136. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam1

337. Joint State-Defense message. Task Force VN 14, 15 and 19-Emergency Assistance.2 It is estimated here that deterioration [Page 307] Laos, end rainy season, scale September VC attacks which took such heavy toll of CG and SDC and probable effect on GVN morale require US take certain emergency actions within 30 days. Purpose to assist your current efforts to prevent establishment VC political/logistic base on VN territory near Lao border, to handle increased VC border crossing, and to maintain an offensive momentum against VC.

Those responsible conduct military program are urged request additional materiel and personnel assistance above currently approved programs if required in light considerations set forth above. Favorable consideration can be anticipated.

Request CINCPAC and Saigon Task Force give particular but not sole attention to additional measures to be taken within 30 days receipt your comments and GVN concurrence.

Request your suggestions as to acceleration deliveries selected items already in program plus additional items, for example those on following suggested list on which your comments requested:

Suggested Equipment and Personnel

A. For ARVN, Civil Guard, Self Defense Corps

Accelerate training for Civil Guard and Self Defense Corps.
Night illumination devices for use by patrols.
Additional dogs and handlers (possible sources: Lackland AFB, Malaya, UK and Germany).
Portable communication devices enabling patrols to maintain voice contact.
Self-sterilizing mines to seal off strategic trails.
Mines to protect outposts.
Barbed wire.
Delivery improved small arms for selected ARVN units. Small arms which would then be released from these units to be turned over to Civil Guard and Self Defense Corps. In addition, a substantial increase in delivery of firearms to Civil Guard and Self Defense Corps. If delivery presently scheduled firearms cannot be substantially increased within 30 days, suggests supplement by others such as armalites. carbines and/or riot guns.

Purpose items 2, 3, 4 to give ARVN patrols further confidence and aggressiveness to move out at any time and under any conditions-including, if agreed, probes into Laos.

B. For VN Air Force (VNAF)

Delivery additional Caribou and/or other type STOL aircraft for re-supply plus defoliant, manioc (tapioca) killer and bulldozers for clearing in frontier area. US crews to train RVNAF crews.
Tetrahedron for use against VC in open areas on Lao, DMZ frontiers.
Delayed Napalm for use in sparsely settled jungle areas on Lao, DMZ frontiers.
Supplement present H-34 pilot and maintenance capability through Eastern Construction Company contract.

C. Use Available Resources

We are also anxious accelerate GVN progress toward increased and better use of existing resources such as AD-6’s for close-in support, targets of opportunity and helicopters for vertical envelopment.

(Deptel 330 of September 213 is to be read in conjunction with this message.)

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/9-2261. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Wood, cleared with Haydn Williams, Cottrell, McConaughy, U. Alexis Johnson, and G/PM, initialed by Cottrell for the Acting Secretary, and repeated to CINCPAC for PolAd.
  2. Reference is to the numbered paragraphs in Document 56.
  3. In telegram 330, the Department of State requested that the Embassy submit as soon as possible its requirements for photographic and visual reconnaissance of the Vietnamese-Laotian border and the demilitarized zone and its recommendations regarding the type aircraft to be used, including RF-101’s based outside Vietnam. (Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/9-2161)