Photos US Forces

USS Canberra (CAG-2) as three gun salvo is fired toward North Vietnamese targets, March 1967, during Operation Sea Dragon. Photo from NHHC.

Crewmen in USS Canberra's (CAG-2) Main Battery Plot work to obtain firing solutions from the ship's fire control computers, during bombardment operations off Vietnam, March 1967. Photographed by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser, USN.

Chief Gunner's Mate Joseph R. Paradis, turret captain of no. 2 gun mount aboard USS Canberra (CAG-2) receives information by telephone. Photographed in March 1967 by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser.


In the early-morning hours of 6 Apr 67, the day before USS Canberra was to leave the Tonkin Gulf for an R&R in some exotic, friendly port, Seaman Apprentice Doug Hegdahl left his berth to go topside for his last chance to witness a night-firing of the ship's 8" guns. Regrettably, Hegdahl emerged from a hatch that was located under one of the turrets just as it was firing. The next thing he remembered, he was swimming in the Tonkin Gulf while the Canberra resumed it's firing mission against land targets in NVN.

Hegdahl was captured the next morning by NVN fisherman, and turned over to coastal militia. He would spend the next 2.5 years as a POW in the dungeons of Hanoi, but perhaps most important, he would become a highly regarded colleague among the majority-officer POWs that saw him in action. The NVN at first didn't believe his story, but as they didn't shoot down any planes that day, and the fact that Hegdahl looked his age (19 yrs old), they eventually became to believe he was what he appeared to be: an E-2 who fell off his ship. The NVAs mistake was to treat Hegdahl as an illiterate peasant, and he was savvy enough to play the part to the hilt. He used this ruse to serve as a key communicator, and even found opportunities to sabotage NVA equipment. Eventually, Hegdahl was ordered to accept early release from the NVN (even though he pleaded with senior officers not to accept parole), and upon his arrival in the US, provided US Intelligence representatives with a list of every known POW in the NVN prison system, a feat he achieved through memory only.

Hegdahl would go on to serve as a civilian representative to the US delegation in peace talks in Paris w/ the NVN, and he became a civilian SERE instructor at North Island NAS in San Diego. A hero to be sure!!

Vietnam War. Binh Dinh Province. c 12 February 1967 - 19 January 1968. The US Army's 1st Air Cavalry Division during Operation Pershing, a search and destroy mission on the Bong Son Plain and An Lao Valley. Photo by Patrick Christain.

Vietnam War. 16 April 1966. American troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade move down a road in Phuoc Long Province, newly cleared by soldiers of 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), on Operation Denver. Photo by William Cunneen. [AWM CUN/66/0318/VN]

Duster of IIFFV (Second Field Force Vietnam) , 5th Automatic Weapons 2nd Air Defense Artillery, Charlie battery track 212. (IIFFV 5AW2) C212.
Only unit to use "Have Guns Will Travel".
Photo by James Stevens of 221st Signal Company (SEAPC) in 1970.

Members of Co. C, 1st Bn, 8th Inf, 1st Bde, 4th Inf Div, descend the side of Hill 742, located five miles northwest of Dak To during Operation MacArthur. Date 1967-11-14-17

he 4th Infantry Division deployed from Fort Lewis to Camp Enari, Pleiku, Vietnam on 25 September 1966 and served more than four years, returning to Fort Carson, Colorado on 8 December 1970

Members of the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade map their plans for hunting the Viet Cong during jungle operations. This action took place during a series of airmobile assaults in Bien Hoa Province

Men of the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade pause for a moment's rest after the Battle of Hill 875. American troops went to the top of Hill 875 after some of the most vicious fighting of the Vietnam War. Dak To, South Vietnam. November 23, 1967

Troops of the 9th Infantry Division, nicknamed “The OLD RELIABLES,” have scored many major triumphs since launching combat operations in Vietnam during December, 1966.
The most significant achievements include numerous victories over Main Force Viet Cong and North Vietnamese units from the Demilitarized Zone to the Mekong Delta, formation of a Mobile Riverine Force and the suppression of the VC campaign during Tet.

SP4 Donald "Doc" Evans Have His Life to Save Others
SP4 Donald Evans was a member of Alpha Company, 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment (A/2/12), which was part of the 3d Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division.
In January 1967, 3d Brigade/4th ID was involved in Operation Cedar Falls. It served as a support and diversionary force working out of Dau Tieng, while the 1st and 25th Infantry Divisions performed a Search and Destroy Mission in the Iron Triangle to the south. Operation Cedar Falls officially ended on 26 January 1967, but A/2/12 encountered a Viet Cong strong point north of Dau Tieng the next day.
On Friday, 27 January 1967, SP4 Donald Ward Evans Jr, MOS 91B20, was killed in action while giving aid to wounded soldiers under fire. This occurred north of the Michelin rubber plantation at Dau Tieng, in the Tri Tam District of Binh Duong Province, South Vietnam. Specialist Evans was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. His Medal of Honor Citation reads as follows:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. He left his position of relative safety with his platoon which had not yet been committed to the battle to answer the calls for medical aid from the wounded men of another platoon which was heavily engaged with the enemy force. Dashing across 100 meters of open area through a withering hail of enemy fire and exploding grenades, he administered lifesaving treatment to 1 individual and continued to expose himself to the deadly enemy fire as he moved to treat each of the other wounded men and to offer them encouragement. Realizing that the wounds of 1 man required immediate attention, Sp4 Evans dragged the injured soldier back across the dangerous fire-swept area, to a secure position from which he could be further evacuated. Miraculously escaping the enemy fusillade, Sp4 Evans returned to the forward location. As he continued the treatment of the wounded, he was struck by fragments from an enemy grenade. Despite his serious and painful injury he succeeded in evacuating another wounded comrade, rejoined his platoon as it was committed to battle and was soon treating other wounded soldiers. As he evacuated another wounded man across the fire covered field, he was severely wounded. Continuing to refuse medical attention and ignoring advice to remain behind, he managed with his waning strength to move yet another wounded comrade across the dangerous open area to safety. Disregarding his painful wounds and seriously weakened from profuse bleeding, he continued his lifesaving medical aid and was killed while treating another wounded comrade. Sp4 Evan’s extraordinary valor, dedication and indomitable spirit saved the lives of several of his fellow soldiers, served as an inspiration to the men of his company, were instrumental in the success of their mission, and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
Secretary of the Army Stanley R. Resor presented the Medal of Honor to Donald's wife and parents at a special ceremony at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., on 4 June 1968. The Republic of South Vietnam also awarded him the Military Merit Medal and the Gallantry Cross with Palm.
For additional information/photos please visit

A Marine sniper takes aim from behind a tree as his comrade looks through a pair of binoculars to establish the enemy position.

A Navy seaman fires twin machine guns of a PBR (Patrol Boat River) into the free-fire zone on the shoreline along the Mekong Delta southwest of Saigon, February 1969. Navy boats would often fire into the area in case VC troops were concealed in the canals of the Delta. (AP Photo)

Humbert "Rocky" Versace graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1959. He was captured in South Vietnam and taken as a Prisoner of War on October 29, 1963. His remains have never been recovered. Captain Versace was honored posthumously with the Nation's highest acknowledgment of Valor, The Medal of Honor.
Captain Versace's Medal of Honor Citation reads as follows:
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Captain Humbert Roque Versace (ASN: 0-87417), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Captain Humbert R. Versace distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period of 29 October 1963 to 26 September 1965, while serving as S-2 Advisor, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Captain Versace and the patrol came under sudden and intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace, although severely wounded in the knee and back by hostile fire, fought valiantly and continued to engage enemy targets. Weakened by his wounds and fatigued by the fierce firefight, Captain Versace stubbornly resisted capture by the over-powering Viet Cong force with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he exemplified the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered into Prisoner of War status. Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American soldiers, scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to escape, despite his weakened condition which was brought about by his wounds and the extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure. During his captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated prisoner of war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time, and placed on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who epitomized the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was executed by the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's gallant actions in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the United States Army.


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