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Vietnam / Air War #221201

CBS Evening News for Wednesday, Dec 20, 1972
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(Studio) North Vietnam undergoes worst aerial bombardment in history Casualties mount on both sides. United States cmd. in South Vietnam says 2 more United States planes shot down. Goldsboro, United States destroyer, damaged off Thanh Hoa; 2 sailors killed. North Vietnam claims to have shot down 6 planes and damaged 3 ships. Soviet news agency Tass says United States bombers have destroyed 1000's homes, mostly in Hanoi and Haiphong areas. Tass reports heavy civilian casualties. Radio Hanoi reports US bombed mile long path through city of Thai Nguyen. Says 300 homes, med. station and nursery hit; 11 civilians killed. Polish cargo ship, trapped by United States mine blockade in Haiphong Harbor, reported sunk by United States planes. 3 crewmen killed.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

(Pentagon) [Pentagon spokesperson Jerry FRIEDHEIM - describes military targets in North Vietnam United States bombing.] Raids designed for psychological and military gains. B-52's can't pinpoint targets, rather, drop them over wide areas. Pilots of smaller fighter bombers operating with fewest restrictions so far in war.
REPORTER: Bob Schieffer

(Studio) Strong indications North Vietnam warned bombing might resume.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

(State Department) White House says Hanoi made tactical decision to stall on peace. Nobody knows why or for how long. Perhaps North Vietnam hoping Congress will cut off funds for Vietnam as result of bombing; perhaps North Vietnam hoping to cause more trouble between Saigon and DC; perhaps North Vietnam preparing for new military offensive and needs time. December 3 North Vietnam evacuated school children from Hanoi, so maybe anticipated renewed bombing. United States officials say North Vietnam tied conditions to release of United States POW's. United States demands unconditional release.
REPORTER: Marvin Kalb

Cronkite, Walter;
Kalb, Marvin;
Schieffer, Bob

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