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Pattle Island in the South China Sea

"The Paracel Islands lay about three hundred fifty kilometers east of Da Nang, in the South China Sea. They were small, desolate, treeless, covered with crusted bird droppings—which Madame Nhu had tried unsuccessfully to mine for fertilizer a decade earlier—and ringed with jagged reefs that made beaching a gamble. The biggest island, called "Pattle" by Westerners, had a weather station that beamed typhoon warnings to the mainland and a single squad of what had to be the loneliest regional forces in Vietnam. 

The VNN ran routine patrols around the island, and Kiem himself had visited them several times between 1963 and 1965. Once he'd even made arrangements to buy a goat, as a treat for his sailors, from the Pattle Island army garrison. The soldiers raised them but let them run free, since the sea was their fence. "Listen," the squad leader had chuckled, "if you can catch them, you can have two goats for the same price." Kiem's whole ship had turned out to chase the goats around the island, slipping and sliding in the gooey new bird-droppings until, hours later, the men and the goats had just fallen down on top of each other, exhausted."

Excerpt from:  http://www.vietquoc.com/hoangsa.htm

 

Events Leading To The 1974 Naval Battle for the Paracels between the Navies of the Republic of Vietnam and the People's Republic of China

 

The issue of sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the East Sea has been excessively expounded by many historians and continental shelf researchers. Most recently, in his elaborate book of history (Reference 3), former Republic of Vietnam Navy Commander Vû Hæu San cited numerous documents that validate Vietnam's sovereignty through a detailed analysis of flora, geological and meteorological data. The data confirm that our ancestors set foot to the Paracel and Spratly Islands, setting up a stele bearing a Vietnamese inscription. And prior to April 30, 1975, the Republic of Vietnam did participate in meteorological activities internationally.

Republic of Vietnam's stele on Pattle Island in the Paracels

Excerpt from: http://members.tripod.com/~vt98/january_2000.html