World: Night of Death

The Communist attack opened suddenly with a fiery burst of 60-and 81-mm. mortar fire that jolted the residents of Thanh My and two nearby hamlets out of their sleep at 1:30 a.m. one night last week. Many of the shells were white-phosphorous ones that set fire to the flimsy huts.

The Communists, apparently a mixed force of North Vietnamese sappers and Viet Cong guerrillas, skillfully pinned down one platoon of U.S. Marines and one of the Popular Forces that were on night ambush duty near by. A Regional Forces platoon was trapped inside its compound near the village's only military target, a...

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