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The Vietnam War like you've never seen it
March 25, 2013 4:38 PM   Subscribe

In 1967, Charlie Haughey was drafted into the United States Army and was assigned to work as a photographer, tasked with taking morale-boosting pictures of service members. He shot over 2,000 images, the vast majority of which were never published and languished in boxes and envelopes. Until now.

On April 5, a show with 28 of his images called "A Weather Walked In" will open at ADX Art Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

Facebook link.
posted by gkhan (43 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite

 
Those pictures are haunting.
posted by COD at 4:56 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Those are fascinating images, thanks for finding this.
posted by HuronBob at 5:14 PM on March 25, 2013


Flickr link

Wow. These are powerful.
posted by elmer benson at 5:21 PM on March 25, 2013


any relation?
posted by mwhybark at 5:45 PM on March 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


Ha. The matches haven't changed a bit.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:45 PM on March 25, 2013


Awesome-slash-heartbreaking. Thanks.
posted by Rykey at 5:53 PM on March 25, 2013


any relation?

To me? No, not at all, I just came upon The Big Picture collection of photos and was incredibly struck by them, and felt like it was something worth sharing.
posted by gkhan at 5:55 PM on March 25, 2013


Wow indeed. Thanks for this.
posted by languagehat at 5:55 PM on March 25, 2013


I wish I could see all of them. I sent the link to my dad. He'll be wanting to look through these I'm sure.
posted by PuppyCat at 6:12 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


any relation?

To me? No, not at all


I think he means to Matt Haughey.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:15 PM on March 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think he means to Matt Haughey.

Oh, that makes much more sense!
posted by gkhan at 6:21 PM on March 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


These are really good. I wonder what he's got going on with the lens in #32?
posted by scose at 6:23 PM on March 25, 2013


Speaking of 32, the little girl's smile, fourth from right, is precious.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:33 PM on March 25, 2013


Puppycat, the folks who helped go through the negatives are hoping to eventually compile things into a book, so a lot more of these images will see the light of day.

Charlie's got a lot of great stories, and this is an amazing project.
posted by redsparkler at 6:39 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are great. Just one man's view of the world around him, lacking editorial or jingoistic nonsense that would detract from the vision.
posted by jsavimbi at 6:52 PM on March 25, 2013


Man, I wonder how many bars Matt gets in those rice paddies.
posted by crapmatic at 6:53 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


SSgt Bledsoe holding the sick baby nearly brought me to tears.

Fucking war.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:55 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


# 40 "An alert, young M60 machine gun operator in the jungle" is maybe on of the best photographs I've ever seen. This guy had a startlingly good eye.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:22 PM on March 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


These men are my generation and I am so very proud of every one of them. Thank you for the photos and thank you a thousand times over to everyone who was in that war.
posted by aryma at 7:23 PM on March 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Damn it, I knew I was going to cry but I had to look. I was afraid I'd see someone I knew. I was with the 242 ASH Co (Assault Support Helicopter Company). at Cu Chi in 1968. Our Chinook helicopters flew support for the 25th Infantry Division.

I have a few pictures, including one of me near the EOD pit with my hand on one of a bunch of captured 125mm rockets. My job title was Crash Rescue Specialist. My actual duties were essentially being a fireman on a fire truck sitting near the flight line. The memories of learning about the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King are as deeply imprinted in my mind as any others from that time. I read a lot, smoked a lot of weed and wrote a bit.

I'm greatly appreciative of those people who were fighting to preserve our right to freedom of speech by participating in anti war protests while I was part of the war machine.

I've had a few difficulties but overall have mended well and been successful in rejoining society. I want to look more carefully at Charlie's great pictures. Maybe sometime I can see them all.
posted by X4ster at 7:29 PM on March 25, 2013 [40 favorites]


Because I have nowhere else to share this (and because I know no one else who has read it), for those interested in the Vietnam War, The Fall of Saigon by David Butler is an excellent read.

Butler, who passed away recently, provides an American "new journalism" perspective on the war without the Michael Herr gun ho posturing, and it is damn good reporting and writing. Since he was a reporter working among reporters, many of the events in the book were documented on the evening news and are available on YouTube.

Just thought I would recommend the book - I picked it up on a whim for two bucks at a used bookstore and it's one the best books I've ever read.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:30 PM on March 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Thank you for these, powerful indeed.
posted by odinsdream at 7:44 PM on March 25, 2013


This portrait is beautiful. Made me cry.
posted by rtha at 8:02 PM on March 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Great find. Thanks for the post.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:42 PM on March 25, 2013


Yeah, #40. Children. We sent children to fight a proxy war against a bogieman.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:43 PM on March 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I fail to see how any thinking, rational human being could continue to throw young lives away in wars against imaginary enemies and lost causes after viewing these and other war pictures. Except for the Chinook picking up the disabled Huey, which is very cool, the rest of these pics are just heartbreaking.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 9:06 PM on March 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Really moving. Thanks for the post.
posted by gt2 at 9:48 PM on March 25, 2013


Damn, I've got that very same Minolta.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:51 PM on March 25, 2013


We sent children to fight a proxy war against a bogieman.

Still doing it today, too, which is a great shame. Back when Vietnam ended, I thought (yeah, I really did) that young men weren't gonna fall for that shit anymore. But now, hey, it's like Vietnam never happened.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:02 PM on March 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


These are amazing photos. Thanks for sharing them.

My dad was in Vietnam during the war and took these slides of some Australian tankers shelling a distant mountain while drinking beer.
posted by dazed_one at 11:11 PM on March 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Back when Vietnam ended, I thought (yeah, I really did) that young men weren't gonna fall for that shit anymore.

I thought that, too, until I remembered that that's what everyone thought after WW1. Then Hitler and the Japanese made war acceptable again, by presenting such a clear existential threat. After that, Americans have been all too willing to accept any war that's packaged well.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:19 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like the first image here needs to be up somewhere as a work of art. And image 8.
posted by Mezentian at 6:23 AM on March 26, 2013


Also, this image shows a PFC John Kerry. I don't think it's old "Swiftboat'n out of the war" Kerry, but can someone else offer their opinion?
posted by Mezentian at 6:27 AM on March 26, 2013


SecState John Kerry was 1) an officer and 2) in the Navy, not the Army.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:32 AM on March 26, 2013


Thanks.
So much has been said about 'Nam and Swiftboats I was confused.

I wonder where that John Kerry is now?

(But I wonder if the net can fill inn many of the "unknowns" in the images.)
posted by Mezentian at 6:42 AM on March 26, 2013


I cruised through the gallery and after picking my jaw up off of the desk, sent an email to my father asking if he was in one of the photos. If it is, he most likely wouldn't want his name attached to it. Dad's proud to be a veteran, but wasn't a fan of the war. As Facebook would say, "It's complicated."

(hugs X4ster)
posted by kimberussell at 6:51 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


kimberussell, they mention in the intro to the gallery:

The difficulty of keeping notes in a war zone along with the passage of decades has faded the details behind many of the images, and the captions reflect this fact, with many shots of unknown people in forgotten locations at unspecified times. It is hoped that publication of the pictures can yield more information.

If he is, in fact, in one of the photos, I hope your father will at least consider attaching his name to it. One of the more heartbreaking things about seeing this gallery for me was the fact that almost no one in them was identified and that they would likely never know that these pictures exist or get credit for them.
posted by gkhan at 7:03 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Great post. Thank you for sharing.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:12 AM on March 26, 2013


I wonder where that John Kerry is now?

Probably spending a lot of time answering his phone.
posted by echo target at 8:31 AM on March 26, 2013


> I'm greatly appreciative of those people who were fighting to preserve our right to freedom of speech by participating in anti war protests while I was part of the war machine.

Thanks very much for that, X4ster. When I was in those protests, I tried to remind my fellow protestors that the soldiers were just like us and we should be attacking the government, not them. It always moves me when I run into vets who can reach across that divide.

> Butler, who passed away recently, provides an American "new journalism" perspective on the war without the Michael Herr gun ho posturing

Butler's book is excellent and I join in the recommendation, but your swipe at Herr is bullshit. Whether you like his style or not, Dispatches is one of the greatest pieces of war reporting ever. Why on earth do people feel they can't raise something up without trying to drag something else down at the same time?
posted by languagehat at 9:01 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Those are fine photos.
posted by doctornemo at 10:05 AM on March 26, 2013


Heard from Dad, he is NOT in the photos. He did enjoy looking through them though, so thanks for the great post, gkhan!
posted by kimberussell at 6:32 AM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Secret History of the Vietnam War
posted by homunculus at 11:52 AM on April 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


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