One of the most controversial wars in American history is the Vietnam War. It was a proxy war fought between US troops and USSR-alliedVietnam. The main goal of the war was to liberate the Vietnamese people from a tyrannical communist government, but it ended in disappointment for the US. Although “War Is Hell,” photographers managed to snap some amazing pictures of troops in the Southeast Asian country. This is our list of the top 20 cool pictures that came straight from Vietnam during the conflict.
Soldier Saving a Puppy
Dogs are a part of the family, and they’re cute to boot. This picture shows an American soldier pulling a puppy from its hiding spot in an underground cave. It’s unclear whether this puppy would become one of the mascots and soldiers of the US army after it was saved.
Soldier Shouldering an M-60 and Smoking a Cigar
A lot of the pictures of soldiers basically show just how badass the men who fought for the country were. The man in shades smoking a cigar while carrying an M-60 is just one of several people who had nothing to fear but fear itself.
Christmas Time, 1967
Through history, wars have been put on hold for Christmas time. In World War I, French and German soldiers laid their arms to rest to play a friendly game of soccer before resuming battle the following day. In this picture, these soldiers are leaving a message to their Vietnamese counterparts asking for a temporary truce. We’re not sure whether the Viet Cong understood the message.
Carlos Hathcock Posing for the Camera
Carlos Hathcock was a celebrated sniper collected a confirmed kill count of 93 people. He became a legend in the US Marine Corps for his leadership and bravado. He passed away on February 22, 1999, but he is still regarded as a legend to this day.
Helicopters Taking Flight
The choppers in the air have just unloaded their precious cargo (soldiers and weaponry) and are heading back to the station. The guys on the ground are having a quick chat before their helicopters are ordered to return to base. This image is just one of the thousands of pictures taken that show how many choppers filled the skies.
Soldiers Dropped Off in Vietnam
The ground infantry in this picture has recently been dropped off by their choppers. They’re heading into the woods while the helicopters are making their way back to base. The helicopters were armed with machine guns but couldn’t do much in the thick jungles where the majority of battles were fought.
Chinook Helicopter Carrying Supplies
This picture shows a Chinook Helicopter flying away into the sun. The chopper carries supplies such as ammo and rations from base to base. The soldiers on the ground relied on these transport choppers for sustenance, but they couldn’t do much in battle.
Shouldering an M-16 and a Guitar
Sometimes we forget that the people drafted into the US army were regular people with talents, hobbies, and aspirations to become musicians or doctors. In this picture, we see a mix between Rambo and Elvis Presley. We hope he jammed long into the night to keep his soldier buddies entertained.
Shooting an Enflamed Arrow at a Bamboo Hut
This picture shows a soldier firing an arrow at a hut where Viet Cong soldiers sought refuge during the night. We didn’t know that soldiers had to go through bow and arrow training prior to being sent off to war.
Manning a Machine Gun
Machine guns are hardly the type of weapon you can carry in both arms and carry. This picture shows a machine gun crew practicing on targets. The soldiers not helping with the bullets or the trigger seem bored out of their minds.
Feeding a Puppy
Once again, we see a soldier feeding an abandoned puppy he most likely found in the wild. Dogs helped greatly during the Vietnam War by giving moral support and even delivering ammo between soldiers. Hopefully, this soldier and puppy made it out of the war together.
Soldier and Monkey
Dogs were extremely helpful. Monkeys, on the other hand, were just for show. It’s not every day that Americans can shoulder primates, but perhaps in the jungles of Vietnam, it’s an everyday occurrence. This soldier seems both excited and a little bit intimidated by his furry friend.
Soldiers Listening for Updates through the Radio
Listening to the radio was one of the ways US soldiers could entertain themselves. In this picture, we see a group of soldiers gathering around a wireless radio listening in for updates on how the war is going. Most likely, they still had a few more years left in their operation before packing up and heading home.
Soldier Posing with a Captured AK-47
The AK-47 was designed by the Soviet Union and is still used today. Capturing an AK-47 wasn’t that big a deal, especially since it was the main firearm used by practically every gun-wielding soldier of Vietnam, but it’s still an impressive picture.
Smoking Soldier Carrying an M-60
Again, we have a badass smoking a cigar staring at the camera while carrying an M-60 machine gun. The buildings and hills in the background suggest that he was somewhere in a liberated Vietnamese village when the picture was taken.
Jumping Off Fuel Drums before Take Off
The fuel drums were transported from base to base via helicopter. In this picture, the airman is jumping off the drums before they’re lifted off the ground. His job was to ensure that the expensive fuel drums were secured and could withstand the turbulent flight back to base.
Everybody eats breakfasts, including soldiers who need to stay healthy and strong for battle. Bread, beans, and milk were a common breakfast among the numerous troops stationed in Southeast Asia. It probably got boring after a while, but nutrition is much more important than taste.
You’re probably thinking that the music will attract Vietnamese soldiers who can plan an ambush around the military base, but that wasn’t the case here. As we said earlier, many of these soldiers had hidden talents, and they were even allowed to bring their instruments to entertain their superiors and brothers in arms.
Monkey Getting a Free Ride
Those mooching monkeys asking for free rides from military personnel! This picture shows a smiling man shouldering a monkey that’s grasping the “reins” tightly as to not fall off. The monkey probably skedaddled as soon as the battle started, but that was fine since they couldn’t be trained to deliver messages.
Cheering Troops on Hamburger Hill
The Battle of Hamburger Hill was fought by US troops alongside Southern Vietnam against Northern Vietnamese soldiers. The hill itself had very little strategic value, but US commanders ordered their soldiers to take hold of the hill. It was abandoned only two weeks after it was secured.