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U.S. Supports Irregular Army in Vietnam

Mar. 24, 1962 - The United States is quietly supporting an irregular army called the Sea Swallows, left by an expatriate Chinese Roman Catholic priest in the muddy flats of Camau Peninsula, the southernmost tip of South Vietnam. The priest is the Rev. Nguyen Lac Hoa (pictured). Legally, U.S. military aid cannot be given to an irregular force. It would require authorization by Congress. However, new U.S. carbines, M-1 rifles and automatic weapons are reaching this 1,200-man army. U.S. Marines are observing its tactics and giving the Sea Swallows some pointers on radio communications, and the Marines have been accompanying the units on combat patrols. The Sea Swallows have given an excellent account of themselves. They have patrolled so aggressively that Communist guerrillas seldom attempt to penetrate the immediate area.

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