VIETNAM NAPALM BOMBING
In this essay I am going to be writing about the Vietnam Napalm bombing, which took place in 1972. I will be discussing the history of the world famous picture taken by Nick Ut and what the picture represents. I will also be talking about how and why this picture is was so influential in the way people saw the Vietnam War. The picture was taken in the middle of the action. It’s quite amazing how Ut managed to capture this monumental photograph. It is almost as if you as the viewer are automatically connected to the photo when looking at it. The image is gripping and heartfelt all around the world. It is astonishing that a lot of people at the time did not know the full extent of the corruption involved within the Vietnam War. Here, I have shown the picture, as I continue to explain how it represented worldwide.
Nick Ut (real name, Huỳnh Công Út), was born on March 29th, 1951 in the southern Mekong Delta province of Long An and was the younger brother of Vietnamese photographer Huynh Thanh My, who had been killed a few weeks earlier while photographing combat action in the Mekong Delta on October 10th, 1965 on assignment for The Associated Press. Ut was also a part of the Associated Press, and was only 14 years old when he was introduced to the Associated Press office in Saigon by his mother. Ut was looking for a job and Horst Faas hired him on January 1st, 1966, after a trial period of six weeks. It was exactly ten years after Horst Faas himself had officially joined the AP. At dawn of June 8, 1972, about 5 AM, photographer Nick Ut loaded his camera gear, field survival kit, flak-jacket and steel-helmet into one of the AP's Japanese made minibuses. Nick Ut used two cameras to photograph the scenes in front of him - his Leica and a Nikon with a long lens. He was alone on this mission, without a correspondent. Within minutes of the vicious attack it had occurred that most of the villages in sight had been seriously injured during the blast and also had big segments of their skin burnt away. The villagers that were seriously affected by this blast were running down a highway, trying their hardest to be free from the horror which was taking place in their village. In route one the associated press photographer who was present on the scene (Nick Ut) was able to snap one of the most iconic photographs. Nick Ut was present on the scene in the Vietnam War. Ut spoke in a 1999 interview with a news reporter, "When we (the reporters) moved closer to the village we saw the first people running. I thought 'Oh my God' when I suddenly saw a woman with her left leg badly burned by napalm. Then came a woman carrying a baby, who died, then another woman carrying a small child with its skin coming off. When I took a picture of them I heard a child screaming and saw that young girl who had pulled off all her burning clothes. She yelled to her brother on her left. Just before the napalm was dropped soldiers had yelled to the children to run but there wasn't enough time." Nick Ut was present and evidently on the scene in the Vietnam War. This just goes to show how traumatic this must have been for the young children in the centre of this chaos. Freed from their parents and running scared for their lives. In the picture priceless picture captured is black and white image of no more than 5 children and 6 soldiers. The child that draws the viewers’ attention the most is undoubtedly Phan Thi Kim Phuc crying and running naked down a road, with other children, her clothes burnt from her body by a napalm dropped by US planes. Phan was only 9 years old at the time. They were attempting their hardest to free themselves from the aftermath of the bomb showers that were taking place in their village. She is still alive today, and still suffers from extreme nightmares and is on anti-depressants. In 1973 Nick Ut had won the Pulitzer Prize for his now, globally known photograph. This is the highest honour which can be achieved...
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