This period was from May 1-June 30, 1970.
The U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division, supported by USAF airlift and
tactical air forces, on May 1, 1970, swept into the Parrot’s Beak, the
Cambodian salient west of Saigon. On May 6 U.S. troops also moved
into the so-called Fishhook area of the Cambodian border, near the town
of Phuoc Binh, about 75 miles north of Saigon.
During the incursion, the 834th Air Division delivered supplies initially
at Katum, some 55 miles northwest of Saigon. at Loc Ninh, about 65
miles northwest of Saigon, and later at Bu Dop, 80 miles north of Saigon.
When other landing sites were unavailable, the airlifters used Song Be.
an all-weather strip 15 miles east of the border, on the outskirts of Phuoc
Binh. USAF C-130 and C-7 transports also flew cargo and troops to the
northem front, landing primarily at Plei Djereng, 10 miles from the
border and about 15 miles west of Pleiku, a provincial capital 215 miles
northeast of Saigon. From June 23 to 25, USAF C-123s evacuated
civilian refugees from the Cambodian towns of Ba Kev, about 45 miles
southwest of Pleiku, and Buong Long, 14 miles further west. The 834th
Air Division, from May 1 to June 30, delivered 75,000 people and
49,600 tons of cargo to forward areas in support of the Cambodian
Meanwhile, Seventh Air Force provided close air support and flew river
and road convoy escort to permit the reinforcement of troops in the field
and the movement of supplies to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.
B-52s bombed enemy base sites and troop concentrations beyond the 18-
mile limit inside the Cambodian border that restricted the deployment of
ground forces and tactical aircraft. By June 30, 1970, B—52s had flown
763 sorties against enemy targets in Cambodia. During the Cambodian
incursion, the Allies surprised the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese
forces and destroyed or captured significant quantities of weapons,
vehicles, and other supplies. Air power helped ensure the success of the
campaign, and the USAF continued to fly missions over Cambodia after
Allied ground forces withdrew on June 29, 1970.
Shortly after the Cambodian counteroffensive began, Communist forces
sharply increased their attacks in South Vietnam. On May 8. 1970, the
Viet Cong shelled 64 bases and towns, and North Vietnamese troops
attacked several ARVN camps near the DMZ. The battle in Cambodia
also spread into Laos, and on May 13 Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese
troops attacked Royal Laotian forces on the Bolovens Plateau. On June
9 the enemy captured the provincial capital of Saravane. in the Laotian
panhandle, but withdrew 3 days later. Despite increasingly effective
enemy antiaircraft fire, the USAF continued interdiction missions in
Although the United States had limited its flying activities over North
Vietnam to reconnaissance after the bombing cessation of 1968, these
missions resumed in 1970. Between May 1 and 4 almost 500 U.S.
tactical aircraft attacked missile sites, antiaircraft guns, and logistics
facilities near Banhelemy and Ban Karai Passes and Dong I-loi. a sea-
coast town about 40 miles north of the DMZ.* In Paris, meanwhile, the
peace talks continued intermittently; Communist delegates frequently
boycotted sessions on various pretexts. For example. the Communists
boycotted the session on May 6. 1970. protesting the renewed bombing
of Notth Vietnam.
* These were the first aerial attacks against Nonh Vietnam since the November
968 bombing halt. The United Staaes conducted sueh raids occasionally until,
in April I972. it resumed sustained offensive bombing of North Vietnam.