Photos from the Vietnam War (38 Pics)

US soldiers find rest despite the rain after surviving a firefight near Phuoc Vinh, 1968.
The image of a sergeant looking at his squad after an ambush on the Bong Son plain in Vietnam’s central lowlands, unknown date.
Leathernecks of the 26th Marine Regiment Special Landing Force wade through a tributary on patrol during Operation Valiant Hunt, 22 miles south of Da Nang. Whether troops were neck, waist, or ankle deep in water, feet of US servicemen were wet more often than they were dry; if they were confident enough that an ambush was unlikely when they were resting while out on patrol, they might take off their boots and socks to air out their feet to avoid painful fungal infections such as "Trench Foot."
Rifleman in the 196 Light Infantry brigade, airing out his feet near Tien Phouc, May 1969.
US Army Platoon on a search and destroy mission, unknown date or location. As troop levels escalated at their height of the war in 1968-69, S&D patrols in "hot" areas (especially in the area directly south of the DMZ which was heavily saturated by both Viet Cong and NV regulars) became a common strategy intended to draw out the Viet Cong into direct engagement, essentially using the troops as de-facto bait. Ideally, these patrols would hold out against an ambush long enough to call in airstrikes, but often these skirmishes resulted in disproportionate US casualties while they were lucky if the elusive enemy stayed around long enough to be where the bombs fell by the time air support showed up.
Sgt. Ronald Payne, age 21, emerging from a Viet Cong tunnel with his suppressed .38 revolver. Tunnel rats were up against booby traps and hidden combatants waiting in ambush. A dirty and dangerous job carried out by a brave few.
Two Marines investigate an entrance to a Viet Cong tunnel system, near Da Nang, unknown date.
US Army soldiers help to pull one of their comrades out of a Viet Cong pitfall. Some have incorrectly identified this picture as showing a VC tunnel system, but the hole is a deep, wide, vertical shaft which is unlike VC tunnel entrances that were usually small man-sized holes dug under or near cover, wheras this pit is in the open. There were many variations of these types of traps, but generally they consisted of a pit dug along a likely patrol route and covered by branches and natural camouflage. The bottom of the pit could be covered in sharpened bamboo stalks; an ever more insidious version was the spike wheel trap, where a soldier who fell in would be punctured on both sides by spike-covered logs laid parallel to one another, rolling inwards as the victim fell in. Ultimately the strategic purpose of these traps was not primarily to kill soldiers, but wound them in terrible ways that lowered the morale of their fellow soldiers and slowed down the patrol who had to extract and evacuate the causality.
A Viet Cong guerrilla fighter marches with her unit carrying a Mosin Nagant M44, unknown date or location.
A CH-46 Sea Knight hit by enemy ground-fire looses altitude before crashing in the jungle, killing 13 servicemen, South Vietnam, 1966. Vietnam was the first war where helicopters played an important role; US forces used them for resupply med-evac, and rapid deployment and reinforcement.
Debris fly around a crashed CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter while another helicopter tries to get into the landing zone in the Song Ngan Valley, a short distance from the demilitarized zone between north and south Vietnam, July 18, 1966.
Weary after a third night of fighting against North Vietnamese troops, U.S. Marines crawl from foxholes located south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in South Vietnam, September 1966. The helicopter at left was shot down when it came in to resupply the unit.
"The Strain of Battle" US Army Sgt. Philip Fink absorbing the situation after his unit of South Vietnamese Rangers had borne the brunt of recapturing the jungle outpost of Dong Xoai from the Viet Cong, June 1965.
South Vietnamese residents flee from their village as the fighting engulfs their community, somewhere in South Vietnam, unknown date. The US was faced with a dynamic threat in the form of Viet Cong guerrillas operating throughout the countryside, temporarily occupying villages and using them for resupply and information. The US strategy of "Pacification" was to try to get these villages to reject any cooperation with the VC, and to neutralize ones that were seen as being complicit in VC operations. For the villagers, they had little power to refuse either party and inevitably suffered reprisals from either or both parties for their perceived disloyalty. Their situation was the epitome of "Damned if you do, damned if you don't".
Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take cover from intense Viet Cong fire at Bao Trai, 20 miles west of Saigon. In the background, the paratroopers of the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade escorted the civilians through a series of firefights during U.S. assault on a Viet Cong stronghold. Jan.1, 1966.

American Marines, on patrol during Operation Prairie, near the DMZ, October 1966.
"The Weight of Leadership;" Captain Paul W. "Buddy" Bucha of 101st Airborne Division coordinating the evacuation of his troops during a skirmish where they are nearly overwhelmed by Viet Cong soldiers. He was awarded the medal of Honor for his actions that day. Near Phuoc Vinh, March 16, 1968.
105mm Howitzers outside Hue, 1969.
Soldiers hunker in the mud, searching for the origin of Viet Cong sniper fire during the during a battle in Phuoc Vinh, North-Northeast of Saigon, June 15, 1967.
U.S. Marines and Vietnamese troops move through the grounds of the Imperial Palace in the old citadel area of Hue, Vietnam after seizing it from Communist hands, February 26, 1968. The heavy damage was the result of the artillery, air, and mortar pounding the area received for 25 days while the Viet Cong held the area. The Tet offensive was a major turning point in the Vietnam War; while Lyndon Johnson was assuring the American public that the hard fight had been won and major progress had been made in Vietnam, the Viet Cong launched a coordinated assault across all the major cites in South Vietnam and chaos ensued for several weeks as US and ARVN forces grappled with the VC in viscous urban combat. Although the VC were eventually overcome and they lost more men, the American public was convinced that their government had mislead them with an over-optimistic forecast of success just around the corner.
The flag of the Republic of Vietnam flies atop a tower of the main fortified structure in the old citadel as a jeep crosses a bridge over a moat in Hue during the Tet Offensive, February 1968.
South Vietnamese combat police advance toward a burning building in northeastern Saigon as they battle Viet Cong forces who had occupied several city blocks in the area during the Tet Offensive, February 19, 1968.
During an ambush near Saigon by Viet Cong guerrillas, an officer shouts orders as a wounded American soldier awaits evacuation, 1969. The soldier is attended by a medic as they seek cover beside an armored troop carrier.
A radioman comforts his friend who just survived a battle during Operation Byrd in which nearly his entire platoon was wiped out Co. A, 2 7, 1st Cav. Div. Airmobile, 1966.
An A-1 Skyraider drops Napalm on enemy position, unknown location or date. Naplam is a mixture of Gasoline and a gelling agent, making it viscus enough to cling to surfaces while it burns. Although most associated with the Vietnam War, Napalm had been used by the US in both WW2 and Korea. During Vietnam, Napalm was made by the Dow Chemical Company, who also manufactured Agent Orange. Despite being faced with public backlash, Dow continued their production throughout the war.
Naplam engulfs the 3 town of Trang Bang, 1972. Minutes after this photo was taken, a much more famous photo captured a young, badly burned girl walking toward the soldiers on the same stretch of road.
C-123 aircraft spraying defoliating agent across on Vietnamese jungle terrain. Agent Orange was used to kill plant life of the dense SE Asian jungles which provided Viet Cong and NVA regulars with reliable cover from US air surveillance. During Operation Ranch Hand, some 12 million gallons of this cancer-causing weed-killer were sprayed across an estimated 66,000 square miles of Vietnam, inflicting lasting health effects on those who lived there, as well as the US and South Vietnamese troops who patrolled these areas afterwards. Many Vietnamese suffer its effects to this day, including but not limited to cancer and horrific birth defects. As of 1993, the Department of Veterans Affairs had received disability claims from 39,419 soldiers who had been exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.
A strategic air command B-52 bomber with externally mounted, 750-pound bombs heads toward its target about 56 miles northwest of Saigon near Tay Ninh on November 2, 1965. By the end of the war, 7 million tons of bombs had been dropped on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia; more than twice the amount of bombs dropped on Europe and Asia in World War II.
View from an A-4 Skyhawk pulling away from a bomb run on a bridge in North Vietnam, September 1967.
A makeshift hospital in the A victim of American bombing, Cambodian guerrilla Danh Son Huol is carried to an improvised operating room in a mangrove swamp on the Ca Mau Peninsula, September 5th, 1970.
Three shirtless U.S. soldiers advance through the Mimot rubber plantation in the Fishhook region of Cambodia, on May 4, 1970, taking aim at a fleeing suspect. The rubber plantation, one of the largest in Indochina, had been in operation until just a few days earlier but was caught up in the US's Cambodian Campaign.
Marine Lance Corporal Roland Ball uses a helmet as a sink and a rear-view mirror taken from a military vehicle to shave during a lull in the fighting at the Khe Sanh Base, March 5, 1968. At the time, the base was surrounded by North Vietnamese regulars and the base was under virtual continuous siege and bombardment from 21 January till 9 July 1968. When advisers warned President Johnson that the base was on the verge of falling, he agreed with General Westmoreland that the base should be held at any cost. Over the course of the battle, the US would drop 100,000 tons of explosives on the surrounding area; the accumulative explosive energy is comparable to nearly 7 atomic bombs of the kind that destroyed Hiroshima. Shortly after, the base was dismantled and abandoned.
Marines hit the deck as the first rounds of another NVA artillery bombardment begin falling on the Khe Sanh base, March 1968.

U.S. troops move toward the crest of Hill 875 at Dak To after 21 days of fighting, during which at least 285 Americans were believed killed, November, 1967.
President Lyndon B. Johnson listens to a tape from his son-in-law who was serving in Vietnam, July 31, 1968. Although Johnson is rightly criticized for escalating the war and misleading the public by downplaying the lack of progress being made, it is worth mentioning that America's involvement in Vietnam spanned the previous three Presidents before him and many events were well in motion by the time he took office. Although there may be some truth that he escalated the war to save face and avoid being the President that "lost" the war, it is safe to say that he followed his cabinet's advice regarding Vietnam at almost every turn, who were adamant about containing Communism at any cost. In truth, Johnson's ambitions lay with domestic issues where his true talent of being a professional politician got him the results he wanted. Later in life, he would say; "That bitch, the Vietnam War, killed the lady I really loved; the Great Society."
A South Vietnamese widow cries as a bell at a Saigon Buddhist pagoda tolls the ceasefire at 8 a.m., on Sunday, January 28, 1973, Saigon time. The United States had begun drastically reducing forces in the country, and, following the Paris Peace Accords of 1973, the last remaining American troops withdrew in March of 1973.
Photos from the Vietnam War (38 Pics)  Photos from the Vietnam War (38 Pics) Reviewed by Your Destination on March 31, 2018 Rating: 5

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