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
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
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
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