127. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State1

322. Task Force VN. More than 1,000 Viet Cong (two battalions) regular troops attacked and occupied two GVN posts at Poko and Dakha approximately 50 kilometers north of Kontum on September 1, announced Minister for Civic Action Ngo Trong Hieu at biweekly press conference September 4. According Viet-Nam press, Hieu stated one post retaken by GVN forces. Fighting still going on for second. Also reported 100 VC, 19 ARVN personnel killed in action so far.

Hieu said VC armed with modern weapons and, for first time, wore khaki uniforms into battle.

Comment: If number of VC as high as reported, this represents largest VC attack to date and possibly result of significant build-up VC forces this area recent months. Report of VC force being well-armed and uniformed also another possible indication VC efforts mold guerrilla units into more regular-type forces this region for use against larger GVN targets.

ARMA will report military details this operation.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/9-561. Official Use Only; Priority. Repeated to Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, CINCPAC for PolAd, London, Paris, and Geneva for FECON. The Department of State was also asked to pass a copy to ACSI.
  2. The Army Attaché’s report has not been found.