New York Times information

For date 651209

Primary service involved, Vietnamese Army
Quang Tin Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Quang Tin
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "South Vietnam Forces Battling Enemy Regiment" by Neil Sheehan, Special to the New York Times. SAIGON, Thursday, Dec. 9 - Renewed violent fighting between several Government battalions, led by elite Ranger units, and an estimated regiment of about 2,000 Vietcong broke out in the pre-dawn hours today in the foothills of Quang Tin province near the central coast, 355 miles north of Saigon. A military spokesman said that at midmorning a furious battle was still raging. The Communist guerrillas, entrenched in an elaborate series of foxholes and bunkers, were reported to be hammering the Government troops with intense mortar and automatic weapons fire. Yesterday afternoon the Ranger elements in the Government force fought a five-hour battle with an estimated battalion of 600 to 700 dug-in guerrillas. The spokesman said the Rangers suffered heavy casualties. During the night the fighting died down to sporadic encounters. The Government battalions began a second attempt to push forward through the foothills before dawn, and the renewed fighting erupted about 6 A.M., this time with a much larger Vietcong force. Some fighting yesterday occurred at ranges as close as 20 yards, making it difficult for fighter-bombers to pound the guerrillas without hitting the Government troops. The fighting occurred near the outpost of Viet An, which has been under almost constant Vietcong attack for two weeks. Government battalions began moving through the rolling foothills yesterday morning and by noon they were facing heavy fire about four miles from their starting point. United States Marine helicopter pilots from Danang, armed with machine guns and rockets, met intense ground fire while attacking the guerrillas' positions. In air action, two United States F-4 Phantom jet fighter-bombers were lost Tuesday. The Defense Department today listed 25 United States servicemen killed in action in Vietnam.

The source for this information was hrvnmoon.avn supplied by Les Hines 02/02/2000

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