5 US planes damaged in Reds’ daring raid
Saigon: Daring Viet Cong guerrillas stormed Can Tho airfield in the Mekong Delta today and destroyed at least five US aircraft with Satchel mines, informed American military sources revealed.
The sources said the guerrillas first shelled the airbase, never centre of South Vietnamese and American miliary activities in the vast rice producing area, killing eight US servicemen and wounding 15.
The pre- dawn attack cost the Viet Cong with five dead as they raced away from the airstrip under cover of machine gun fire, scattering grenades and mines behind them as they went.
The sources said that the guerrillas poured into the airstrip following the shelling and made straight for a cluster of Chinook Twin- Rotor Helicopters. They attached explosive charges as US soldiers charged across the airfield to disperse them.
The airstrip was covered in debris and unexploded grenades after the guerrillas withdrew and was not cleared until the afternoon.
The sources said, however, that it was operation gain and damage to the runway was negligible.
Several other aircraft were slightly damaged in the shelling but none badly, the sources said.
They could not give an exact figure of the number of planes hit.
Can Tho, situated 100 miles Southwest of Saigon, is in the same area where nine US soldiers were killed and 17 wounded when their post was stormed by guerrillas yesterday. — Reuters