Archive of 254 Vietnam War snapshot photographs by a soldier serving in the 554th Engineer Squadron, Company D.
“By the end of 1971, the 554th was the only remaining squadron in the Republic of Vietnam…”
A visual survey of military and civilian life kept during the Vietnam War by an American soldier-amateur photographer. This young man served in the 554th Engineer Squadron, Company D.
“The 554th Red Horse received training at Cannon AFB prior to their deployment to Vietnam, and the 554th was the first to arrive in country in February 1966. Its first major project was the repair of the AM-2 runway at Phan Rang AB. In 1967 it became the first Red Horse unit to operate a concrete batch plant ... The 554th moved to Cam Rahn Bay AB (1970) and then to Dan Nang AB (1971). By the end of 1971, the 554th was the only remaining squadron in the Republic of Vietnam.” (Air Force Historical Research Agency / Unit yearbook. 554 Civil Engineering Squadron, Red Horse 1985–1987. (1987.)
The timeline of the photographs begins in the States and then transitions to South Vietnam. The majority of the images are clear and crisp, some are not in focus.
1. U.S. Military–General (49)
Photographs of young soldiers in a waiting area, on a bus, in a cargo plane’s hold being transported to South Vietnam, and in camp: cooking, reading, holding M-16 rifle, loading cartridges, etc. Other photos show the 554th building a bridge, running phone lines, an army vehicle stenciled across the front “Mr. Boom-Boom,” a sign identifying the 554th Company D’s concrete batch plant, with a stencil showing a thumbs up and the words “Straight Ahead,” and a dual-rotor, heavy-lift helicopter in action.
2. U.S. Military–Medical (17)
A helicopter ambulance “159” in the air or landing, the carrying of wounded soldiers on stretchers, an ambulance, and a scene in in operating room.
3. Republic of South Vietnam Military (6)
Photographs of soldiers, e.g., a wounded man being assisted to walk; men raising the flag of Republic of South Vietnam.
4. Aerial Views (29)
Taken from a helicopter: low-altitude views of villages, roadsides, a cemetery complex, riverside views with houses and rice paddies, a lone mountain rising from a plain, two churches.
5. Civilian Transportation and Vehicles (36)
Urban scenes of three-wheeled bicycle taxis (cyclos), motorcycles, trucks, small, three-wheeled multi-passenger motor transports, bicycles, mule-drawn wagons, etc.
6. South Vietnamese Civilians, Working (64)
Urban and rural photographs. Sidewalk vendors, outdoor markets, streetscapes, a public gathering, textile merchants, women selling food, a number of shots of pedestrians walking or engaged in activities. In country scenes, people transporting grass bundles, washing clothes; a farmer driving a water buffalo in a rice paddy, a motorized tiller operator in a field, and cattle drivers.
7. South Vietnamese Civilians–Children (30)
Photos of individuals or in groups; young girls working as shop merchants and sidewalk vendors; children walking along a road with U.S. soldiers in an armored transport vehicle. One compelling image shows a young boy looking directly at the photographer and giving him the middle finger.
8. Miscellaneous (11)
A hillside temple, a bronze statue of a South Vietnamese soldier; a small cemetery, 5 images of a pet monkey playing with an American football.
9. Stateside (12)
Family photos; a birthday party, reading, watching television, etc.
Description: Archive of 254 Vietnam War snapshot photographs by a soldier serving in the 554th Engineer Squadron, Company D.
[United States and Republic of Vietnam. After April 1969; before 1971]. 254 black-and-white photographs, mainly 3¼ x 4½ inches, loose and never mounted. Near fine condition.
Ref. 731 Air Mobility Squadron (AMC) > Air Force Historical Research Agency > Display accessed online.