Vietnam War photos still powerful nearly 50 years later

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. Horst Faas / AP

Photographers with The Associated Press were responsible for many, if not most, of the iconic images of the Vietnam War, from Nick Ut's picture of a young girl fleeing a napalm attack to Eddie Adams' shocking picture of the execution of a suspected Viet Cong prisoner. These images are still powerful nearly half a century later and a new book and exhibition, "Vietnam: The Real War, A Photographic History by the Associated Press," includes these and other well-known images. But a photograph can sometimes have its most visceral impact on its first viewing and there are many pictures in the collection that still retain the sting of the unfamiliar. We have a small selection here of pictures you may or may not recall that represent some of the courageous efforts of photojournalists in a war whose scars are still felt today. 

GRAPHIC WARNING: Contains images which some viewers may find disturbing. 

Medic Thomas Cole of Richmond, Virginia, looks up with his one unbandaged eye as he continues to treat wounded S.Sgt. Harrison Pell of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, during a firefight, January 30, 1966. The men belonged to the 1st Cavalry Division, which was engaged in a battle at An Thi, in the Central Highlands, against combined Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces. This photo appeared on the cover of Life magazine, February 11, 1966, and photographer Henri Huet's coverage of An Thi received the Robert Capa Gold Medal from the Overseas Press Club. Huet was killed in 1971 when the helicopter he was traveling in with several other photographers was shot down over Laos. Henri Huet / AP
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. Horst Faas / AP
A female Viet Cong suspect is questioned at gunpoint by a South Vietnamese national police officer at Tam Ky, about 350 miles north of Saigon, November 1967. The M-16 rifle was held by a U.S. soldier during an operation of the 101st Airborne Brigade, searching villages of the coastal plains for suspected Viet Cong enclaves. AP
Soldiers of the U.S. 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment are silhouetted atop their tank by the glare of tracer bullets in Cambodia on July 6, 1970. In an exercise known as Mad Minute, they spray the area around them, possibly infiltrated by enemy patrols, before they move on. Henri Huet / AP
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. Henri Huet / AP
A U.S. infantryman from A Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry carries a crying child from Cam Xe village after dropping a phosphorous grenade into a bunker cleared of civilians during an operation near the Michelin rubber plantation northwest of Saigon, August 22, 1966. A platoon of the 1st Infantry Division raided the village, looking for snipers that had inflicted casualties on the platoon. GIs rushed about 40 civilians out of the village before artillery bombardment ensued. Horst Faas / AP
Young Vietnamese on motorbikes stop to look at a Viet Cong killed in the western section of Saigon, Cholon, during day-long fighting on May 5, 1968. A group of Viet Cong moved into the area following an mortar barrage on different parts of the city. Eddie Adams / AP
A GI gets a closeup photo as President Nixon meets with troops of the 1st Infantry Division at Di An, 12 miles northeast of Saigon, on his eighth visit to South Vietnam and his first as president, on July 30, 1969. During his stopover, Nixon also met with Nguyen Van Thieu, the South Vietnamese president, to discuss U.S. troop withdrawals and with senior military commanders to review tactics in the Vietnam War. Bob Daugherty / AP
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 on April 29, 1975. The helicopter had carried Vietnamese fleeing Saigon as North Vietnamese forces closed in on the capital. JT / AP
A corpsman (an enlisted soldier trained to give first aid and minor medical treatment) tries to help wounded Marines in Vietnam in Sept. 1966. Horst Faas / AP

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