U.S. Marines, allies sweep across Go Noi Island
GO NOI ISLAND, Vietnam — A Korean Marine and two U.S. Marine battalions swept on line Friday across this Communist stronghold 10 miles south of Da Nang.
The Allied troops found countless Communist bunkers but made little contact with the Reds as they started the third phase of operation Pipestone Canyon.
Elements of the U.S. Marine 1st Div., 2,000 Vietnamese Army Rangers and Korean Marine units have killed 332 Reds since the operation began May 26, according to reports released Friday. Fifty-one prisoners have been taken.
On the Allied side, U.S. Marine losses were put at 31 killed and 240 wounded. South Vietnamese casualties were one killed and 17 wounded. South Korean Marine losses were two killed and 13 wounded. Most of the fighting has been done by the U.S. Marines of the 1st and 5th Regiments, who have reported killing more than 200 of the claimed Communist dead.
The sweep across Go Noi was set up by two previous phases of the operation. The Allies first combed eastward across the western edge of the island. Then they swept down across the "Dodge City" area, another Communist haven north of the island, to drive the Reds back to Go Noi. In the meantime, other Allied units set up as a blocking force around the island.
After a heavy pounding by air strikes and artillery the actual sweep of the island began Wednesday morning.