SAIGON, South Viet-Nam, Aug. 5, 1964 (UPI) - The United States rushed six - and probably more - supersonic jet planes into South Viet-Nam today to bolster air defenses in the growing war crisis with Communist North Viet-Nam. The six Delta Dagger F-102 jets were hastily flown here this morning from Okinawa, following a refueling stop at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.
They landed at nearby Tan Son Nhut Airport and promptly were placed on a "five minute alert" to go into action if needed.
There also were unconfirmed reports that other U.S. fighters had landed at Da Nang Airport, 375 miles northeast of Saigon. American officials would neither confirm nor deny the Da Nang reports. But a spokesman said there are a number of F-102's here and they are not necessarily all at Tan Son Nhut.
There are only three jet air bases in South Viet-Nam - Da Nang, Tan Son Nhut and Bien Hoa, which is about 20 miles from Saigon.
The air build-up followed President Johnson's announcement that the U.S. Seventh Fleet was conducting aerial strikes against the North Viet-Namese coast. The strikes were made in the wake of two attacks against U.S. naval units in the Gulf of Tonkin by North Viet-Namese patrol boats.
An American Embassy spokesman said the jets were to be used in case of North Viet-Namese attack, but declined to say how many planes were being flown in or where they would be based in South Viet-Nam.
He said it was not expected they would be used for air raids against North Viet-Nam unless the scope of the fighting is further enlarged.
American and Viet-Namese military men met hurriedly to discuss measures to be taken in the event North Viet-Nam's Russian-built air force responds with raids of its own.
No plans were announced for civil air defense in Saigon, but some Viet-Namese quickly began to dig backyard air raid shelters.
The press secretary of South Viet-Namese Premier Gen. Nguyen Khanh said, "the prime minister fully approves of the American action."
He said, "the second attack (against American warships yesterday) reinforces our judgment regarding the provocation by North Viet-Nam and China."
Radio Hanoi broadcast a statement by the North Viet-Namese military high command that, in the original incident on Sunday, the U.S. destroyer Maddox "openly infringed upon our territorial waters," and added that the United States "would be subject to due punishment."