A Letter From The Publisher, Jun. 28, 1954

When General Paul Ely recently assumed command in Indo-China, TIME Correspondent John Mecklin flew down from Hanoi to Saigon to cover his arrival. As the newsfronts keep shifting in this hot war, Mecklin moves with them. His beat has taken him into the Red River Delta, eastward to the South China Sea, westward into the remote villages of Laos. He has traveled by cyclo (a kind of bicycle wheelchair), by jeep, C-47—and on foot.

In November, Mecklin watched from the air as French paratroopers dropped from the planes around him to capture the tiny Communist stronghold that later became known throughout the...

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