Although the exact number of orphaned children is still unknown, it is reported that over 3,000 children were left orphaned and homeless. This photo is a heartbreaking portrait of one of the worst consequences of war: the repercussions on children. These three young north Vietnamese children are left to fend for themselves in the early 1970s.
It is devastating to see these kids’ expressions – confusion, unimaginable sadness, and exhaustion. The worst part was the war wouldn’t be over for another five years, and the number of orphaned children would just keep rising.
The Fall of South Vietnam
An epic photograph that captured a pivotal moment in history. A tank is driven by the North Vietnamese Army as it rolls through the gate of the presidential Independence Palace in Saigon, celebrating the fall of South Vietnam. It was 11:30 am when President Dương Văn Minh, who had just taken over the role two days before, surrendered to NVA Colonel Bùi Tín.
The date was April 30th, 1975, and after 20 years of carnage and devastating war atrocities, the communists won, and the country was seized by North Vietnamese troops. The NVA captured many other buildings and facilities as they entered and took over the city of Saigon.
The Weaponizing of Women
Vietnamese women played a big part in the Vietnam War. Captured on June 19th, 1965, HoThi Que - "Tiger Lady" of the vital Mekong Delta in South Vietnam, watches the 44th Vietnamese Ranger Battalion march into the jungle in pursuit of Red Viet Cong Guerrillas.
It is estimated that over 11,000 women fought in the war, most of whom were volunteers. Even though most of the women in South Vietnam would work as nurses or government clerks, there were many that fought in the trenches and faced the same hellish conditions the men did.
Taking As Much As Possible
Below, we see a photo of South Vietnamese civilians carrying as much stock as they can after sacking the Newport commissary once it was closed down after Americans knew of the impending evacuation that was to follow the fall of South Vietnam, and the end of the war, in 1975.
The first U.S. military commissary opened in Saigon in 1959, and by the early 60s, more branches started to open around Vietnam, mainly in and around Saigon. These commissaries served as supply shops for American army men and their families living in base housing, and they usually carried all the top American brand names they were accustomed to.
The Loss of Innocence
A harsh image to process, the photo below captures a moment in 1960 when a bunch of Montagnard Children have their cigarettes lightened by an American soldier. Many of these children were drafted against their will to join the forces, and others joined because their father was already a fighter.
It would be hard to find a more accurate depiction of the loss of innocence. Once recruited, these boys would lose any chance at a normal childhood, along with the purity and innocence that came with it.