Pacific Stars and Stripes information

For date 680517

Primary service involved, US Army
Quang Tin Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Kham Duc
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "200 Reported Killed at Kham Duc." Saigon (AP) - Incomplete casualty reports disclose that more than 200 Allied troops and civilians were killed in the last ditch defense and subsequent evacuation of the Kham Duc Special Forces camp in South Vietnam's Central Highlands. According to U.S. officials, 25 American Marines, soldiers and airmen were killed in the battle that ended Sunday. Another 125 were wounded. Vietnamese sources said at least 185 Vietnamese soldiers and civilian irregulars and their dependents were killed. "There could be more," a South Vietnamese military source said. He said he had no breakdown on how many of the victims were South Vietnamese army regulars, civilian irregulars and dependents. But American survivors trickling into Da Nang Wednesday told how panic swept among the Vietnamese at the Kham Duc camp when the order was given to leave. The survivors said mothers with babies in their arms dashed for huge airport transport planes as North Vietnamese mortars slammed into the runway of the Special Forces camp. The 25 Americans were killed in evacuating and fighting a desperate rear-guard action at the camp while 1,700 defenders and their families were lifted out last Sunday. North Vietnamese gunners ringing the air strip knocked down four American planes and five helicopters during the three-day attack, including a huge C130 transport reportedly loaded with as many as 150 evacuees. U.S. Special Forces officers said the evacuation was a success and nearly everyone in the camp got out. Some who didn't make were U.S. Army troops on the camp perimeter, fighting a rear guard action while the others were evacuated. They were overrun by the charging North Vietnamese troops. Some of the U.S. infantrymen called air strikes on top of themselves and their wounded buddies when the enemy charged. After the evacuation, B52 bombers mounted 13 raids on enemy troop concentration around the camp Sunday and Monday. U.S. spokesmen said the B52 crewmen reported the explosives dropped in the raids touched off at least 76 secondary explosions indicating that enemy ammunition and fuel dumps were blown up.

The source for this information was 6805pss.avn supplied by Les Hines

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