Vietnam's Untold Stories: A New Perspective Through Rare Photographs

March 29, 2024

Army Nurse Kate O'Hare Palmer

Think you've seen the Vietnam War? While there are certain iconic images from this most controversial conflict, there are many others you haven't seen. Whether they're old to you or new, these Vietnam War photos look fresh thanks to colorization technology. These moments of tenderness, celebration, solemnity and ingenuity are must-sees for history fans. The joy of a USO show to the passion of protest, they run the gamut of emotions. Did you know that the youngest soldier to die was just 15? Or that Pat Sajak served? What about the snakes -- have you seen the giant snakes that were all over the jungles of Vietnam? Young Americans found themselves in an eerie, surprising place, fighting an elusive foe in an unprecedented kind of combat -- and it happened in our lifetime.

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While we mostly think of men serving in the military during Vietnam, there were plenty of women who put their lives on the line as well. Kate O’Hare-Palmer served in Vietnam as a nurse for the U.S. Army. She not only dodged enemy fire, but dealt with some of the worst parts of war -- trying to save troops who were far beyond saving.

During the war O’Hare-Palmer worked in two field hospitals where she saw the worst of the worst, but managed to make it back home intact. Today she’s chair of the Women Veterans Committee of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Marines Helping Americans Escape Saigon

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In this picture, we can see a group of newly arrived US Marines, with a sense of urgency, rushing to secure the area surrounding the Defense Attache Office in Tan Son Nhut, located in Saigon. The mission was of utmost importance as it aimed to evacuate the remaining Americans from the area.

On April 30, 1975, the North Vietnamese Army captured the city of Saigon, effectively ending the Vietnam War. The event was marked by the iconic image of a US Marine helicopter evacuating people from the rooftop of the US Embassy in Saigon. The fall of Saigon resulted in the reunification of North and South Vietnam under communist rule.