MINH THANH, Vietnam — American infantrymen found part of the Viet Cong's supreme headquarters in a hidden jungle enclave north of Tay Ninh, a U.S. general said Sunday.
Brig. Gen. James F. Hollingsworth, assistant commanding general of the 1st Inf. Div., said a regimental-size communist base camp found Thursday during Operation Junction City was "an undetermined part of COSVN headquarters."
A sweep through the 1,000-yard wide camp Sunday uncovered a vast Communist intelligence storehouse with equipment ranging from a radio transmitter to medical supplies and nurses' clothing.
The camp "may be the military intelligence section of the Viet Cong's Central Office for South Vietnam." according to Capt. George A. Joulwan, S3 for the division's 1st Bn., 12th Inf.
Joulwan said his battalion found finely-milled rice at the camp similar to American "instant rice" and discovered Viet Cong civilian clothing — including T-shirts and shorts "large enough for 200-pound men."
First Div. soldiers Sunday found a mess hall with Tet New Year's banners still hanging inside. The dining hall was built from wood and had a thatched roof above ground.
Below ground, infantrymen found extensive trench systems and tunnels housing bunkers and sleeping quarters.
Searchers also found a volleyball net and shower, indicating the camp was "an R&R center or way station of at least regimental size," according to Capt. Brian H. Cundiff of the 1st Bn.
Viet Cong supplies seized at the camp included a Japanese 6-band radio transmitter-receiver, 33 other Japanese radios, a walkie-talkie, French telephones, wire, medical supplies, nurse's clothes, technical manuals and paper.
In another action Sunday, paratroopers of the 173d Airborne Brigade found three more enemy base camps and 50 tons of rice.
The finds brought the number of cutups discovered to at least 10 in the first four days of the operation.
The operation, which kicked off Feb. 21, has so far resulted in 64 guerrillas killed and 10 captured.