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U.S. Planes Hit North Vietnam
PT Boat Bases In Retaliation For
Two Attacks On Our Destroyers

Air Force Fighters Go To Saigon

SAIGON, Viet Nam (AP)
The United States rushed six supersonic Air Force F102 jet fighters to Saigon today, the Vietnamese airforce was put on alert, and tanks rumbled into the key northern base of Da Nang.

The swift air and ground military buildup was effected to meet any attacks from Communist North Viet Nam or Red China that might come with the crisis in the Gulf of Tonkin.

American military personnel in the 1 and 2 Corps regions in Viet Nam's North were restricted to their bases in an unofficial "grey alert" status that also enforced a 9 p.m. curfew.

Brace For Attack

The 1 Corps region, with headquarters at Da Nang, is regarded as a logical target for a Communist attack.

American sources reported the situation was tense in the area and that air activity on the Da Nang strip was "fairly heavy."

Some sources said it was possible that planes used to attack North Viet Nam bases today operated from Da Nang. The air base, a major one, can handle modern jet aircraft.

The five Vietnamese army divisions in the 1 and 2 Corps regions were put on alert. The Vietnamese high command in Saigon was reported to have issued top-secret directives.

The six Delta Dagger jets from the 16th Fighter Intercepter Squadron based on Okinawa flew to Saigon from Clark Field, in the Philippines. They went on a 24-hour alert.

The flight commander, Lt. Col. Garnett D. Page of Decatur, Ala., said his planes had no "offensive weapons." He said they carried only antiaircraft rockets for the defense of South Viet Nam.

It is the first time combat jet fighters have been stationed in Saigon.

Khanh Supports U.S.

South Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Khanh, after a conference with U.S. Ambassador Maxwell Taylor and an eight-hour Cabinet meeting, announced his government "supports the firm reaction of the United States."

"We further tighten our national unity to meet any eventuality," Khanh said in a statement.

The organization of a unified command in South Viet Nam, similar to the one created in South Korea during the Korean War, appeared imminent. A general war alert in South Viet Nam also appeared imminent.

Hanoi Denies Attack

North Viet Nam, in its first comment on the developments off its coast, acknowledged the clash Sunday between North Vietnamese PT boats and the U.S. destroyer Maddox. But it said the Pentagon's report that four PT boats had attacked two U.S. destroyers in international waters Tuesday was a "sheer fabrication."

Radio Hanoi charged that U.S. ships and planes had been violating and shelling its territory. It said America's "provocative, sabotage and aggressive acts will be severely punished."

In Bangkok, Thailand, headquarters of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, the United States called for an urgent meeting today of the permanent SEATO council, SEATO's members- the United States, Britain, Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand- are pledged to defend the area against Communist aggression.

Top South Vietnamese and American military leaders were in conference today, and the organization of a unified command similar to the one created in South Korea during the Korean War appeared imminent.

A general war alert in South Viet Nam also appeared imminent.

U.S. Ambassador Maxwell D. Taylor met for half an hour with South Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Khanh to discuss the U.S. announcements of attacks by North Vietnamese PT boats and U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin and U.S. retaliatory attacks announced by President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara.

The South Vietnamese Cabinet went into emergency session after Taylor's report to Khanh.

Despite the deepening crisis, a U.S. spokesman said there was no immediate expectation of evacuating any of the 700 dependents of U.S. civilians in South Viet Nam.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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In August of 1964, the United States claimed that North Vietnamese naval craft had attacked two United States destroyers in international waters off the coast of North Vietnam. This attack became known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Only days after the incident, The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed unanimously in the House of Representatives. Only two Congressmen voted against it in the Senate. With the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the Congress authorized the President to use military force as he saw fit without a formal declaration of war. Through a massive commitment of ground forces in the South and an unrelenting bombing campaign in the North, the United States greatly intensified its military involvement in the Vietnam War. The belief that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident may have been manufactured by the United States as grounds for war did not publicly surface for another decade. The actual details of the incident are still debated.

 

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"U.S. Planes Hit North Vietnam... " article in The Greenfield Record-Gazette newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Recorder-Gazette
date   Aug 5, 1964
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
width   3.75"
height   10.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
accession #   #L06.047


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See Also...

"President Still Hopes for Peace" article in The Greenfield Recorder-Gazette newspaper

"Violence Seen Probable in D.C. Demonstration" article from The Greenfield Recorder newspaper

"Don't Tread On Us" editorial in The Greenfield Recorder-Gazette newspaper


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