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John S. McCain POW CIA-Defense Department Documents

 CIA memo on Diem coup in Vietnam as it was taking place Page 3

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) memo communicating to the White House the events of the anti-Diem coup in Vietnam as the coup was taking place. Page 3

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8. The troop movements reported by the generals
indicate that all major combat units adjacent to the
capital are supporting the coup. Elements of the
5th division north of Saigon, including its headquarters
at Bien Hoa, are actively participating; the 7th
division south of the city with headquarters at My
Tho, reportedly is also supporting the coup. Two marine
battalions from Bien Hoa, one airborne, and one
infantry battalion from Vung Tau (Cap St. Jacques),
and two airborne battalions from Binh Duong Province
just north of Saigon have moved into the city to participate
in the coup.

9. The II Corps command in central Vietnam is
sympathetic to the coup as are major elements of the
IV Corps in the delta; the status of I Corps in the
far north is uncertain. The navy apparently was not
sympathetic, but seems to have been neutralized. One
report states that Navy Commander Quyen has been killed.
Air Force elements are participating. Major pro-government
forces, including the police, Special Forces, and
the Presidential Guard Brigade appear largely to have
been neutralized or suppressed except in the immediate
palace area. Unless there is some wavering on the
part of units participating in the coup, the generals
appear to have the situation under control.

10. Careful planning by the coup group is further
indicated by reports from several provincial
cities that the military appear to be in charge; at
Nha Trang leaflets signed by General Minh have already
been distributed acclaiming the new government.
There are also reports of popular jubilation in the
provinces as well as in Saigon.

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