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U.S. Army Lieutenant Killed in Viet Cong Ambush

May 6, 1963 - Communist guerrillas ambushed a U.S. Army lieutenant near Saigon today and killed him and two South Vietnamese companions, a military spokesman reported. The Communists blew the American’s jeep off the road with a grenade and then shot the wounded men. The usual practice of the Viet Cong is to kill those who are wounded and take prisoner those who are not. A South Vietnamese military patrol found the bodies. The lieutenant, identified as Parker D. Cramer (pictured), 26 years old, of Wantagh, N.Y., was the 73rd American killed in the war in South Vietnam since 1961. The jeep was traveling 30 miles north of Saigon on Route 13, the scene of many bloody clashes, between the towns of Ben Cat and Ben Duong. The grenade knocked the jeep off the road and into a tree. The spokesman said the Communists had forced all three men out of the jeep and shot them. Lieut. Cramer was going to Ben Duong, the central headquarters of a program called Operation Sunrise. Under the program, the Government is building strategic hamlets throughout the country in an effort to slow Viet Cong activity. These strategic hamlets are reinforced compounds where South Vietnamese peasants are being taken to live in order to protect them against Viet Cong raids — and to prevent them from joining or aiding the Viet Cong.


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