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A suspected Vietcong is kicked by a Vietnamese soldier holding a rifle as another soldier attempts to tie his hands on October 22, 1965. The prisoner was one of 15 captured October 21 near Xom Chua when government troops raided in the plain of reeds area. Troops killed 43 suspected Vietcong and seized some arms. (Photo by Richard Merron/AP Photo)

A suspected Vietcong is kicked by a Vietnamese soldier holding a rifle as another soldier attempts to tie his hands on October 22, 1965. The prisoner was one of 15 captured October 21 near Xom Chua when government troops raided in the plain of reeds area. Troops killed 43 suspected Vietcong and seized some arms. (Photo by Richard Merron/AP Photo)
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23 Oct 2017 07:12:00
South Vietnamese forces escort suspected Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem (also known as Bay Lop) on a Saigon street February 1, 1968, early in the Tet Offensive. Moments later, Lem was executed by Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the national police. (Photo by Eddie Adams/AP Photo)

South Vietnamese forces escort suspected Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem (also known as Bay Lop) on a Saigon street February 1, 1968, early in the Tet Offensive. Moments later, Lem was executed by Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the national police. (Photo by Eddie Adams/AP Photo)
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30 Mar 2018 00:03:00
Medic James E. Callahan of Pittsfield, Mass., gives mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a dying soldier in war zone D, about 50 miles northeast of Saigon, June 17, 1967. Thirty-one men of the 1st Infantry Division were reported killed in the guerrilla ambush, with more than 100 wounded.  (Photo by Henri Huet/AP Photo)

Medic James E. Callahan of Pittsfield, Mass., gives mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a dying soldier in war zone D, about 50 miles northeast of Saigon, June 17, 1967. Thirty-one men of the 1st Infantry Division were reported killed in the guerrilla ambush, with more than 100 wounded. (Photo by Henri Huet/AP Photo)
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27 Jun 2017 08:38:00
Vietnamese military personnel in traditional dress take part in a parade celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War which is also remembered as the fall of Saigon, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (Photo by Dita Alangkara/AP Photo)

Vietnamese military personnel in traditional dress take part in a parade celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War which is also remembered as the fall of Saigon, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (Photo by Dita Alangkara/AP Photo)
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01 May 2015 13:47:00
A US Marine leads two Viet Cong suspects in restraints during the Tet Offensive on February 20, 1967. (Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

A US Marine leads two Viet Cong suspects in restraints during the Tet Offensive on February 20, 1967. (Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)
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01 Feb 2018 07:32:00
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 weeping South Vietnamese mother and her three children are shown on the deck of this amphibious command ship being plucked out of Saigon by U.S. Marine helicopters in Vietnam, April 29, 1975. (Photo by AP Photo)

A weeping South Vietnamese mother and her three children are shown on the deck of this amphibious command ship being plucked out of Saigon by U.S. Marine helicopters in Vietnam, April 29, 1975. (Photo by AP Photo)
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01 May 2015 13:13:00