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November/December 2023   -   -  

November 1: The Society of the Family of Man awards Secretary of State Henry Kissinger its gold medallion for his “unstinting” work toward world peace. South Vietnam celebrates the tenth anniversary of the coup d’état which resulted in the deposition of Ngo Dinh Diem.

November 3: Enemy troops overrun the Cambodian military at Prek Luong, four miles north of Phnom Penh. In Vientiane, 83 more Pathet Lao arrive from Hanoi to accelerate the creation of a Laotian coalition government.

November 4: After a day-long clash, NVA troops, supported by 20 tanks, capture the South Vietnamese camps of Bu Bong and Bu Prang near the Cambodian border. The VC orders its cadres to counterattack to recover territory lost after the cease-fire.

November 5: Government soldiers retake Prek Luong. South Vietnamese aircraft bombard the area around Bu Bong and Bu Prang. All 29 South Vietnamese reinforcement troops are killed when their plane crashes on landing in Quang Duc Province.

November 6: Cambodian soldiers recapture three towns northeast of Phnom Penh. The PRG defends the VC attack on Bien Hoa as retaliation for the air strikes against its positions. The U.S. Army begins destroying the nerve gas stored at Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Colorado.

November 7: Congress overrides President Richard Nixon’s veto of the war-powers joint resolution. The White House asserts the bill “seriously undermines this nation’s ability to act decisively and convincingly in times of international crisis.” Appearing before a House subcommittee on government operations, former ambassador to Laos G. McMurtrie Godley puts the blame for the disappearance of millions of dollars of surplus military equipment on the “lack of accountability” ; he expresses his doubt that any American has profited from the missing supplies.

November 10: Pentagon officials claim the search for American MIAs in Southeast Asia is slowing down and may be cut short in several months. At the Joint Casualty Resolution Center in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, Brig. Gen. Robert Kingston says nine sets of remains have been positively identified.

November 14: The South Vietnamese government reports at least 60 deaths from a typhoon which hit six coastal provinces. About 150,000 people are evacuated from the area.

November 17: A Gallup poll finds 80 percent of Americans support the War Powers Act passed by Congress.

November 19: Cambodian Air Force lieutenant Pich Limkhun bombs the presidential palace and escapes. Three are killed; President Lon Nol is unhurt.

November 22: In Paris, South Vietnamese and VC delegates resume political talks. No progress is reported. Cambodian troops retake Dei Dos, near Kompong Cham. Thieu replaces two of thirteen division commanders and six of forty-four province chiefs in an attempt to strengthen the local command in anticipation of an enemy offensive.

November 23: PRG president Nguyen Huu Tho leaves China after a six-day visit. He is disappointed he did not obtain a belligerent statement by China’s top communists about the situation in Vietnam.

November 24: Military sources report the bombing of the enemy base at Katum, 70 miles northwest of Saigon, and of Thien Ngon airfield, in some of the heaviest raids by the South’s Air Force since the cease-fire.

November 28: White House officials suggest Prince Norodom Sihanouk’s political future as head of the Cambodian opposition is in doubt because of recent moves within the insurgency.

November 29: The State Department assesses whether Nixon will be able to legally resume bombing in Southeast Asia should North Vietnam begin a new offensive in violation of the cease-fire.

November 30: Egil Krogh, Jr. pleads guilty to a civil-rights violation in the break-in of the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. All other charges are dropped because Krogh agrees to cooperate with the Watergate prosecutor. Kissinger, in a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, says his share of the award—$57,500—will be used to set up a scholarship fund for children of U.S. troops killed or missing from the Vietnam War.

December 1: The Army says 1,000 volunteers per month, or 7 percent, are dropped with honorable discharges before they’ve been in for six months because they cannot handle military life.

December 3: Cambodian Prime Minister In Tam says Sihanouk has lost almost all his public support in the country and he could not return, “even on his knees.”

December 4: Three of the four families of the students killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University in 1970 ask the Supreme Court to allow them the right to sue Ohio officials for damages.

December 5: South Vietnam flies reinforcements into Quang Duc Province as the fighting continues. Lt. Col. Le Trung Hien says the North Vietnamese have chosen Gia Nghia, the province’s capital, as their “next target.”

December 6: After the House confirms him, Gerald Ford is sworn in as the country’s fortieth vice president. In a series of articles, North Vietnam’s daily, Nhan Dan, calls for the people to fight against the “dolce vita that is gradually rotting North Vietnamese society.” It also criticizes the U.S.’s move in the UN over Cambodia. Cambodian radio calls the UN move a “defeat of the enemy.”

December 7: Sources contend In Tam has again submitted his resignation to Lon Nol. Kien Duc is reported back under South Vietnamese control. The Defense Department acknowledges Hanoi’s charge that the aircraft carrier Midway is stationed in the Tonkin Gulf, but insists she is in international waters and has not committed any violations.

December 8: France and South Vietnam sign a $25-million economic-reconstruction agreement. Fighting continues in Kien Duc; who controls it is in dispute. The Navy suspends a pilot race-relations program because of strong reactions from its participants.

December 9: The Army announces plans to spend at least $200 million to develop a new, “safer” nerve gas, which will significantly improve the department’s chemical-warfare capability.

December 10: The 1993 Nobel prizes are bestowed upon the winners during a formal ceremony. U.S. ambassador to Norway Thomas Byrne accepts for Kissinger. About 500 students protest his award.

December 11: The Justice Department announces the Kent State case will go to the federal grand jury in Cleveland next week.

December 13: The White House announces Kissinger and Le Duc Tho will meet in Paris on December 20, to discuss “matters of mutual interest.” Lon Nol announces a new government will be formed following In Tam’s resignation. The Pentagon readies itself for the first major review in twenty years of the military Code of Conduct.

December 15: Searching for an American missing outside of Saigon since 1966 while on a Joint Military Commission (JMC) assignment, an American and a South Vietnamese soldier are killed. Four Americans and three South Vietnamese are wounded. Maj. Richard Laritz, one of the survivors, tells how the American, Capt. Richard Rees, was “murdered in cold blood” as he held up his hands to surrender as instructed. The men on the mission were unarmed. Defense Secretary James Schlesinger calls it a “despicable act.” A two-year study into the ethics-, conduct-, and honor-code practices of the five service academies reveals many of them are in violation of constitutional guarantees.

December 16: The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency charges the Army’s nerve-gas plan is unnecessary and would complicate international efforts to control chemical warfare. In its first protest to the ICCS, the U.S. asks the commission to investigate the attack on the search team which resulted in the killing of Captain Rees.

December 18: At the JMC meeting, U.S. and South Vietnamese delegates walk out in protest after throwing Rees’s bloodstained jacket on the table. The grand jury opens its inquiry into the Kent State killings.

December 19: Home Elm, an American civilian working with the ICCS, and his two South Vietnamese co-workers are released by the VC after two-and-one-half months in captivity.

December 21: The VC delegations in Paris and Saigon walk out on talks. The USSR discloses its agreement to provide economic aid to the PRG.

December 28: Heavy fighting is reported in the Central Highlands.

December 30: Enemy rockets fired at Phnom Penh hit the presidential palace and the residence of two American Embassy officials. One Cambodian soldier is killed. Reports say nine civilians, including seven children, are killed in another rocket attack on the city. The South Vietnamese command reports that since the cease-fire signing, 42,612 communist troops, 12,096 South Vietnamese soldiers, and 2,043 civilians have been killed.




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