Laos: Clamor Overhead

Along the jungle battlefront in Laos, not much was happening. Soldiers lounged barefoot within stockades built of sharpened bamboo stakes—thought to be protection enough in a country where the elephant charge has fallen out of fashion and the tank has not yet been introduced. But the cold-war clamor was as loud as ever. The U.S. last week gave the royal Laotian army four T-6 trainers, a lumbering plane that is nonetheless the hottest thing Laotian pilots can handle. They flew them north into the Communist-held countryside, wildly firing .30-cal. machine guns and 5-in. rockets toward any clump of trees where...

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