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U.S. Marines Wait for Action in South Vietnam

Apr. 16, 1962 - United States Marines awaited their first action today in the intensified war against Communist guerrillas in South Vietnam. Like the three U.S. Army helicopter companies in South Vietnam, the Marine task unit will come under Communist fire. Like the Army units, the Marines are under orders not to shoot unless fired upon. The Marines’ main job will be to airlift Vietnamese combat troops into areas occupied by the Viet Cong. It will also help resupply isolated posts and evacuate the wounded. Secretary of the Army Elvis J. Stahr, arriving in Saigon today for a two-day visit, said at an airport news conference that Washington now believed the Communists could be crushed “in a few years” provided the Vietnamese showed a determination to remain free. He said he did not expect American troops to become involved in combat here.

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