Rare Vietnam War Photos That You Never Saw Before
While the Vietnam War raged, the rest of the world was in their own problems and too busy no notice what was happening. In that almost two-decade of blood and horror, some real overwhelming photos made their way out of the war zone.
Now, many decades later these photos are still powerful, telling the real stories. These photos made history and one even stopped the war. Check below why they are still relevant.
20. Agent Orange
Agent Orange was a mix of tactical herbicides the U.S. military sprayed during the Vietnam War. This strategy had only one goal.
Agent Orange would remove the leaves of threes that provided enemy cover. They were specially designed for this purpose.
19. Tunnel Rats
Soldiers who had to dig tunnels and enter them were called ‘tunnel rats’. Their job was so dangerous that it usually cost them their life.
‘Tunnel rats’ were usually American, Australian, and New Zealand soldiers specially trained as combat engineers. They would crawl to do the search and destroy armed mines.
18. Burned Village
Before the war, Vietnam was a country rich in spectacular forest landscapes. The war changed it. Therefore, it became normal seeing villages burning.
Soldiers were usually getting the food from their own countries, so they didn’t care about the villagers. It took years for these villages to recover.
17. Burning Monk
Vietnam war affected everyone, every nation, and every religion. This image shows Buddhist monk Quang Duc who took his protest to the extreme.
This photo was taken on June 11, 1936. Quand Duc was a Buddhist monk who burns himself to death as a busy Saigon intersection to protest the persecution of Buddhists.
16. A Vietnamese Father
Vietnam war took the lives of more than 84,000 children. It must be an agony to protect your child in such an environment. This photo actually shows it perfectly.
This photo shows a man holding the body of his child while South Vietnamese Army Rangers look down from their vehicle. The photo was taken near the Cambodian border, in 1964.
15. Sending Bodies Home
Every soldier wants his body to be sent home in case of his death. During the Vietnam war, more than 58,000 men were sent home. In caskets.
The body of an American paratrooper is raised to an evacuation helicopter in Vietnam in 1966. The soldier was killed near the Cambodian border. Around 350,000 Americans were just wounded in the war.
14. Vietnamese Fido
When you are away from home and going through everyday horror and stress, anything that can brighten up your day is more than welcome.
This soldier found some happiness in a local brown dog, that he apparently adopted. It’s still unknown what happened with the solder or with the dog.
13. A Muddy Canal
When bombs start hitting you need to find the first safe place, especially if you have children and elders with you. This is exactly what this young woman did.
Women and children are hiding in a muddy canal and waiting for a Viet Cong Fire to stop. This photo was taken on January first, in 1966.
12. Dogs Of Vietnam
Just like in any other war, dogs played a huge role here as well. American forced used dogs for hunting enemies, for base security, and detecting ambushes.
Commonly used breeds were German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and mixed shepherd breeds. Each dog was specially trained before coming to Vietnam.
11. Helmet Countdown
Primarily, helmets were used for protection. However, since the soldiers were always on a move they were used for much more. Like this soldier – he used his helmet as a final countdown.
This soldier has a shortlist written on his helmet where he kept a close track of his last remaining days in Vietnam. You can see how much time he spent in Vietnam.
10. Sport Time
Soldiers had a few non-war related moments. Some used those moments to sleep, smoke, have a drink or go for a short walk. Those who were lucky enough had a sport.
These soldiers had a moment off and decided to use it playing. This photo shows one of the rare moments of pure humanity in the war zone.
9. Mourning The Loved One
Nothing in life can be so devastated as losing a loved one. The expression of this lady shows how strong that pain can be.
This woman cries over the body of her dead husband, who was found with 47 others in a mass grave. The photo was taken in April 1969.
8. Bombing Vietnam
Bombing Vietnam remains the largest aerial bombardment in human history. This bombing was so severe that after the war 800,000 tons of unexploded ordnance and landmines were left buried in the mountains and the land.
This photo is a close up of bombing. In 1966, a white phosphorus bombing was documented. The exact number of people killed after such bombing is unknown.
7. Apocalypse Now?
At first glance it may seem like a scene from the movie ‘Apocalypse Now’, but in reality, this is a patrol that was often seen during the war in Vietnam.
This river-patrol photo was taken in 1970 on Cai Ngay canal. These patrols were also known as ‘fast patrol craft’.
6. Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon is known as the only president who resign. In addition, he is also known as the U.S. president who announced in 1973 that the war in Vietnam is over.
This photo shows Nixon speaking to U.S. Soldiers during a surprise visit to South Vietnam. This happened during his first year in office, on July 30, 1969.
5. Sleeping Soldier
When the war is raging you don’t get to sleep. You can nap or kind of sleep while someone is on the guard. But this soldier had a good reason for sleeping in such a strange position.
This soldier spend hours carrying wounded and dead marines from a battle on An Hoa Island, in South Vietnam, in 1965.
4. Clean Ammunition
People usually hand on clothes and bedsheets to dry on the sun. Unless you are in the army and the middle of a war.
In that case, you hand ammunition for the M60 machine gun to keep it dry and clean.
3. Family Bike
The average family size in Vietnam before the war was 3.8 people per household. We can see the average family size in this photo.
This photo shows South Vietnamese parents with five children fleeing from An Loc to Saigon in 1972.
2. Saving People
When war comes to an end there is only one goal – save as many people as possible. This is exactly what you are seeing here.
U.S. Navy personnel aboard the USS Blue Ridge, push a massive helicopter into the sea. The reason? This was the only way to make more room for more evacuation flights from Saigon on April 29, 1975.
1. Napalm Girl
Nick Ut is a photographer responsible for one of the most iconic photos ever. His photo ‘Napalm Girl’ shows a nine-year-old girl running naked after an aerial napalm bombing in Vietnam in 1972. Moreover, this is a photo that stopped the war.
He said that a girl from photo, Kim Phuc is above 50 now and she is like a daughter to him. Further, they have become a family. Her skin still has marks from this bombing.