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02-21-2011, 09:59 AM   #376
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tremaine Quote
The picture THE LETTER HOME is utterly amazing!
Thanks for the compliment! I've always thought most of my work as being "adequate" at best. However, I do think that is one shot that sorta' tells a story by itself.

02-21-2011, 10:09 AM   #377
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It truly does, Makes me wonder if he was writing home for the last time
02-21-2011, 11:43 AM   #378
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tremaine Quote
It truly does, Makes me wonder if he was writing home for the last time
I wondered the same thing when I saw it!
02-21-2011, 11:46 AM   #379
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Great minds think alike sir

02-21-2011, 02:22 PM   #380
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Just have ended reading through this thread and wanted to say thank you so much Bob, for sharing your experience, memories and these unique shots from the past. The most fascinating parts of your stories for me was when you described how you used the equipment. Only all-manual film camera can became an organic whole with a photographer. Now I really miss the times when I learned to shoot with my old film "zenit" with a broken exposure meter. Hope to see more of your archive pics and the new photo setting of course.
02-21-2011, 02:40 PM   #381
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Bob, how were you selected as a photographer? Did the army just pick you or did they have a selection process and if so what did they look for in a photographer? Thanks again.
02-21-2011, 08:38 PM   #382
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QuoteOriginally posted by hillerby Quote
I know these were made in VN, probably by some local embroidery shop in Saigon and it was intended to be sewn on the left pocket of the jungle fatigues.
that's the coolest patch I've ever seen!
02-22-2011, 02:39 PM   #383
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QuoteOriginally posted by bcs Quote
Bob, how were you selected as a photographer? Did the army just pick you or did they have a selection process and if so what did they look for in a photographer? Thanks again.
I actually enlisted (volunteered) to get into Photo training. At that time, ya' had to score high enough on the pre-enlistment tests to be qualified for certain training. I scored high enough that I could get any training I wanted.
I decided photography would be a "pretty fun job", so I asked for it. At the time I went in, the military was ramping up for full scale involvement in Vietnam, so they were lookin' for bodies!
I'm sure there were some people who just "got picked", but I wasn't one of them. In fact I turned down some pretty good deals to get photo school.

02-22-2011, 02:43 PM   #384
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Photographer's Patch

QuoteOriginally posted by Gashog Quote
that's the coolest patch I've ever seen!
At the time, I thought it was so "damned cheesy" I wouldn't put it on my uniforms and only got one of them. Most of the guys had "Combat Photographer Tabs" made to wear above our regular unit patch.
A "Tab" is like what you see that say's "Ranger", "Special Forces", etc. We just had them made up and wore them.
Now however, this patch is kinda' special since there probably aren't many of them around.
02-22-2011, 03:26 PM   #385
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The only thing I have left from my service is my ribbons....And a couple pairs of coveralls!
I don't remember if we had patches made or not. They definitely weren't as good as yours. I'm not sure what the "yin yang" camera signifies but it's an icon from your time.
02-23-2011, 03:40 PM   #386
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Life in the Field

I thought I'd post a few pix again today. Again, these are not shots I took, but shots made by either DASPO teams or Marine Corps Photographers.
If nothing else, they pretty well sum up the Life of a Grunt!
The machine gun team shown, is (I'm pretty sure) a Marine unit. The M60 was the heavy firepower of most infantry units. It fired a 7.62 round at a rate of (I think) 650 rounds per minute. In most of my experience, everyone in the squad or platoon would carry at least one or two bandoliers of linked ammo, cuz' the gunner would always need MORE AMMO!
Wading the River: What you've got here folks is the reality of being in the field. Bear in mind that the water these guys are wading is pretty minimal. I've waded water chest deep a time or two. Now ya' gotta keep you weapons, and critical equipment OUT of the water. We had to deal with the weapons, and then ya' got a camera, lenses and film that you better damned well keep dry.
Slogging thru Mud: This picture illustrates another reality in Vietnam ..... MUD! During the monsoon season, the whole damned country was like this. I remember shooting pictures of a deuce and a half (that was stuck up to the axle in mud. Walking in that crap will take the vinegar out of ya' pretty quick.
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02-23-2011, 04:24 PM   #387
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Wading through - mud!

Not pictures to brighten the day of a volunteer forces recruiter, eh?

One thing I was always thankful for - I never encountered one mosquito bite or leach while airborne or aboard ship!

H2
02-26-2011, 02:18 AM   #388
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Bob, Thank you for the additional pics. I've been following your thread for a long time and sure do enjoy each entry.

I've never been to Vietnam. But from living in the tropics, I can tell your readers that you really don't want to wade in any water if you can help it. There are all sorts of nasty little insects, bacteria, creatures, snakes.... all with their special ways to torment you from itching, to infection, to serious illness...

Every time I see our military wading through water -- which had to be done -- I just cringe. Personally, I'd rather be involved in a firefight on dry land than have to wade chest deep through muddy water. At least you had buddies along to help pick off the leaches.

Thanks again for the new entries and addl photos!
02-26-2011, 10:15 AM   #389
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QuoteOriginally posted by yucatanPentax Quote
Bob, Thank you for the additional pics. I've been following your thread for a long time and sure do enjoy each entry.

I've never been to Vietnam. But from living in the tropics, I can tell your readers that you really don't want to wade in any water if you can help it. There are all sorts of nasty little insects, bacteria, creatures, snakes.... all with their special ways to torment you from itching, to infection, to serious illness...

Every time I see our military wading through water -- which had to be done -- I just cringe. Personally, I'd rather be involved in a firefight on dry land than have to wade chest deep through muddy water. At least you had buddies along to help pick off the leaches.

Thanks again for the new entries and addl photos!
OR DEATH! They had snakes over there that could really screw up your medical records! And leeches ...... OMG I freaked out when those damned things got on me. But we had to get the job done and muckin' about in the water was just another occupational hazard.
As a side note here, ya'll are more than welcome to message me through my Facebook page.
03-11-2011, 03:43 PM   #390
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45 years and Still Rememberin'

Ever since we started this thread (over a year ago), I've been constantly amazed at how I can remember the details of nearly all the photos I've posted! Details regarding our location, the specific unit, and things that happened while there .... it all still blows my mind.
I've a few shots that I scanned last week and am just now getting time to put them up.

1. Guard Tower: Towers like these surrounded the perimeter at our main base at An Khe. They were constantly manned and always on the lookout for any sign of trouble. Beyond the wire, Agent Orange had been sprayed and there was no living foilage for perhaps 200 maters out! That stuff killed any living plant it was on.

2. Helicopter in Flight: When I see a photo like this it reminds me of the fact that you just "couldn't beat the view from up there". the view when going to or from a location in a helicopter is something that is hard to explain.

3. M-60 Machine Gun: When we did locate the enemy and needed to "light his ass up", this was one of the weapons of choice! It would put 7.62 rounds downrange at an incredible rate. The venerable M-60 was often a very deciding factor in an infantry fight.

4. Sully (Sullivan): Everybody called him "Sully", but if I remember correctly his name was Sullivan. I can't remember if he was an Aussie, or a Kiwi, but he was a real "hardcore" soldier. Like me, he was a few years older than most, and took a liking to me. He always made fun of me cuz' I hated them damned rations they had ........... Corned Mutton and TEA! I couldn't hardly choke the crap down. Anyway, Sully was my friend, and is one of the reasons I always think about my Aussie and Kiwi buddies on Long Tan Day ........ if ya' don't know what that is, Google It, ya' might learn something.

I gotta get off here for now, but will return in a few days. Thanks to all of you who contribute to, and read this thread!
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