The Observer

31 JAN 1969

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VC Are Forced to Diet

BAN ME THUOT (USA) - A large cache of Viet Cong rice was discovered in a practically deserted village north of here recently by two Kit Carson scouts attached to Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry of the 4th Infantry Division.

The two scouts, Vung Van Loc and Dao Pham Xuan, found the rice in barrels hidden under the floors of huts throughout the village. When all of the rice had been collected, there were 52 barrels containing an estimated seven tons.

The unexpected find occurred during a routine cordon and search of the village of Mewal. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph S. Sulenski, commander of the 2nd Battalion, emphasized, "the alertness of the Kit Carsonís triggered the finding of this important cache which might otherwise have been overlooked."

The men of Alpha Company were equally lavish in praising the scouts. The Kit Carsonís just walked around saying there is rice here, here and here. They, were really squared away," said Sergeant David W Kemple.

Captain Walter L Corey, Alpha Company commander, said that Interrogation of the few villagers present indicated that. Mewal has been used as a Viet Cong resupply center. "There has been a squad that comes in here to at night to rest and eat," he said.

"Any rice which is hidden belongs to the VC," continued the captain. "Rice is supposed to be stored in the open. If it is, we will not disturb it. We will give the captured rice to war refugees."

In addition to the rice, the search yielded one sight from a 6Omm mortar tube. Five Viet Cong suspects were detained.


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