensive Against Viet Cong Yields Meager Results

June 27, 1962 - A three-day land, sea, and air offensive against Communist guerrillas in the coastal area 50 miles south of Saigon ended tonight with unimpressive results. Although the operation utilized the equivalent of 10 battalions of South Vietnamese troops, 30 U.S. Army and Marine Corps helicopters, 2 new American warfare craft — M-113 amphibious troop carriers and plastic boats — as well as 40 to 50 U.S. military advisors, the Viet Cong Communist guerrillas easily eluded the attackers. The South Vietnamese reported that 43 guerrillas had been killed in action and 26 taken prisoner. Government casualties were not given, but it was known that four soldiers drowned when their plastic boats capsized. Never before had so many American military personnel witnessed a Vietnamese military operation. They emerged from the Mekong delta tonight with mixed impressions. Most of the advisors felt that the terrain of Kien Hoa Province did not lend itself to such sweeping operations. The marshy tips of the three main islands in the Mekong delta constituting the province of Kien Hoa are thickly covered with scrub and water palm. The Viet Cong can melt into the wilderness within seconds of hearing the loud approach of the mechanized Government forces. Apparently, this is what happened in this operation. The 7th Mechanized Company, using amphibious troop carriers, went through the final day without spotting one guerrilla.

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