Life Magazine Cover


Cover Story


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ANCIENT DANCE OF THE LOTUS. Ceremonial dancers at the Royal Gate in the city of Hue enact the unfolding of a lotus bud in ritual movements performed before old emperors of Annam. Many modern Vietnamese customs stem from Buddhism, which was adopted by emperor centuries ago and remains country's popular religion.


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WOMAN OF THE RIVER. A Vietnamese boat girl bends to the task powering a passenger- carrying sampan across the Perfume River from the city of Hue to the tomb of Emperor Minh-Mang. Rivers are vital to South Vietnam, silting and irrigating its verdant fields, carrying its freight and substituting for roads as an easy means of access to more remote regions of peninsula's interior.
PEDAL-POWERED IRRIGATION. A farmer and his young neighbor from a village just south of the North Vietnam border use time-honored method to pump water from canal into paddy. South Vietnam is one of the few Asian countries which grows more rice than it eats, exporting its sizable surplus. This increases its desirability to North Vietnam and Red China.


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CHIC AND CHARM. Vietnamese women have a distinctive flair for fashion. Hair in long, square cut under straw hats marks these ladies as coming from Hue. The dazzling smile at right upholds Vietnamese Tradition of beauty.


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DEFENDERS AND ENEMY. Vietnamese troops (above) march down country road toward a sector which had long been held by the Communists. Below is a group of Viet Cong prisoners, fastened in irons to prevent escape. They were captured during unsuccessful attack on a Vietnamese town.


Page 45 AMERICAN VIETNAM. His face lined with fatigue after a patrol near Communist territory, U.S Army M/Sgt. Antonio Duarte lectures Vietnamese troops he is helping to train. He wears the jaunty beret many of his men wear.


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SHOTS FOR A STARTER. Sergeant Duarte fires with his carbine over heads of Vietnamese troops to signal start of a maneuver. To give him added prestige with their troops, Vietnamese have accorded him rank of lieutenant.
SHARED MEAL. Tired and hungry after an all-night patrol which narrowly missed a Communist ambush, Duarte and Vietnamese troops eat breakfast of corn he bought in village.


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TOUGHENING UP IN U.S. At Brag, Richardson gets mud smeared on his face as camouflage for a night maneuver. At right, followed by a teammate, he learns how to cross a swamp with two ropes-one to walk on, one to hang on to.


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LEARNING THE ROPES IN VIETNAM. Vietnamese soldiers, camouflaged by branches, do "monkey crawl" on lines slung across a valley as they toughen up for jungle fighting.


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BRIDGE TO BATTLE. Near Nha Trang, Vietnamese Rangers in training advance through rugged terrain over a flimsy rope bridge, a type used over rivers or deep gorges. Smoke grenades simulate smoke of battle and men wear branches on their helmets and belts for camouflage. After completing this course the Rangers will move to camps nearer the Communist-controlled areas. There they will put all they have learned to work, fighting in the jungle to defend their country.


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MARTY'S FUNERAL. Family of Vietnamese Colonel Nam mourn his murder by Communists. He was kidnaped and tortured by Viet Cong.