Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Captured Wartime Moment

In 1970, James Speed Hensinger was a 22 year old paratrooper serving in the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Phu Tai, Vietnam. It was two years after the infamous Tet Offensive and near the end of U.S. involvement in the war. In the hills near the army camp a Viet Cong sniper was firing down nightly. According to Hensinger the rifleman would unload a magazine from his AK-47 rifle. Finding one man in wooded hills in the Vietnamese country side would've been a virtually impossible task. So they planned a blazing response for the next time the VC sniper attacked. In preparation Hensinger set up a Nikon FTN on a long exposure to capture the return fire. These amazing photographs capture a wartime moment. What you are seeing are thousands of rounds of M-60 and 50 caliber machine gun fire and 40mm explosive rounds being launched into the hillside. Keep in mind they don't know where in the hillside the sniper is hiding. The plan was to decimate the hillside in hopes of killing the sniper. Like burning down a house to kill a rat.

The next morning a patrol was sent out. A blood trail was found but no bodies like this scene in Predator.

Hensinger also released some wonderful photographs of the beautiful Vietnamese country side.

Meet the photographer now living in Colorado. I salute James Hensinger for sharing these wonderful photographs with us.