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Cold War Files: All Units: Events: War Escalates and Johnson Approves Operation Plan 34A

Summer 1964
War Escalates and Johnson Approves Operation Plan 34A

As 56,000 Viet Cong spread their successful guerrilla war throughout South Vietnam, they are reinforced by North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regulars pouring in via the Ho Chi Minh trail.

Responding to this escalation, President Johnson approves Operation Plan 34A, CIA-run covert operations using South Vietnamese commandos in speed boats to harass radar sites along the coastline of North Vietnam. The raids are supported by U.S. Navy warships in the Gulf of Tonkin including the destroyer U.S.S. Maddox which conducts electronic surveillance to pinpoint the radar locations.

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