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Vintage Photos of Life in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War

Sgt Ernest W. Payne of Charlotte, NC, served in the Vietnam War from 1967 to 1968. He served as a supply officer in the US Army, serving as a Staff Officer (or “S4”) of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division. He captured these photographs. Most of the pictures were taken at Payne’s military camps or at makeshift Army airfields used for supply drops. The majority of pictures do not have descriptions or locations written on the back.

During his time in Vietnam, Ernest Payne received several medals. In addition to the US Army Air Medal, he participated in more than 25 aerial missions in hostile territory supporting counterinsurgency operations from July 1967 to May 1968. He would receive the Bronze Star Medal on June 17, 1968, for his Vietnam service from July 1967 to July 1968.

#1 A bamboo hut in an unidentified Vietnamese village in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War

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#2 A busy sidewalk scene with stores and the main street in the city of Bồng Sơn in South Vietnam.

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#3 A group of Vietnamese children outside in an unidentified village in South Vietnam.

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#4 A group of Vietnamese children outside of a hut in an unidentified village in South Vietnam.

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#5 A road somewhere in South Vietnam, looking out over rice paddies and a distant mountain range.

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#6 A sidewalk scene with stores, including a bicycle shop, in a Vietnamese market in the city of Bồng Sơn in South Vietnam.

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#7 A Vietnamese child holding a toddler outside on a dirt path in an unidentified Vietnamese village somewhere in South Vietnam.

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#8 A Vietnamese man and boy, treated as prisoners, walking along being stopped by an Army soldier in the 2nd Battalion.

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#9 A Vietnamese mother and son peeling a large pile of what appears to be cassava root in the courtyard of an unidentified Vietnam village.

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#10 An unidentified South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) soldier walking past a store somewhere in the city of Bồng Sơn in South Vietnam.

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#11 An unidentified Vietnamese store at an unidentified location somewhere in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War

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#12 An unidentified Vietnamese village and coconut trees, with a young Vietnamese boy riding past on a bicycle somewhere in South Vietnam.

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#13 Bamboo houses in an unidentified Vietnamese village somewhere in South Vietnam.

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#14 Coconut trees outside of a hut in an unidentified Vietnamese village somewhere in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War

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#15 Eight Vietnamese people wearing conical hats, kneeling or sitting down along a dirt road in the 2nd Battalion.

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#16 Fallen walls and roof on a large building, caused by bomb-damage, believed to be in the city of Huế, Vietnam, during the Vietnam War

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#17 Looking down a road believed to be in the city of Huế, Vietnam, during the Vietnam War.

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#18 Looking down a road believed to be in the city of Huế, Vietnam, during the Vietnam War

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#19 Looking down the main street in the city of Bồng Sơn in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War

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#20 Looking out down Highway 1 in the city of Bồng Sơn in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War

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#21 Looking out down the dirt Highway 1 through the city of Bồng Sơn in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War

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#22 Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Church (or the Redemptorist Church) and statue of Jesus Christ.

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#23 Several Vietnamese people wearing conical hats, kneeling down on a dirt road, as an Army soldier talks to them at the 2nd Battalion.

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#24 Several Vietnamese women and children, considered prisoners, sitting on the ground near the helicopter landing area of the 2nd Battalion.

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#25 Several Vietnamese women and children, considered prisoners, sitting on the ground near the helicopter landing area of the 2nd Battalion.

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#26 Stores in an outdoor Vietnamese market in the city of Bồng Sơn in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War

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#27 The entrance to an unidentified Vietnamese house with a toddler boy standing outside, somewhere in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War

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#28 Two Vietnamese toddler boys, not wearing pants, standing along a bamboo fence in South Vietnam.

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#29 Vietnamese children laughing outside in a Vietnamese village, as they pose for the camera of an unidentified U.S. Army soldier.

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#30 Vietnamese children outside of a hut in an unidentified village in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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