|Captain William N. Parish HHC and a group of young soldiers near Cu Chi. Parish was a very popular officer in the 2/12. Other names and details about photo unknown. Photograph by Charles Haughey.|
Only months after being drafted into the Vietnam War as a rifleman in 1967, photography enthusiast Charlie Haughey was given the task by his commanding officer of photographing his unit for Army and US publications. The directive was clear, 'You are not a combat photographer. This is a morale operation. If I see pictures of my guys in papers, doing their jobs with honor, then you can do what you like in Vietnam.'
What Haughey did was capture some very poignant wartime images that put a human face on the costs of war. After his tour, Haughey returned home with almost 2,000 negatives which then sat in boxes untouched for 45 years. In 2012, after agreeing to have these negatives scanned, Haughey began the emotionally taxing process of viewing and captioning these images of his unit members, many of whose fate he remains unaware of.
Under the pseudonym Chieu Hoi (bestowed upon him during the war by his US Army 25th Infantry Division members) Haughey is making these images available on his Flickr, Facebook and Tumblr feeds. A selection of 28 digital prints will be shown in an exhibit at the ADX gallery in Portland, Oregon that opens on April 5. You can read more about Haughey's story and see a larger sampling of the image collection at The Boston Globe.