Two weeks after the fall of Saigon, on May 12, 1975, Khmer Rouge soldiers on patrol boats fired a rocket-propelled grenade across the bow of the U.S. merchant ship SS Mayaguez.
The United States didn’t recognize the Khmer Rouge’s claim of 12 nautical miles of territorial waters. When the more than 10,000-ton container ship sailed too close to Poulo Wai island on its way from Saigon to Sattahip, Thailand, the patrol boats scrambled to chase it.
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