A Look Back at the Vietnam War on the 35th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon
(AP) Today, April 30th, marks the 42nd Anniversary of the fall of Saigon, when communist North Vietnamese
forces drove tanks through the former U.S.-backed capital of South Vietnam, smashing through the Presidential Palace gates. The fall of Saigon marked the official end of the Vietnam War and the decadelong U.S. campaign against communism in Southeast Asia. The conflict claimed some 58,000 American lives and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese.
The war left divisions that would take years to heal as many former South Vietnamese soldiers were sent to Communist re-education camps and hundreds of thousands of their relatives fled the country.
|It is one of the most recognisable pictures ever taken and an image that not only defined a war, but defined the career of the man who took it.|
Kim Phuc was just nine years old when she ran naked towards Associated Press photographer and Pulitzer prize winner Huynh Cong 'Nick' Ut screaming 'Too hot! Too hot!' as she headed away from her bombed Vietnamese village.
She will always be remembered for the blobs of sticky napalm that melted through her clothes and left her with layers of skin like jellied lava. Her story has been told many times over the last 40 years since the shot was taken.
But now, to mark four decades since Ut took the picture he has released more moving images that he took during the Vietnam war that chart the horrors of that fateful day in 1972.
Huynh Cong 'Nick' Ut took this picture just moments before capturing his iconic image. It shows bombs with a mixture of napalm and white phosphorus jelly and reveals that he moved closer to the village following the blasts
Vietnamese Marines rush to the point where a descending U.S. Army helicopter will pick them up after a sweep east of the Cambodian town of Prey-Veng in June 1970
Trees are ravaged in the background to this picture of a South Vietnamese tank crew as the soldiers inside abandon it after being hit by B40 rockets and automatic weapons two miles north of Svay Rieng in eastern Cambodia
When compared with the first image it becomes apparent that Ut actually started heading towards the village following the napalm attack. The sign to the right of the picture appears larger while what looks like a speaker to the left of the road is no longer in shot.
As he headed towards the town and took the photo, which Kim Phuc has now found peace with after first wanting to escape the image, he would have been unaware the effect his picture would have on the outside world.
It communicated the horrors of the Vietnam War in a way words could never describe, helping to end one of the most divisive wars in American history.
He drove Phuc to a small hospital. There, he was told the child was too far gone to help. But he flashed his American press badge, demanded that doctors treat the girl and left assured that she would not be forgotten.
'I cried when I saw her running,' said Ut, whose older brother was killed on assignment with the AP in the southern Mekong Delta. 'If I don't help her - if something happened and she died - I think I'd kill myself after that.'
Spending so much time with members of the military he also got time to picture them having fun. Here he pictured youthful civil defence militiamen leap into the flooded Nipa Palm grove near Saigon on April 6, 1969
Never far from devastation, Nick Ut took this picture of journalists photographing a body in the Saigon area in early 1968 during the Tet offensive
A line of South Vietnamese marines moves across a shallow branch of the Mekong River during an operation near Neak Luong Cambodia, on August 20, 1970
Not all his images are full of death and destruction. This one taken on September 20 1970 shows a Cambodian soldier smiling at the camera while on operations in Vietnam
Back at the office in what was then U.S.-backed Saigon, he developed his film. When the image of the naked little girl emerged, everyone feared it would be rejected because of the news agency's strict policy against nudity. But veteran Vietnam photo editor Horst Faas took one look and knew it was a shot made to break the rules. He argued the photo's news value far outweighed any other concerns, and he won.
A couple of days after the image shocked the world, another journalist found out the little girl had somehow survived the attack. Christopher Wain, a correspondent for ITN who had given Phuc water from his canteen and drizzled it down her burning back at the scene, fought to have her transferred to the American-run Barsky unit. It was the only facility in Saigon equipped to deal with her severe injuries.
Not all Ut's images were of death and destruction, however, and one taken two years earlier shows a Cambodian soldier smiling at the camera while on operations in Vietnam.
Another shows a group of youthful civil defence militiamen leaping into the flooded Nipa Palm grove near Saigon on April 6, 1969.
Ut became a photographer when he was just 16 shortly after his brother, Huynh Thanh My was killed. He joined Associated Press under the tutelage of renowned combat photographer, Horst Faas, who died last month.
This picture Kim Phuc running away from her bombed village when she was just nine is now instantly recognisable and seen as a defining image of the Vietnam war
The pair were reunited yesterday at Buena Park, California, as part of celebrations to mark four decades since that fateful meeting
Soon after newspapers in the U.S. published is iconic photograph, president Richard Nixon spoke with frustration to his chief of staff Harry Haldeman calling it into question and suggesting it could have been 'fixed'.
Ut wrote when wires of that conversation were released 30 years later: 'Even though it has become one of the most memorable images of the twentieth century, President Nixon once doubted the authenticity of my photograph when he saw it in the papers on June 12, 1972....
'The picture for me and unquestionably for many others could not have been more real. The photo was as authentic as the Vietnam war itself. The horror of the Vietnam war recorded by me did not have to be fixed.
'That terrified little girl is still alive today and has become an eloquent testimony to the authenticity of that photo. That moment thirty years ago will be one Kim Phuc and I will never forget. It has ultimately changed both our lives.'
His life now could be no different to the time he spent charting the horrors of the Vietnam war. He works from the bureau's Los Angeles office in Hollywood and submits courtroom photographs of celebrities or high-profile legal cases, and his images continue to adorn newspapers and websites across the world.
He has paid tribute the 'Napalm girl' picture in the past, saying it was behind his being lifted from the killing fields of war to take pictures of war.
This picture shows the aeroplane that dropped the bomb and the full width shot that went on to help bring an end to the war in Vietnam
U.S. troops carry the body of a fellow soldier across a rice paddy for helicopter evacuation near Bong Son in early February 1966. The soldier, a member of the 1st Air Cavalry Division, was killed during Operation Masher on South Vietnam's central coast. (AP Photo/Rick Merron)
A helicopter lifts a wounded American soldier on a stretcher during Operation Silver City in Vietnam, March 13, 1966. (AP Photo)
View of the Anti-Vietnam war demonstration held in Trafalgar Square, London, on March 17,1968. (AP Photo)
As fellow troopers aid wounded buddies, a paratrooper of A Company, 101st Airborne, guides a medical evacuation helicopter through the jungle foliage to pick up casualties during a five-day patrol of Hue, South Vietnam, in April, 1968. (AP Photo/Art Greenspon)
Pfc. Juan Fordona of Puerto Rico, a First Cavalry Division trooper, shakes hands with U.S. Marine Cpl. James Hellebuick over barbed wire at the perimeter of the Marine base at Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, early April 1968. The meeting marked the first overland link-up between troops of the 1st Cavalry and the encircled Marine garrison at Khe Sanh. (AP Photo/Holloway)
Air Cavalry troops taking part in Operation Pegasus are shown walking around and watching bombing on a far hill line on April 14, 1968 at Special Forces Camp at Lang Vei in Vietnam. (AP Photo/Richard Merron)
Anti-Vietnam war protesters march down Fifth Avenue near to 81st Street in New York City on April 27, 1968, in protest of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnamese war. The demonstrators were en route to nearby Central Park for mass "Stop the war" rally. (AP Photo)
Vietnamese government troops are silhouetted against palm tree and jungle background as they cross a wooden bridge en route to the village of Ap Ba Nam, deep in southern Camau province on August 24, 1963, during a 5-day mission against Communists. The mission, which ended on August 20, was accomplished by about 4,000 government troops. The area south, east, and west of Camau province is a Viet Cong stronghold. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
As South vietnamese troops pass by in the Ca Mau peninsula, a mother grieves over her daughter, who was badly wounded by machine gun fire from a U.S. helicopter, the week of Sept. 15, 1963. The soldiers had landed by helicopter in response to an attack by Viet Cong guerrillas on a South Vietnamese outpost. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
South Vietnamese soldiers ride elephants across a river in the Ba Don area, about 20 miles from the Cambodian border, during a patrol in search of Viet Cong guerrillas in June 1964. In some conditions, the Hannibal-like transportation is more suited to jungle warfare than more modern vehicles. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this March 19, 1964 photo, one of several shot by Associated Press photographer Horst Faas which earned him the first of two Pulitzer Prizes, a father holds the body of his child as South Vietnamese Army Rangers look down from their armored vehicle. The child was killed as government forces pursued guerrillas into a village near the Cambodian border. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this Jan. 9, 1964 photo, a South Vietnamese soldier uses the end of a dagger to beat a farmer for allegedly supplying government troops with inaccurate information about the movement of Viet Cong guerrillas in a village west of Saigon, Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
As the day breaks in the jungle area of Binh Gia, 40 miles east of Saigon Sept. 1, 1964 paratroopers of the first battalion airborne brigade are silhouetted at a mortar position they have manned through the night against possible night Viet Cong attack. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
As U.S. "Eagle Flight" helicopters hover overhead, South Vietnamese troops wade through a rice paddy in Long An province during operations against Viet Cong guerrillas in the Mekong Delta, December 1964. The "Eagle Flight" choppers were loaded with Vietnamese airborne troops who were dropped in to support ground forces at the first sign of enemy contact. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Flying low over the jungle, an A-1 Skyraider drops 500-pound bombs on a Viet Cong position below as smoke rises from a previous pass at the target, Dec. 26, 1964. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
U.S. door gunners in H-21 Shawnee gunships look for a suspected Viet Cong guerrilla who ran to a foxhole from the sampan on the Mekong Delta river bank, Jan. 17, 1964. The U.S. provided air support during a South Vietnamese offensive in the Mekong Delta. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into tree line to cover the advance of Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh on March 29, 1965, which is northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border. Combined assault routed Viet Cong guerrilla force. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this January 1965 photo, the sun breaks through dense jungle foliage around the embattled town of Binh Gia, 40 miles east of Saigon, as South Vietnamese troops, joined by U.S. advisers, rest after a cold, damp and tense night of waiting in an ambush position for a Viet Cong attack that didn't come. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Trying to avoid intense sniper fire, two American medics carry a wounded paratrooper to an evacuation helicopter during the Vietnam War on June 24, 1965. A company of paratroopers dropped directly into a Viet Cong staging area in the jungle near Thoung Lang, Vietnam. The medics are, Gerald Levy, left, of New York; and PFC Andre G. Brown of Chicago. The wounded soldier is not identified. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this June 1965 photo, South Vietnamese civilians, among the few survivors of two days of heavy fighting, huddle together in the aftermath of an attack by government troops to retake the post at Dong Xoai, Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
A Vietnamese infantryman jumps from the protection of a rice paddy dike for another short charge during a run and fire assault on Viet Cong Guerrillas entrenched in an area 15 miles west of Saigon on April 4, 1965. When field and surrounding brush line was finally taken, Vietnamese had suffered a loss of 12 men dead or wounded, Straw stack fire at center was set by Guerrillas as a distraction. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Horst Faas tries to get back on U.S. helicopter after day out with Vietnamese rangers in flooded plain of reeds, May 11, 1965. (AP Photo) #
A wounded Vietnamese ranger, his head heavily bandaged with only slits for the eyes and mouth, is ready with his weapon to answer a Viet Cong attack during battle in Dong Xoai on June 11, 1965. Photo by Associated Press photographer Horst Faas, who accompanied the rangers on the battle mission. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
An identified U.S. Army personnel wears a hand lettered "War Is Hell" slogan on his helmet, June 18, 1965, during the Vietnam War. He was with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion on defense duty at Phouc Vinh airstrip in South Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
U.S. paratroopers send a burst of automatic weapon fire into the Vietnamese section of Plei Ho Drong on August 12, 1965 after someone shot at them. Troops who entered the village afterwards found only Montagnard tribesmen and no Viet Cong. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this Nov. 27, 1965 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 plantation, about 45 miles northeast of Saigon. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File) #
In this March 1965 photo, hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into the 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, Vietnam, northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Seriously injured by shrapnel grenades planted in a booby trapped Viet Cong propaganda stall, a U.S. soldier awaits evacuation from Vietnamese jungle by ambulance helicopter being summoned by a radio operator behind him on Dec. 5, 1965. The soldier was attempting to tear down a Viet Cong bamboo structure used to dispense propaganda when two M 79 grenades planted in one of the poles exploded in his face. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
U.S. infantrymen pray in the Vietnamese jungle Dec. 9, 1965 during memorial services for comrades killed in the battle of the Michelin rubber plantation, 45 miles northwest of Saigon. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this December 1965 photo, a U.S. 1st Division soldier guards Route 7 as Vietnamese women and school children return home to the village of Xuan Dien from Ben Cat, Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Spec. 4 James D. McClafferty of Philadelphia and Pfc. Ted Talley of Marked Tree, Ark., man a machine gun in the ruins of a house near Rach Kien, 22 miles southwest of Saigon, Jan. 2, 1966. Their company, operating in the delta province of Long An, came under fire when they approached a farmhouse at the edge of an abandoned town. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this Jan. 16, 1966 photo, Lt. Col. George Eyster of Florida is placed on a stretcher after being shot by a Viet Cong sniper at Trung Lap, South Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File) #
U.S. Marines run to their foxholes as North Vietnamese mortars begin zeroing in on their positions during Operation Hastings near the demilitarized zone between North and South Vietnam on July 17, 1966. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
A U.S. Marine wipes tears from his face as he kneels beside a body wrapped in a poncho during a firefight near the demilitarized zone between North and South Vietnam, Sept. 18, 1966. Other casualties lie at the side of the road as fighting continued. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Paratroopers jump off rubber rafts in a combat crossing of the Song Be River in D Zone, some 30 miles northeast of Saigon, Vietnam on Sept. 30, 1966. The 173rd Airborne Brigade began Operation Sioux City with several helicopter assaults. Boats followed the troops and an hour later a company of the 2nd Battalion/173rd Airborne Brigade headed north across the 150 feet wide, fast flowing river, in rubber boats with outboard engines under cover of machine guns and air strikes. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this Jan. 1, 1966 photo, two South Vietnamese children gaze at an American paratrooper holding an M79 grenade launcher as they cling to their mothers who huddle against a canal bank for protection from Viet Cong sniper fire in the Bao Trai area, 20 miles west of Saigon, Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this Jan. 1, 1966 photo, 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. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this July 15, 1966 photo, U.S. Marines scatter as a CH-46 helicopter burns, background, after it was shot down near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this undated photo, Associated Press photographer Horst Faas is shown on assignment with soldiers in South Vietnam. (AP Photo) #
GIs take time out to read newspapers and magazines above and below their sandbagged bunker in a base camp set up in a jungle clearing in South Vietnam near the Cambodian border on Nov. 28, 1966. Troops of the U.S. 25th Infantry Division established the camp west of Pleiku during a push for the elements of a North Vietnamese regiment. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
A U.S. Marine listens for the heartbeat of a dying buddy who suffered head wounds when the company's lead platoon was hit with enemy machine gun fire as they pushed through a rice paddy just short of the demilitarized zone in South Vietnam Sept. 17, 1966. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Medics rush Lt. Col. George Eyster on a stretcher toward a helicopter after he had been shot by a Viet Cong sniper at Trung Lap, South Vietnam, Jan. 16, 1966. Eyster, 43, of Florida and commander of the "Black Lions" battalion of the U.S. 1st Division, died 42 hours later in a Bien Hoa hospital. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Pfc. James F. Duro of Boston, Mass., a member of C Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade, lies exhausted on a canal dike in the swampland of the Mekong Delta near Bao Trai, about 20 miles west of Saigon, on Jan. 4, 1966. Duro survived friendly fire from a misdirected artillery bombardment that, in addition to enemy fire, left fellow soldiers dead and wounded. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Soldiers of the 28th Infantry's 1st Battalion scramble for cover as Viet Cong guerrillas open fire from concealed tunnels in an enemy stronghold 25 miles northwest of Saigon, Jan. 9, 1966. The unit, part of Operation Crimp, a massive allied assault, had just settled down for lunch when the Viet Cong attacked. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
U.S. paratroopers carry a wounded man on a stretcher into a waiting helicopter in Vietnam on May 7, 1966. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
A Vietnamese medic jumps from a secure position behind a rice paddy dike, crossing a swampy paddy under fire from Viet Cong guerrillas in Binh Dong province along a canal on the edge of the Plain of Reeds, Aug. 8, 1966. He was coming to the aid of wounded regional forces in a skirmish between the Viet Cong and a company of "ruff-puffs," (regional forces and popular forces). (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
A soldier of the 25th Infantry Division, coated with sweat and grime, patrols thick jungle near the Cambodian border, Nov. 26, 1966. B-52 air strikes had driven out enemy snipers that stalled the unit for three days. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
U.S. machine gunner Spc. 4 James R. Pointer, left, of Cedartown, Ga., and Pfc. Herald Spracklen of Effingham, Ill., peer from the brush of an overgrown rubber plantation near the Special Forces camp at Bu Dop during a half hour firefight, Dec. 5, 1967. Their company-size patrol avoided an ambush when a patrol dog alerted the unit to the presence of enemy forces. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this undated photo, Associated Press photographer Horst Faas is shown on assignment in South Vietnam. (AP Photo/File) #
In this April 2, 1967 photo, a dead U.S. soldier lays on the battlefield with a sheet over him in Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this April 2, 1967 photo, wounded U.S. soldiers are treated on a battle field in Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Landing light from a medical evacuation helicopter cuts through smoke of battle for Bu Dop, South Vietnam, silhouetting U.S. troops moving the most seriously wounded to the landing zone on Nov. 30, 1967. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
A wounded U.S. soldier is removed for treatment in Vietnam, April 2, 1967. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
An army medic carries a wounded U.S. sergeant from the battle scene in South Vietnam on March 31, 1967 during the Vietnam War. The sergeant's squad also withdraws, unable to drive the communists from their trenches in War Zone C. The Americans left the Viet Cong to be hammered by artillery and air strikes. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
A young South Vietnamese woman covers her mouth as she stares into a mass grave where victims of a reported Viet Cong massacre were being exhumed near Dien Bai village, east of Hue, in April 1969. The woman's husband, father and brother had been missing since the Tet Offensive, and were feared to be among those killed by Communist forces. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
U.S. infantrymen of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade are seen on a joint Vietnamese/U.S. patrol near coffee and rubber plantations 50 miles northeast of Saigon, Nov. 29, 1969. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
A U.S. infantryman of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade is seen on a joint Vietnamese/U.S. patrol near coffee and rubber plantations 50 miles northeast of Saigon, Nov. 29, 1969. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Sergeant G. Sanders from Detroit looks from the window of his Chinook helicopter during a resupply mission, April 24, 1969. Across his helmet he was written with black, pasty color "Black Power". Sanders is a door gunner of a helicopter unit of the 1st Cavalry Division which operates in War Zone C. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
An amphibious tracked vehicle with a load of fully-armed Marines approaches a river southwest of Danang, South Vietnam, Aug. 22, 1969. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Children ride home from school past the bodies of 15 dead Viet Cong soldiers and their commander in the village of An Ninh in Vietnam's Hau Nghia province on May 8, 1972. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
In this March 1973 photo, American prisoners of war look through barred wooden doors at the last detention camp at Ly Nam De Street in Hanoi, North Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)
Smoke rises from the southwestern part of Saigon on May 7, 1968 as residents stream across a bridge leaving the capital to escape heavy fighting between the Viet Cong and South Vietnamese soldiers. (AP Photo)
This is a general view of the first meeting between the United States delegation, left, and North Vietnam delegation on the Vietnam peace talks at the international conference hall in Paris, May 13, 1968. (AP Photo)
A supply helicopter comes in for a landing on a hilltop forming part of Fire Support Base 29, west of Dak To in South Vietnam's central highlands on June 3, 1968. Around the fire base are burnt out trees caused by heavy air strikes from fighting between North Vietnamese and American troops. (AP Photo)
A helicopter full of Marines heading out on patrol lifts off the airstrip at the Khe Sanh combat base on June 27, 1968 in Vietnam. (AP Photo)
U.S. 25th Infantry division troops check the entrance to a Vietcong tunnel complex they discovered on a sweep northwest of their division headquarters at Cu Chi on Sept. 7, 1968 in Vietnam. (AP Photo)
A South Vietnamese woman mourns over the body of her husband, found with 47 others in a mass grave near Hue, Vietnam in April of 1969. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)
At a hilltop firebase west of Chu Lai in Vietnam, a huge army "Chinook" helicopter prepares to lift a conked-out smaller one to a base for repairs, April 27, 1969. The firebase was named LZ West and was manned by the troopers of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade forming part of the American Division. The smaller helicopter - a Huey UH-ID - had developed engine trouble so its crew chief called in the local aerial towing service. One sturdy nylon strap to the chopper's winch and the two were off. (AP Photo/Oliver Noonan)
A small boy holds his younger brother and looks at the remains of what was once his village, Tha Son, South Vietnam, 45 miles Northwest of Saigon, Vietnam on June 15, 1969. He and his family fled the village when Viet Cong troops infiltrated. Counter-attacking allied troops used artillery and bombs to push the Viet Cong out. The allies had told the people to leave their homes before the barrage began. (AP Photo/Oliver Noonan)
A medic lights a cigarette for Spec/5 Gary Davies of Scranton, Pa., awaiting evacuation by helicopter from Ben Het in South Vietnam where he was wounded, June 27, 1969. (AP Photo/Oliver Noonan)
Banners of appreciation from the Vietnamese decorate the dock at Danang where a farewell ceremony was held by the Vietnamese Government for departing Marines of the 1st Battalion/9th Regiment, July 14, 1969. (AP Photo)
Some of the 300 troops of the 9th Infantry Division scheduled for departure from South Vietnam line up to board aircraft bound for Hawaii, August 27, 1969. (AP Photo)
Supporters of the Vietnam moratorium lie in the Sheep Meadow of New York's Central Park Nov. 14, 1969 as hundreds of black and white balloons float skyward. A spokesman for the moratorium committee said the black balloons represented Americans who died in Vietnam under the Nixon administration, and the white balloons symbolized the number of Americans who would die if the war continued. (AP Photo/J. Spencer Jones)
Vietnamese soldiers of the 21st Recon Company rush to board waiting Huey choppers in the rice paddies near their forward command post in South Vietnam on Nov. 14, 1969. The men are to be transported into the interior of the U-Minh forest, the large marshy and swamp and forest area at the southern tip of Vietnam, long considered to be a VC strong-hold. For the previous month, an all Vietnamese operation called "Operation u-minh" had been attempting to drive the VC and NVA regulars from the area. It was the second such operation within the year. (AP Photo/Godfrey)
Demonstrators show their sign of protest as ROTC cadets parade at Ohio State University in May of 1970 during a ceremony in Columbus, Ohio during the Vietnam War. (AP Photo)
Mary Ann Vecchio gestures and screams as she kneels by the body of a student lying face down on the campus of Kent State University, Kent, Ohio on May 4, 1970. National Guardsmen had fired into a crowd of demonstrators, killing four. (AP Photo/John Filo)
American flag-bearing construction workers, angered by Mayor John Lindsay's apparent anti-war sympathies, lead hundreds of New York City workers supporting U.S. war policy in Vietnam in a demonstration inside a barricaded area near Wall Street in lower Manhattan, May 12, 1970. More than 1,000 police were on the scene to prevent possible clashes with anti-war student demonstrators, who were among office workers along the barricades. (AP Photo)
With a helmet declaring "Peace," a soldier of the 1st Cavarly Division, 12th Cavalry, 2nd Battalion, relaxes June 24, 1970, before pulling out of Fire Support Base Speer, six miles inside the Cambodian border. The troops were returning to South Vietnam after operations against enemy sanctuaries in Cambodia. (AP Photo)
Vietnam veterans opposed to the war assemble on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, April 19, 1971, to protest the U.S. action in Indochina. Addressing the crowd is Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), wearing hat. (AP Photo)
John Kerry, 27-year-old former navy lieutenant who heads the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), receives support from a gallery of peace demonstrators and tourists as he testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, D.C., April 22, 1971. (AP Photo/Henry Griffin)
South Vietnamese troops move out on patrol from Firebase Fuller, a hilltop position four miles south of the demilitarized zone, Vietnam on July 20, 1971. (AP Photo/Jacques Tonnaire)
A South Vietnamese Marine carries the dead body of a comrade killed on Route 1, about seven miles south of Quang Tri Sunday, April 30, 1972. Marines were fighting to reopen the road in order to break the North Vietnamese siege of the provincial capital. (AP Photo/Koichiro Morita)
South Vietnamese forces follow after terrified children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, as they run down Route 1 near Trang Bang after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places on June 8, 1972. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. The terrified girl had ripped off her burning clothes while fleeing. The children from left to right are: Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim's cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. Behind them are soldiers of the Vietnam Army 25th Division. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
South Vietnamese parents, with their five children, ride along Highway 13, fleeing southwards from An Loc toward Saigon on June 19, 1972. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Lightly-wounded civilians and troops attempt to push their way aboard a South Vietnamese evacuation helicopter hovering over a stretch of Highway 13 near An Loc in Vietnam on June 25, 1972. (AP Photo)
A line of South Vietnamese troops move along a devastated street in Quang Tri City as the battle continues for the provincial capital on July 28, 1972. Government forces were the midst of a campaign to retake the northern South Vietnamese city which was captured by enemy forces two months earlier. (AP Photo)
Then presidential adviser Dr. Henry Kissinger tells a White House news conference that "peace is at hand in Vietnam" on Oct. 26, 1972. (AP Photo)
Police in Da Nang cover the eyes of a woman who was an alleged member of a Viet Cong terrorist unit on Oct. 26, 1972. The woman was captured carrying 15 hand grenades, during the previous night's battle in Da Nang. (AP Photo)
The flag comes down at the U.S. Army base at Long Binn, 12 miles Northeast of Saigon, as the base is turned over to the South Vietnamese Army, Nov. 11, 1972. It was at one time the largest American base in Vietnam with a peak of 60,000 personnel in 1969. (AP Photo)
Unaware of incoming enemy round, a South Vietnamese photographer made this picture of a South Vietnamese trooper dug in at Hai Van, South of Hue, Nov. 20, 1972. The camera caught the subsequent explosion before the soldier had time to react. The incident occurred during one of many continuing small scale fire fights in South Vietnam, despite talk of a forthcoming ceasefire. (AP Photo)
President Nixon confers with Henry A. Kissinger in New York on Nov. 25, 1972, after the presidential adviser returned from a week of secret negotiations in Paris with North Vietnam's Le Duc Tho. Documents released Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008, from the Nixon years shed new light on just how much the Nixon White House struggled with growing public unrest over the protracted war in Vietnam. (AP Photo)
An American POW talks though a barred doorport to fellow POWs at a detention camp in Hanoi in 1973. (AP Photo)
The four delegations sit at the table during the first signing ceremony of the agreement to end the Vietnam War at the Hotel Majestic in Paris, Jan. 27, 1973. Clockwise, from foreground, delegations of the Unites States, the Provisonal Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam, North Vietnam and South Vietnam. (AP Photo)
John S. McCain III is escorted by Lt. Cmdr. Jay Coupe Jr., public relations officer, March 14, 1973, to Hanoi's Gia Lam Airport after the POW was released. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)
Released prisoner of war Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm is greeted by his family at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., as he returns home from the Vietnam War, March 17, 1973. In the lead is Stirm's daughter Lorrie, 15, followed by son Robert, 14; daughter Cynthia, 11; wife Loretta and son Roger, 12. (AP Photo/Sal Veder)
An iron door opens on a compound of the "Hanoi Hilton" prison, where the French once locked up political prisoners, shown March 18, 1973. When 33 Americans were freed from it days earlier, all the cells were empty for the first time in more than eight years. Journalists were allowed to visit the prison, located in downtown Hanoi days after it was emptied. (AP Photo/Horst Fass)
A South Vietnamese soldier rests his eyes at a lonely outpost northeast of Kontum, 270 miles north of Saigon, March 25, 1974. The hill overlooks a vital North Vietnamese supply road and is located rear the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting in South Vietnam since the cease fire. The soldiers on the hill say the enemy is "all around them." (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Mrs. Evelyn Grubb, of Colonial Heights, Va., left, follows her husband Wilmers coffin at Arlington National Cemetery, Thursday, April 4, 1974, Washington, D.C. Col. Grubb's name was released by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as one of the prisoners of war who died in captivity. Mrs. Grubb holds the hands of two of her sons, Roy, 7, right, and Stephen, 10. The rest of the group is unidentified. (AP Photo/Henry Burroughs)
Riot police block path of hundreds of anti-government demonstrators who sought to parade from suburban Saigon to the city center on Thursday, Oct. 31, 1974. (AP Photo)
A woman villager holding a small rock yells at a South Vietnamese military policeman on Feb. 10, 1975 during a confrontation near Hoa Hao in the Western Mekong Delta in Vietnam. Villagers had erected barricades along the highway to protest a government order disbanding the private army of a Buddhist sect in the area. (AP Photo)
South Vietnamese troops fill every available space on a ship evacuating them from Thuan An beach, near Hue, to Da Nang as Communist troops advanced in March, 1975. (AP Photo/Cung)
A refugee clutches her baby as a government helicopter gunship carries them away near Tuy Hoa, 235 miles northeast of Saigon on March 22, 1975. They were among thousands fleeing from Communist advances. (AP Photo/ Nick Ut)
Hundreds of vehicles of all sorts fill an empty area as the refugees fleeing in the vehicles pause near Tuy Hoa in the central coastal region of South Vietnam, Saturday, March 23, 1975 following the evacuation of Banmethuout and other population centers in the highlands to the west. (AP Photo/Ut)
Jubilation as a C-141 takes off from Hanoi on March 28, 1973 heading home. (GNS Photo by Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense)
A South Vietnamese father carries his son and a bag of household possessions as he leaves his village near Trang Bom on Route 1 northwest of Saigon April 23, 1975. The area was becoming politically and militarily unstable as communist forces advanced, just days before the fall of Saigon. (AP Photo/KY Mhan)
South Vietnamese troopers and western TV newsmen run for cover as North Vietnamese mortar round explodes on Newport Bridge in the outskirts of Saigon on Monday, April 28, 1975. (AP Photo/Hoanh)
A joint session of South Vietnam's National Assembly votes on Sunday, April 28, 1975 to ask President Tran Van Huong to turn over his office to Gen. Duong Van Minh. The assembly made a move in the 11th hour to attempt to negotiate a settlement with the Communist forces. (AP Photo/Errington)
U.S. President Gerald Ford discusses the Vietnam evacuation of Americans by telephone with a senior aide while Mrs. Betty Ford looks on in the living quarters of the White House in a picture released by the White House, Tuesday, April 29, 1975 in Washington. (AP Photo)
Americans and Vietnamese run for a U.S. Marine helicopter in Saigon during the evacuation of the city, April 29, 1975. (AP Photo)
U.S. Navy personnel aboard the USS Blue Ridge push a helicopter into the sea off the coast of Vietnam in order to make room for more evacuation flights from Saigon, Tuesday, April 29, 1975. The helicopter had carried Vietnamese fleeing Saigon as North Vietnamese forces closed in on the capital. (AP Photo/jt)
A North Vietnamese tank rolls through the gate of the Presidential Palace in Saigon, April 30, 1975, signifying the fall of South Vietnam. (AP Photo)