Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Closed Thread
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-24-2010, 11:57 AM   #331
Senior Member
hillerby's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sherman Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 224
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
Bob, you've expressed a feeling (very simply and well) that seems many have buried in the "don't talk about it" drawer. It's sort'a the adult version of learning there's no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny an' somehow there's just no goin' back to truly enjoyin' the myths after you've accommodated the reality of not being there in the moment.

It's an honor to share your company here. Thank you.

H2
To the contrary ......... IT'S AN HONOR FOR ME. When I began this thread (well over a year ago) I had absolutely NO IDEA that anyone would want to hear any of this stuff. I'm truly humbled by the responses I've read here.

12-24-2010, 12:05 PM   #332
Pentaxian
eddie1960's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,875
I just stumbled on the thread Bob and am working my way through. I have a huge amount of admiration for what you managed to do while you were there. great work under challenging conditions. I may have been part of the anti war crowd back then (still am for that matter) however i always admired the people in the trenches, and what they managed to do for their country (right or wrong), and I have a special place for war zone photographers who risk their lives and put themselves in positions they would have trouble defending themselves in as they are absorbed in getting the shot (the people who put them there though i have little respect for on either side of a situation)
great work

Merry christmas Sir, and I look forward to making my way through the thread and seeing more work and stories
12-24-2010, 12:34 PM   #333
Senior Member
hillerby's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sherman Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 224
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I just stumbled on the thread Bob and am working my way through. I have a huge amount of admiration for what you managed to do while you were there. great work under challenging conditions. I may have been part of the anti war crowd back then (still am for that matter) however i always admired the people in the trenches, and what they managed to do for their country (right or wrong), and I have a special place for war zone photographers who risk their lives and put themselves in positions they would have trouble defending themselves in as they are absorbed in getting the shot (the people who put them there though i have little respect for on either side of a situation)
great work

Merry christmas Sir, and I look forward to making my way through the thread and seeing more work and stories
I have a good friend who was part of the anti war movement back then. We've had some very interesting discussions over the years. Probably the most insightful thing he forced me to realize is that ...... given the same choices I had then, I do the same thing again (just for different reasons)!
01-03-2011, 03:22 AM   #334
Forum Member




Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 77
QuoteOriginally posted by hillerby Quote
As we passed one particular tent, someone had hand painted a sign that read, "BAH HUMBUG" in gigantic letters and hung it just below the decorations. My buddy and I agreed that the sign pretty much summed up our feelings at the time.
Hillerby, I definitely can relate to how you feel having just went through these holidays over here. Its hard to get in the mood when you don't have your family with you to celebrate. Its bitter sweet b/c you want to hear about their day and the gifts the kids received but it makes it hard since you can't be apart of it.

I must say that our leadership tried to spice up the day with festivities but at the end of the day you're still Afghanistan.

Definitely looking forward to Christmas next year, God willing, I will try to make it one to remember!

01-14-2011, 06:56 AM   #335
Senior Member
Elva's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 125
Ross Kemp group photo with ANA and DCOM ISAF | Flickr - Photo Sharing! Someone posted a thought on a thread on Afghanistan that is where this link goes. Just to let any who wants to know..
01-15-2011, 06:15 AM   #336
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Porto
Posts: 11
Thank you, Sir!

Hillerby, Ive just encountered this post and Im speechless. Im not american so I wont thank you for what you have done for your nation, I will, however, thank you for what you were and are doing for the whole World and History. Telling an important story through images and first person speech!

I really like your photos the way they are, they may have lost some color and detail, but they are being marked by time and that just gives them a lot of "soul".
Thank You
01-15-2011, 06:41 PM   #337
Senior Member




Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Georgia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 187
Bob, thanks for sharing your story and pictures with us. Also, thank you and all the other vets for their service to our country. I started reading this thread when it was first started but lost it when you got flooded out. Just found it again today. Glad everything is back to 'normal' for you. I hope you continue to post as your stories are most interesting. I grew up in New Jersey a few miles from Fort Monmouth. They're in the process of closing the base down now. Hope all is well and have a great new year. I bit belated. Jack
01-16-2011, 09:40 PM   #338
Junior Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 28
QuoteOriginally posted by hillerby Quote
A few more pictures for your perusal.

1. A picture of Me and So My (a vietnamese girl) who lived in a village outside our base camp. This was shot by one of the guys on my photo team.... probably taken with a Bronica 2-1/4 Sq format
2. Another shot of me and my camera at our base camp.... on our downtime we shot lots of stuff just to keep our skills honed. Film and processing was FREE .... the Army has no idea how many rolls of film were shot for personal use! A bit of trivia on this one....you can hardly make out what appears to be a "home made" christmas tree in the foreground (very out of focus). It appears that some ingeneous GI took the fuse out of a hand grenade and placed some sort of decorated foliage in it to make a "Christmas Tree".
3. A shot of me waiting for lift off. I was grabbin' a quick smoke" before they fired up our lift helicopters to go on a mission. This is an ektachrome slide that is badly deteriorated due to age. You'll note the color shift on the cigarette in my mouth... it's not white in the picture as it should be. I need to "Photoshop the hell" on this one!
4. My "Mobile Home". This was a "grab shot" I made of my gear (only part of it". Some of the stuff I'd already removed from the Ruck frame. Normally, when I "Saddled Up", that rig would weigh in at about 50 to 60 lbs which would have been a little over half my body weight at the time. This rig carried everything I needed to survive for 3 days in the field. After that we'd need to be resupplied with: water, ammo and food. We usually had enough film last for several weeks out.

Bob,

I just discovered this thread and, being a VN vet myself, have been fascinated by it. I know your signature block shows you were with the 1st Cav, but in the picture of you smoking the discolored cigarette, that looks like a 1st Signal Brigade patch. Were the combat photographers part of 1st Sig Bgde and attached to other combat units?

Jim Morgan
261st Sig Company
Phu Hiep, RVN 1968-69

01-17-2011, 03:01 PM   #339
Senior Member
hillerby's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sherman Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 224
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Texas Transplant Quote
Bob,

I just discovered this thread and, being a VN vet myself, have been fascinated by it. I know your signature block shows you were with the 1st Cav, but in the picture of you smoking the discolored cigarette, that looks like a 1st Signal Brigade patch. Were the combat photographers part of 1st Sig Bgde and attached to other combat units?

Jim Morgan
261st Sig Company
Phu Hiep, RVN 1968-69
Very ASTUTE OBSERVATION! That is in fact a 1st Signal Bde patch. I was assigned to the 69th Signal Bn (part of the 1st Signal Bde) and we were headquartered at Ton Son Nhut Airbase in Saigon.. We were (at that time) the largest photo element in VN. When I arrived in country, we had photo detachments at Cam Rahn Bay and An Khe (where the 1st Cav was HQ'd). Although we did operational assignments for all units in the central highlands, our primary mission was support for the 1st Air Cavalry Division.
I spent the bulk of my time w/the 1st Air Cav and have always considered it the unit with which I primarily operated. That's also the patch I wore on my right sleeve for the remainder of my time in the military.
Shortly after I was rotated home, the 1st Bde transferred all of their photo assets to the 221st Photo Company, but some of the detachments were reassigned to their primary units they supported. In the case of the detachment at An Khe, they may have been reassigned to the 1st Cav, but I'm not really sure about how all that was done.
01-17-2011, 04:36 PM   #340
Junior Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 28
Thanks, Bob. When I made the post above last night, I had only worked through the first 13-14 pages of the thread. I just saw where you answered my question back on page 19. I understand why you would consider the unit you went into combat with to be your home unit

I was one of the REMF's, assigned to first the 228th Sig Co at Hon Tre Island (Nha Trang), then the 261st Sig Co at Phu Hiep, near Tuy Hoa. The 261st did support a Korean (White Horse Division) fire base, but for the most part we were in the rear. Both units were, of course, part of 1st Signal Brigade.

I live just down the road from you in Plano. Please post if you do anymore speaking engagements. I'd like to hear what you have to say.

I hang out here trying to learn a little about photography, just as something to do in retirement. Your thread has absolutely captivated me. I'll try to work through the rest of the posts before the night is over.
01-20-2011, 08:21 AM   #341
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Scio, OR
Posts: 106
Dear Bob, thanks for starting this thread, I have read and enjoyed it from the first post. I want to comment on something that you mentioned in an early post about vets gravitating to other vets.

Yesterday as I returned to my car after shooting pics at a local county park, an older fellow with a camera around his neck was also returning to his car from a different trail. From a simple "Hi, get and good shoots?" it took only seconds to realize that we were both vets and stood and talked in the parking lot for and hour.

As it turns out, this fellow was an Army combat photographer in Korea, using a Speed Graphic. After Korea, he spent several years as a medical photographer. Somewhere along there, he applied for the Warrant Officer program to fly helos. He made a tour in Viet Nam in "64, before retiring from the Army in 1967. He retired from the Army before I went into the Navy in '68, but we still shared and instant bond.

Gary Sommer
USN Combat Search and Rescue HC-7
Viet Nam '70 '71
01-21-2011, 12:27 PM   #342
Senior Member
hillerby's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sherman Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 224
Original Poster
Vets Seem to Connect

QuoteOriginally posted by gary2881 Quote
Dear Bob, thanks for starting this thread, I have read and enjoyed it from the first post. I want to comment on something that you mentioned in an early post about vets gravitating to other vets.

Yesterday as I returned to my car after shooting pics at a local county park, an older fellow with a camera around his neck was also returning to his car from a different trail. From a simple "Hi, get and good shoots?" it took only seconds to realize that we were both vets and stood and talked in the parking lot for and hour.

As it turns out, this fellow was an Army combat photographer in Korea, using a Speed Graphic. After Korea, he spent several years as a medical photographer. Somewhere along there, he applied for the Warrant Officer program to fly helos. He made a tour in Viet Nam in "64, before retiring from the Army in 1967. He retired from the Army before I went into the Navy in '68, but we still shared and instant bond.

Gary Sommer

USN Combat Search and Rescue HC-7
Viet Nam '70 '71
Sounds pretty familiar! I've had many similar circumstances myself over the years. As for the Speed Graphic, reminds me of an "Old Lifer" Staff Sgt. we had when I was working out of the HQ unit in Saigon.
He was always goin' on about how we should be using the 4x5 Speed Graphics instead of shooting 35mm. Always talkin' bout how much better the images were, etc.
I finally told him one day, "if you carried one of those Speed Graphics to the field, you'll come back without a single usable image". The idiot accepted the challenge and went out. Damned camera hit the ground as soon as they went into the LZ. Long story short, the camera was DX'd (trashed for scrap) and he didn't get a single shot ... except from a 35mm he also had with him.
Never heard anymore about the "bigger negative" argument any more. We did use the 4x5's for studio and set up shots though.
01-21-2011, 07:30 PM   #343
Junior Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 28
Deteriorating Color

By chance, I've been watching the Ken Burns series on the Civil War during the time that I discovered this thread. Bob's made several mentions of the deteriorating color on his negatives from the VN era.

Burns relied heavily on old photos from the Civil War era, most of which have deteriorated over that years. As I watched the series, it occurred to me that the images would not have been nearly as powerful if these prints had been in pristine condition. There is something about their condition that lends to his presentation. So on the one hand, Bob, maybe it's not a totally bad thing that your pictures are showing their age.

On the other hand, they estimated that there were probably one million photographs taken of the conflict, by Matthew Brady and others, and most had been lost. Although I didn't know this before watching, they apparently used glass negatives at the time. A lot of them have been destroyed over that years, but many were sold for other uses, such as windows in greenhouses where the images faded and have been lost forever. I guess that's an argument for preservation, if not for restoration.

I hope this is not too far off topic. I was just struck by the parallels of the two situations.
01-21-2011, 09:36 PM   #344
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
pacerr's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Paris, TN
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,064
A tribute to combat photographers one generation earlier.

Captured: The Pacific and Adjacent Theaters in WWII | Plog ? World news photography, Photos ? The Denver Post
01-22-2011, 09:04 AM   #345
Senior Member
hillerby's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sherman Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 224
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Texas Transplant Quote
Thanks, Bob. When I made the post above last night, I had only worked through the first 13-14 pages of the thread. I just saw where you answered my question back on page 19. I understand why you would consider the unit you went into combat with to be your home unit

I was one of the REMF's, assigned to first the 228th Sig Co at Hon Tre Island (Nha Trang), then the 261st Sig Co at Phu Hiep, near Tuy Hoa. The 261st did support a Korean (White Horse Division) fire base, but for the most part we were in the rear. Both units were, of course, part of 1st Signal Brigade.

I live just down the road from you in Plano. Please post if you do anymore speaking engagements. I'd like to hear what you have to say.

I hang out here trying to learn a little about photography, just as something to do in retirement. Your thread has absolutely captivated me. I'll try to work through the rest of the posts before the night is over.
Unfortunately, I've not had many requests to speak publicly in quite a while. At one time (when my oldest son was still in school) I had a few and enjoyed it immensly.
I'd love to do more, and if I do get any requests in the future I'll let ya know. If you know of any group that might want to invite me, feel free to let me know ..... I'm CHEAP ENOUGH!
Closed Thread

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
auto, camera, combat, flash, lenses, mission, pentax, photographer, photography, vietnam
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Travel Combat Photo in Iraq CasualPhil Post Your Photos! 7 09-29-2010 06:35 AM
What tells the Nikon D3100 us about the Pentax K-r? Lampo Pentax News and Rumors 64 08-22-2010 08:04 AM
Combat Camera's LeeRunge Photographic Technique 8 07-28-2010 08:12 PM
My wife tells me I have PFA.... slip Pentax DSLR Discussion 7 03-22-2007 08:30 PM
eBay seller who tells stories & posts pics tranq78 General Talk 5 01-02-2007 08:53 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:28 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top