Tales

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

35 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE FALL OF SAIGON


THE FALL OF 

INNOCENCE


                  Vietnam war 

                  Anniversary            

Posted by Rene Volpi  June 2- 2010


April 30th, 2010, was the 35th anniversary 

of the Fall of Saigon and the
end of the Vietnam War, and last month
on May 4th, was the 40th 
anniversary of the shooting of students 
at Kent State University. 
And for what? For protesting.  Let's 
never forget that atrocity. 
The Vietnam War and America's 
involvement in it affected the lives of 
millions for well over a decade. The 
United States military involvement and 
troop strength grew rapidly after 1964 - 
at its highest level in 1968, with over 
500,000 troops on the ground. And then, the
 unthinkable happened: The Tet offensive. 
This photographs--as graphic and terrifying as
 they are-- do not succeed in conveying the
 horror and suffering of those who were 
actually in the front lines, or in the cross-fire.
  As a French translator and  photojournalist
 for Sygma in that conflict (1970-75) I have
 witness the best and worst that humanity has
 to offer.
 The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 
Washington, D.C. now bears the engraved
 names of 58,267 of those troops. It's nearly
 impossible to encapsulate an event of such 
scale in a handful of photographs, but here,
 35 years after the conflict ended, it is my
 sincere attempt.

Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine 
gun fire into a tree line to cover the advance
 of South Vietnamese ground 
troops in an attack on a Viet Cong camp 18 
miles north of Tay Ninh, northwest of Saigon 
near the Cambodian border, in Vietnam on 
March 1965. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

An M41 tank of the South Vietnamese Army advances on enemy
 positions in Saigon, Vietnam in May of 1960. (US Department 
of Defense) #

Injured Vietnamese receive aid as they lie on the street after a 
bomb explosion outside the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam,
 March 30, 1965. Smoke rises from wreckage in background . At
 least two Americans and several Vietnamese were killed in the
 bombing. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #

A U.S. Marine CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter comes down in
 flames after being hit by enemy ground fire during Operation
 Hastings, just south of the Demilitarized Zone between North and 
South Vietnam on July 15, 1966. The helicopter crashed and explo
ded on a hill, killing one crewman and 12 Marines. Three crewman
 escaped with serious burns. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #

A young Marine private waits on the beach during the Marine lan
ding, Da Nang, Vietnam, August 3, 1965. (U.S. Marine Corps.) #

A napalm strike erupts in a fireball near U.S. troops on patrol in 
South Vietnam in 1966 during the Vietnam War. (AP Photo) #

A Vietnamese litter bearer wears a face mask to keep out the 
smell as he passes the bodies of U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers
 killed in fighting against the Viet Cong at the Michelin rubber planta
tion, about 45 miles northeast of Saigon, Nov. 27, 1965. More than 
100 bodies were recovered after a human wave assault by guerrillas.
 (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #

Sgt. Ronald A. Payne, from Atlanta, Georgia, Squad Leader of 
Company A, 1st Bn, 5th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, checks a
 tunnel entrance carrying a flashlight and a sidearm, before entering it
 to search for Viet Cong and their equipment during Operation "Cedar
 Falls" in the Ho Bo Woods, 25 miles north of Saigon on January 
24th, 1967. (US Department of Defense/SP5 Robert C. Lafoon, US
 Army Sp Photo Det Pac) #

An aerial port bow view of the Forrestal Class Aircraft Carrier, 
USS Forrestal, underway approximately one month after fires and
 explosions damaged the ship leaving 132 crewmen dead, 62 injured,
 and two missing and presumed dead while on duty in waters off Viet
nam in July of 1967. (U.S. Navy/PHC H.L. WISE)#

A UH-1D helicopter from the 336th Aviation Company sprays a 
defoliation agent on a dense jungle area in the Mekong delta. 
(US Department of Defense/Brian K. Grigsby, SPC5) #

Buddhist nun Thich Nu Thanh Quang burns to death in an act of
 suicide protest against the government's Catholic regime at the
 Dieu de Pagoda in Hue, South Vietnam, May 29, 1966. (AP Photo) #

Paratroopers of the U.S. 2nd Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade
 hold their automatic weapons above water as they cross a river
 in the rain during a search for Viet Cong positions in the jungle area
 of Ben Cat, South Vietnam on Sept. 25, 1965. (AP Photo/Henri
 Huet) #

(1 of 3) South Vietnamese forces escort suspected Viet Cong 
officer Nguyen Van Lem (also known as Bay Lop) on a Saigon 
street Feb. 1, 1968, early in the Tet Offensive.
 (AP Photo/Eddie Adams) #

(2 of 3) South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of
 the national police, fires his pistol into the head of suspected 
Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem on a Saigon street, on Feb. 1, 
1968. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams) #

(3 of 3) South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan holsters
 his gun after executing suspected Viet Cong officer Nguyen
 Van Lem whose body lies on a Saigon street Feb. 1, 1968, early in
 the Tet Offensive. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams) #

Demonstrators in Berkeley, California march against the war in
 Vietnam in December of 1965. (AP Photo) #

Anti-war protesters gather by the Reflecting Pool with the 
Washington Monument in the background, in Washington D.C.
 on Oct. 21, 1967. (AP Photo) #

A Viet Cong base camp is torched near My Tho, Vietnam on 
April 5th, 1968. In the foreground is Private First Class Raymond 
Rumpa, St Paul, Minnesota, C Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infan
try, 9th Infantry Division, with 45 pound 90mm recoilless rifle. (US 
Department of Defense) #

An Air Force F-100D Super Sabre aircraft fires a salvo of 2.75-
inch rockets against an enemy position in South Vietnam on Ja
nuary 1st, 1967. (US Department of Defense) #

During Operation "Bushmaster", a member of Company "L", 
(Ranger), 75th Infantry, wearing camouflage makeup sits alone
 with his thoughts while waiting to participate in an assault mission
 against North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces in Vietnam in August 
of 1971. (US Department of Defense/SP4 John L. Hennesey, 221st
 Sig Co) #

Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take
 cover from intense Viet Cong fire at Bao Trai, about 20 miles
 west of Saigon, Vietnam on Jan. 1, 1966. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #

The body of an American paratrooper killed in action in the jun
gle near the Cambodian border is raised up to an evacuation heli
copter in War Zone C, Vietnam in 1966. (AP Photo/Henri Huet) #

U.S. Marines emerge from their muddy foxholes at sunrise after 
a third night of fighting against continued attacks of north Vietna
mese 324 B division troops during the Vietnam War on Sept. 21,
 1966. (AP Photo/Henri Huet) #
 And at last but not least the guys from the 82nd get a well deserved respite.


This culminate Part 1 of this series,  Part 2 will be posted on Friday Noon.  Don't miss it !!
POSTED JUNE 2, 2010 BY RENÉ VOLPI  




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