Acres of burning oil - Fire suppressing foam versus acres of burning oil drums. This was a dangerous environment as the super heated barrels would split and sent flaming oil and metal fragments high into the air. Aside from the aluminized helmet and protective gloves this fireman is dressed in cotton fatigues.
The 45 pistol is worn in the small of the back to protect ammo from radiated heat.
Aerial view of the AnKhe fire - Aerial photo shot either by Spec 4 Ken Slosberg or myself. Same fire as the previous four photos. VC rockets fired in the middle of the night started this blaze. Some barrels would split and fly into the air. One reason we are not flying closer.
Guarding mountain passes in Vietnam - A "duster" originally designed as a as an antiaircraft weapon guards against ground attack so supplies can continue to flow between Qui Nhon and Pleiku. Photo copyright Roger Hawkins 1968
Pinned downed and calling for close air support - Photo taken of an infantry captain and his radio operator coordinating close air support during operation Lamar Plain in Vietnam. Bombs were dropped close enough to send a few small fragments skidding across the porch of this old plantation building.
Over the hill and to grandmothers house we go. - This photograph was recently selected for inclusion in the "Art of the American Soldier" showing at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA.
During Operation Lamar Plain in Mid 1969 I was photographing the 101st Airborne when we ran into a company sized enemy force in bunkers on the far side of a rice paddy. After these guys ran across there was just me and the thump gunner who covered me as I ran across.
Death in the Afternoon - 1969, Operation Lamar Plain, Vietnam with elements of the 101st Airborne. I felt obligated to join the fight, but my M16 broke so I went back to my real job, documenting the war at the "tip of the spear."
All you can do is hold his hand - This is silent film shot inside a medivac chopper that shakes like a washing machine on spin cycle. The exposure time per frame is longer than a 50th of a second so the focus is soft, but the emotion is still sharp. This GI is fighting for life and the medic is feeling his pain.
Discovery Channel - Dustoff Helicopter Ambulance Operations Over Vietnam This scene filmed by Roger Hawkins
Long Range Recon Patrol west of AnKhe - A poop and snoop mission with LRRPs of the 173rd Airborne Brigade west of AnKhe. A brigade is large, but we were just five men wandering around in the jungle. Photographed in a helicopter flying through the low overcast toward a jungle covered mountain top.
LRRP team 173rd Airborne - Somewhere in the mountains west of AnKhe. Five of us sat in the jungle and watched day and night. One night a company sized VC unit carrying flashlights moved through the jungle below. Sgt. Brocatto pulled a poncho over us and gave map coordinates to the artillery (I served as a tent pole). Strange feeling to listen to shells whistle overhead and then see the orange flash. You watch with one eye only to preserve your night vision.
Camouflage at work - In those days I could climb a tree. Stomach problems had me down to around 120 pounds. The Sgt. wanted to see into the valley the next day after we pounded the VC with artillery. When I got up the tree he asked me what I saw, and I answered "more trees." On the ground we found nothing. No body parts, no blood trails. Ranging artillery in thick jungle at night is uncertain business as you have no depth perception.
LRRP of the 173rd Airborne laying low in the jungle - Five man LRRP patrol sets up on a jungled mountain side to monitor the enemy's night activity on the approach to the 173rd Airborne's base at An Khe, Vietnam. Third night out we caught 50 plus enemy using flash lights to move through the jungle below us. The Sgt. called in artillery and at first light we moved to the helicopter pickup point.
How do you do an inflight closeup? - The medevac chopper is in flight and I am outside shooting a motion picture. My feet are on the skids and my body is more or less restrained by the loop of a very very long seat belt. Soon the slipstream pinned me to the edge of the huey and the crew chief had to reach out for my camera first and then grab my hand an pull me in.
The film was used by Discovery Channel Wings in the making of "Dustoff: Helicopter Ambulance Operations over Vietnam."