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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 U.S. Marine leads training on a shooting range in France in an undated photo taken during the First World War. (Photo by Reuters/Courtesy Library of Congress)

A U.S. Marine leads training on a shooting range in France in an undated photo taken during the First World War. (Photo by Reuters/Courtesy Library of Congress)
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10 Apr 2017 08:55:00
Wally Collins holds a bust of author Ernest Hemingway after winning the 2014 “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest in this handout photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Florida July 19, 2014. Collins, a Phoenix resident, won the title on his sixth try during the event that was the highlight of Key West's annual Hemingway Days festival. (Photo by Andy Newman/Reuters/Florida Keys News Bureau)

Wally Collins holds a bust of author Ernest Hemingway after winning the 2014 “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest in this handout photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Florida July 19, 2014. Collins, a Phoenix resident, won the title on his sixth try during the event that was the highlight of Key West's annual Hemingway Days festival. (Photo by Andy Newman/Reuters/Florida Keys News Bureau)
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22 Jul 2014 11:48:00
Brett Gardner #11of the New York Yankees dives into second base on the back end of an attempted double during the first inning in a MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on September 3, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  Gardner was tagged out on  the play. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Brett Gardner #11of the New York Yankees dives into second base on the back end of an attempted double during the first inning in a MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on September 3, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Gardner was tagged out on the play. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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06 Sep 2014 11:53:00
Members of the grounds crew try to catch a cat that got loose on the field during the eighth inning between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 2, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Members of the grounds crew try to catch a cat that got loose on the field during the eighth inning between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 2, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
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10 Aug 2021 09:53:00
This photo of an elephant seal and Gentoo penguin shot by Andrew James in Yankee Harbour, Antarctica. (Photo by Andrew James/Travel Photographer of the Year)

This photo of an elephant seal and Gentoo penguin shot by Andrew James in Yankee Harbour, Antarctica. (Photo by Andrew James/Travel Photographer of the Year)
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12 Apr 2019 00:05:00
A sculptural artwork depicting former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and headless presidents shot by a hooded high school student (not pictured) is seen at the Contemporary Art Museum in Santiago, December 2, 2014. (Photo by Ivan Alvarado/Reuters)

A sculptural artwork depicting former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and headless presidents shot by a hooded high school student (not pictured) is seen at the Contemporary Art Museum in Santiago, December 2, 2014. The artwork, part of the “El ladrillo angular” (The angular brick) exhibition, portrays a student fighting against the ongoing continuity of dictatorship because of a political and economic system which has been impossible to destroy, according to “Papas Fritas” the artwork's creator. (Photo by Ivan Alvarado/Reuters)
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03 Dec 2014 14:45:00
Sakia Corona, 8, (C) takes part in a rehearsal of the Contemporary Haitian Dance in a communal center in downtown Havana January 30, 2015. (Photo by Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters)

Sakia Corona, 8, (C) takes part in a rehearsal of the Contemporary Haitian Dance in a communal center in downtown Havana January 30, 2015. Nearly 25 people, from the Haitian Contemporary Dance Company Petit Fey or Small Leaf, in Haitian Creole, rehearse a play called Papa Guede for future presentations in Havana. (Photo by Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters)
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02 Feb 2015 10:04:00