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This "CBS News Special Report" documents the battle of Ia Drang Valley which began on October 19, 1965 as an attack on the American Special Forces Camp at Pleime, lasted 5 weeks, and turned the battle for Pleime into the campaign for, perhaps, all of Vietnam. Cronkite notes that recent U.S. casualty figures for the past week cite 240 Americans killed, and 470 wounded, most of the casualties from the battle of Ia Drang Valley. Safer, recently returned from Vietnam, narrates film of his coverage of the battle and says that U.S. casualty rates will be higher from now on due to the infusion of North Vietnamese army regulars in addition to the Viet Cong. Highlights of this program include coverage of the following: 2 regiments of North Vietnamese regulars attack Pleime on 10/19/65; Maj. Charles Beckwith of Special Forces at Pleime calls enemy troops tough and dedicated; the mobility of air calvary is called a principle of the "New Kind of War" employing strikes at enemy's ground troops from jets and helicopters; U.S. soldier recounts ambush of American troops; Adam Raphael interviews wounded G.I.'s; Safer interviews a machine-gunner; Gen. William Westmoreland congratulates his troops; U.S. soldiers comment on the unreality of death in battle and the death of their comrades; Safer comments on the youth and determination of enemy troops; and Brig. Gen. Richard K. Knowles comments on the casualty rate. Presidential Press Secretary Bill Moyers discusses President Johnson's grief at the loss of American lives. Mrs. Rebecca Gell talks about her husband's 11/14/65 death in battle as scenes from his funeral are shown. Safer closes, saying the enemy hopes to demoralize Americans at home by killing Americans in the field.


  • DATE: November 30, 1965 Tuesday 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:31
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T79:0238
  • GENRE: Public affairs/Documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: U S - Officials - Talk/Interviews; Vietnam War - 1965
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV, 1965


  • CBS News … Production Statement
  • Walter Cronkite … Host
  • Morley Safer … Reporter
  • Jack Laurence … Reporter
  • Adam Raphael … Reporter
  • Charles Beckwith
  • Rebecca Gell
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Richard K. Knowles
  • Bill Moyers
  • William Westmoreland
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