05-05-15

'Vietnam: The Real War,' a photo history by AP

Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine-gun fire into the tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops as they attack a Viet Cong camp eighteen miles north of Tay Ninh, near the Cambodian border, March 1965. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

An exhibition in London by the Associated Press is currently showcasing some of the most striking images taken by photographers during the Vietnam War.

To cover the Vietnam War, the Associated Press gathered an extraordinary group of superb photojournalists in its Saigon bureau, creating one of the great photographic legacies of the 20th century. From Malcolm Browne's photograph of the burning monk to Nick Ut's famous picture of a nine-year-old running from a Napalm attack, these photographs capture the experience and tragedy of people caught in a war of insurgency in which everyone was suspect.

Severely burned in an aerial napalm attack, children run screaming for help down Route 1 near Trang Bang, followed by soldiers of the South Vietnamese army's 25th Division, June 8, 1972. A South Vietnamese plane seeking Viet Cong hiding places accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on civilians and government troops instead. Nine-year-old Kim Phuc (center) had ripped off her burning clothes while fleeing. The other children (from left) are her brothers Phan Thanh Tam, who lost an eye, and Phan Thanh Phouc, and her cousins Ho Van Bon and Ho Thi Ting. This photograph by AP staffer Nick Ut received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)


A U.S. paratrooper wounded in the battle for Hamburger Hill grimaces in pain as he awaits medical evacuation at base camp near the Laotian border, May 19, 1969. (AP Photo/Hugh Van Es)

The body of a U.S. paratrooper killed in action in the jungle near the Cambodian border is lifted up to an evacuation helicopter in War Zone C, May 14, 1966. The zone, encompassing the city of Tay Ninh and the surrounding area north of Saigon, was the site of the Viet Cong's headquarters in South Vietnam. (AP Photo/Henri Huet)

"The Vietnam War left its mark on AP, taking the lives of four of our photographers, but we made an unprecedented commitment to report on it," said Santiago Lyon, AP's director of photography. "Thanks to an uncensored press the world saw more of this war than any other. This exhibit now allows an even wider audience access to the photographic record of the tragedy of it."

Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take cover from intense Viet Cong fire, January 1, 1966. Paratroopers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade (background) escorted the civilians through a series of firefights during the U.S. assault on a Viet Cong stronghold at Bao Trai, about twenty miles west of Saigon. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

 An unidentified American soldier wears a hand-lettered slogan on his helmet, June 1965. The soldier was serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade on defense duty at the Phuoc Vinh airfield. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

Vietnam: The Real War, A Photographic History by The Associated Press runs until the end of May 2015 and is open each day from 10.00 to 18.00. Admission is free.

Guardian News & Media Gallery
90 York Way
King's Cross
London N1 9GU