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Iconic photos from the Vietnam War

Thirty-five years ago on April 30th the war in Vietnam ended with the fall of Saigon to communist troops from the north. Toronto Star photo editors share some of the war's gripping images.

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Paratroopers of the U.S. 2nd Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade hold their automatic weapons above water as they cross a river in the rain during a search for Viet Cong positions in the jungle area of Ben Cat, South Vietnam. Sept. 25, 1965 (AP Photo/Henri Huet, File)

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Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh, northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border, in Vietnam. March 1965 (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

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A U.S. Army soldier wears a hand lettered "War Is Hell" slogan on his helmet, in Vietnam. June 18, 1965  (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

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Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take cover from intense Viet Cong fire at Bao Trai, about 20 miles west of Saigon, Vietnam. Jan. 1, 1966 (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

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U.S. Army helicopters providing support for U.S. ground troops  fly into a staging area fifty miles northeast of Saigon, Vietnam. 1966 (AP Photo/Henri Huet, File)

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Medic James E. Callahan of  Pittsfield, Mass., treats a U.S. infantryman who suffered a head wound when a Viet Cong bullet pierced his helmet during a three-hour battle in war zone D, about 50 miles northeast of Saigon. June 17, 1967 (AP Photo/Henri Huet, File)

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South Vietnamese Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the national police, fires his pistol into the head of suspected Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem, also known as Bay Lop, on a Saigon street, early in the Tet Offensive. Feb. 1, 1968 (AP Photo/Eddie Adams, File)

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A South Vietnamese woman mourns over the body of her husband, found with 47 others in a mass grave near Hue, Vietnam. April 1969 (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

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Nine year old Kim Phuc runs down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack. June 8, 1972  (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

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Released prisoner of war Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm is greeted by his family at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., as he returns home from the Vietnam War. March 17, 1973 file photo (AP Photo/Sal Veder, File)

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People try to scale the 14-foot wall of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, trying to reach evacuation helicopters, as the last of the Americans depart from Vietnam. April 29, 1975 (AP Photo/Neal Ulevich, File)

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U.S. Navy personnel aboard the USS Blue Ridge push a helicopter into the sea off the coast of Vietnam in order to make room for more evacuation flights from Saigon. April 29, 1975 (AP Photo/File)


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"War is hell". Damn straight.

war is a terrible thing

I'm glad to see the photo of Than Thi Kim Phuc - a photo that is often credited for bringing on the end of the American War in Viet Nam. She is now a proud Canadian living in Ajax, Ontario and the mother of several children. She embodies forgiveness ever since she met with the pilot who dropped that napalm on her village. It was mistaken for a rebel stronghold. I wish her long life and much happiness despite the burns that still affect her all these many years later.

Who cares? The whole thing was a pointless waste of human life, and the US lost it anyway.

The images of Vietnam still haunt me and I was only 15 when the war ended. Thank you for publishing the famous photo of Kim Phuc. She has been a resident of Toronto for many years, I heard her speak of her ordeal some years ago and I could not stop weeping. And that's hard for a man to do under any circumstance.

Nice snaps.. Really great, one thing though, US had lost this war, didn't it?

I don't believe anyone mentioned here that the US won the war, did they? Is that a prerequisite for posting the pictures?

I am Vietnamese and I have witness alots more of the horrible scene 'The Buddish Monks burned alive in protest, a villager stepped on a mine blew him self up, A chief of police executed the VC soldier Ect.......".

No one lost in the war, only the innocent people that lost. When do we going to learn ? Did we see in World war 1 and 2, The Holocaust, Vietnam War, Kosovo, Middle East Ect.............., what War do to all of us.

Stop the War, stop hatred, stop the racism, this only cause more lives of innocent people because someone want to has power over other, learn to LOVE, and RESPECT one another, learn to see each other as human being not the colour on their skin.

These pictures bring back memories of my fellow Quebec City high school cadet band member Richard Dextraze; killed by an 'incoming' on April 23, 1969. Time flies and yet the memories remain fresh.

I am a Vietnamese and I am tired with these photos. There are many photos of the hell in VN after the war, about people tortured to dead in labour camps, people shot dead when try to escape the country, and no western meadia captured them and show them, why? because you don't see them. God! please stop talking about the war 35 year ago and let talk about the hell in VN right now.

Let tell the true of VN after the war, the whole thing, not just half of the true that you see. If you want to know about VN war, please talk to boat people. Ther are thousands of them, please talk to them.


"Who cares? The whole thing was a pointless waste of human life, and the US lost it anyway."

The causes of WWI could be considered useless in many ways, but it doesn't make it any less important that it either be remembered or at least seen by people. I think that many of these Vietnam images have become much more well known than a vast majority of WWI/WWII images because there were many young people fighting in a war they didn't believe in along with it being one of the first wars to be streamed live (or fairly so) to homes far away from the fighting. I find many images from Vietnam to be very provocative and powerful, while the photos from earlier wars don't seem to have the same intensity (I'm not biased towards either since I was born the year the Berlin Wall fell down ;) )

in politics the US lost but in reality no every really wins a war, everyone losses

I have a friend who would like to include the photo of Than Thi Kim Phuc in a book he is writing and would like to know who holds copyright on this - hipe someone can answer this - thank you

One of my fav picks of all time is when Robert Strim getting greeted by his family at fairfield. I saw that image right after it happened and I think about about it from time to time

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