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Man your battle stations: The crew chief of helicopter Yankee Papa 13, lance corporal James C. Farley, mans an M-60 machine gun during a mission near Da Nang, Vietnam on March 31, 1965. (Photo by Larry Burrows/Time & Life Pictures)

In the spring of 1965, within weeks of 3,500 American Marines arriving in Vietnam, a 39-year-old Briton named Larry Burrows began work on a feature for LIFE magazine, chronicling the day-to-day experience of U.S. troops on the ground – and in the air – in the midst of the rapidly widening war. The photographs in this gallery focus on a calamitous March 31, 1965, helicopter mission; Burrows’ “report from Da Nang”, featuring his pictures and his personal account of the harrowing operation, was published two weeks later as a now-famous cover story in the April 16, 1965, issue of LIFE.

Photo: Man your battle stations: The crew chief of helicopter Yankee Papa 13, lance corporal James C. Farley, mans an M-60 machine gun during a mission near Da Nang, Vietnam on March 31, 1965. (Photo by Larry Burrows/Time & Life Pictures)
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07 Apr 2013 07:08:00


A model showcases designs by Antonia Paris during the Women's RTW 3 catwalk during Rosemount Australian Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011/12 at Overseas Passenger Terminal on May 5, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)
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09 May 2011 10:02:00
A model showcases designs by Isola by Megan Gale on the catwalk at the David Jones Spring/Summer 2011

A model showcases designs by Isola by Megan Gale on the catwalk at the David Jones Spring/Summer 2011 season launch at the Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park on August 3, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
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05 Aug 2011 09:10:00
China Celebrates The Year Of The Dragon Spring Festival

Chinese folk artists perform the lion dance at a temple fair to celebrate the Lunar New Year of Dragon on January 22, 2012 in Beijing, China. Falling on January 23 this year, the Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, which is based on the Lunisolar Chinese calendar, is celebrated from the first day of the first month of the lunar year and ends with Lantern Festival on the Fifteenth day. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
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23 Jan 2012 10:13:00
An Egyptian actress working at the Pharaonic Village simulates ancient agriculture scenes during a show marking Sham el-Nessim, or “smelling the breeze”, in Giza, Egypt, Monday, April 13, 2015. (Photo by Amr Nabil/AP Photo)

An Egyptian actress working at the Pharaonic Village simulates ancient agriculture scenes during a show marking Sham el-Nessim, or “smelling the breeze”, in Giza, Egypt, Monday, April 13, 2015. The holiday signifies the arrival of Spring, a uniquely Egyptian tradition practiced since the days of the Pharaohs. (Photo by Amr Nabil/AP Photo)
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14 Apr 2015 11:31:00
Japanese macaques are relaxed in an outdoor hot spring bath at Hakodate Tropical Botanical Garden on December 1, 2016 in Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Japanese macaques are relaxed in an outdoor hot spring bath at Hakodate Tropical Botanical Garden on December 1, 2016 in Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan. The garden offers the hot spring treatment to macaques until May next year. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
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02 Dec 2016 11:37:00
Models pose backstage Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Models pose backstage at the Boy and Girl by Band of Outsiders Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on September 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images)
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11 Sep 2011 11:04:00
A model walks the runway at the Hakaan Spring Summer 2012 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week

A model walks the runway at the Hakaan Spring Summer 2012 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week on October 4, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Nathalie Lagneau/Catwalking/Getty Images)
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06 Oct 2011 13:01:00