The images below were graciously shared by Art Jaeger, who served 14 months with the Brigade's 40th Public Information Office from 1969 - 1970. Most of the images displayed below were taken by other members of the 40th PIO during that same time.
These pictures are the essence of Combat Photography. In many instances, the men who took these images, just like their comrades in arms throughout the rest of the Brigade, risked their lives to accomplish their mission, and it is to them that this page is dedicated.
(The purpose of the 40th PIO in Vietnam/Cambodia was to document and report on, either through visual or written media, the daily happenings of the 199th LIB. They did a superb and tremendously effective job, as now, over forty years since being deactivated, many Redcatchers and their families are able to see and read what occurred through the images and articles that were then compiled).
Members of A company, 5/12 waiting to be taken out by helicopter at the end of a sweep 10 miles south of Saigon. Date is March, 1969. Photographer is SP/4 Bruce Bolinger. This image is eerily reminiscent of the bronze statue of the three GI's gazing at the wall at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.
A soldier walks along the rim of a B-25 crater. Appears on page 1, February 1, 1970 Redcatcher! Caption says the grunt is from Bravo Company, 5/12 and it was taken 10 miles northwest of Xuan Loc. Photographer is ID’ed as SP4 Todd Weber. Probably taken in late 1969.
The grunt is using C-4 plastic explosive to heat up c rations for breakfast, a common practice in the bush. It’s his position, of course, that makes the photo. Looks like he’s been around one too many Vietnamese. The subject is Sp4 Lawrence Tyson, 20, a medic, from Eatonton, Ga. He’s with C company, 4/12. Photo was taken by PFC Jerry Van Reach in July 1969, in triple canopy jungle about 20 miles north of Xuan Loc.
Not a fancy photo but an important one to many in the 199th in 1969-1970. This was the Brigade’s forward headquarters located just south of Saigon, outside Cholon, on (I think) Route 4. It was built as a fishnet factory and among those who stayed there it was universally known as “The Fishnet.” We slept on cots between these weaving machines that, I assume, made fishnets. It was luxurious as far as forward HQs went. This was the period when Frederic Davison was CG. Davison had a sliver trailer that he stayed in inside The Fishnet, which looked like an Airstream.
Attached is another of my favorites, by Sp/4 Bob Collins. In the spring of 1969, the 199th conducted a series of what it called cordon operations (see the chapter “The Big Cordons” in the second brigade yearbook or individual Redcatcher newspapers from that time period). Collins took many great photos on these operations. He also took the attached, I believe on one of these cordons. I couldn’t find it any of the Redcatcher newspapers. One of the most beautiful sites from the air in Vietnam was the sun (or moon) reflecting off the waters in the rice paddies during the rainy season. That’s what you see here. This was taken early in the morning, probably as slicks were inserting troops to set up one of those cordons. The amount of water below suggests to me it was early in the monsoon, around April or May, 1969.
Self-portrait of Bob Collins, taken in an idle moment in mid-1969. He was sitting in a jeep and snapped this looking in the rear view mirror on the driver’s side. Bob was a great believer in the German Lieca rangefinder cameras. He’s using one here.
Photo by SP/4 Bob Collins. The story accompanying the photos indicates the jeeps were part of a “Rat Patrol” organized by 2/3 to do reconnaissance work and to escort convoys. The name Rat Patrol apparently came from a popular TV show from that era.
Kinda routine. Contrary to the name I gave it, it’s not a medivac, just a routine transport from some firebase back to Camp Frenzsell-Jones. That Long Binh Post below. Don’t know the date or the names of the pilots.
Pop Somke! Photo by Jerry Van Reach.
3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry soldier at FSB Mace, Signal Mountain in the background, 1969.
Members of 4/12 cross a foot bridge 10 miles south of Saigon in March 1969. Photographer is SP4 Peter Gyallay-Pap.
Aerial view of Firebase Nancy, outside of Dinh Quan, northern Long Khanh Province, 1970.
Photo by Collins taken from the air. Routine but of interest to those who want to know how these fire bases were laid out and constructed. You can see the 105 mm howitzers and the perimeter berm and look at how far out they had to cutback the jungle to keep from being overrun, etc.! This was never published in the Redcatcher for security reasons.
The subject here is PFC Ronald E. Phillips, 19, of Detroit. Unit is D company, 2/3. Location is 50 miles NE of Saigon. Date is August 1969 and the photographer is PFC Larry Woody. This photo also appeared on the first page of the September 1, Redcatcher!
Taken at the end of the day in the rainy season at FSB Libby. This kid was just returning from the field. Imagine being out for a day or a week and coming “home” to that! Don’t know the kid’s name but see the numbers on the bumper of the Jeep. This was a 5/12 firebase at the time. Probably fall 1969.
This was taken by SP/5 Robert Cornelius Collins, a truly gifted photographer. Bob served as an 11Bravo in (I think) the Old Guard unit of the 199th (2/3) before he was assigned to public relations. He had a CIB. It was taken on one of those river craft that the 199th operated extensively with in the northern Delta in 1968-969.
Another great commentary on war. And this is NOT Bob Collins. This was taken by a lieutenant named Bland J. Khalifah. At least that’s what I remember.
This one appears on page 8 of the October 15th, 1969 Redcatcher! Caption reads … “An Old Guard infantryman relaxes in the “Champagne Room” high above Fire Support Base Marge."
This photo appears on page one of the May 6 ’70 Redcatcher! Photog is identified as SP4 Robert Seitz. Medic is identified as SP4 Oscar Rovira, C Company, 4/12. Soldier on right is SP4 Richard Koblitz, action was northeast of Xuan Loc. Date would probably be March-April 1970.
This is the Jerry van Wyngarden photo I mentioned on the phone. The April 15, 1969 Redcatcher tells the story. Van Wyngarden, Spec 5 photographer with the 40th PI Det., was out with a unit of the 2/3 in the ‘pineapple” in the fall of 1968. He was wounded (shot through the cheek) while photographing a firefight. This was the next-to-last photo he took. At this point, he is on the Medivac chopper himself, probably lying on his back on a stretcher. He looks out the door and snaps this shot of the NEXT wounded soldier being carried to the chopper.
Taken by Bob Collins, this image shows Signal Mountain and FSB Mace in the distance, Long Khanh Province, mid 1969.
I THINK this is a Collins photo, but I’m not sure. Unless I find it in Redcatcher, I don’t know anything about it, other than what’s obvious: one of those jeeps armed with a .50 cal machine gun heading down a dirt road somewhere.
This was December 1969, close to Christmas, early in the morning, the start of a battalion-size operation somewhere in Long Khanh Province. I want to say this is taken at FSB Libby, but I don’t know for sure. This was one of 5-6 round trips by these choppers taking the grunts from the FSB to an LZ somewhere.
This one never appeared anywhere. There was one hospital that the wounded 199ers were sent to when the unit was south of Saigon. 93rd Evac Hospital sticks in my head but I could be wrong. Once a week or so in those days Gen. Davison would go to that hospital to see his troops, award Purple Hearts, etc. Collins (or some other PIO photog) would go along to take photos. This photo was taken from inside Davison’s chopper just as it landed at that hospital. It looks across to a Medivac just arriving.
Contact! M-60 gunner from the C/4-12th Infantry laying down covering fire in a firefight, April, 1970. Note the spent casings on the right side. Photog is SP4 Robert Seitz.
The caption on this doesn’t give a name but identifies the soldier as a member of the 2/3 and says it was taken during an operation 50 miles northwest of Saigon in August 1969. Photog is SP4 Larry Woody.
A“tunnel rat,” most likely from the 87th Engineers, getting ready to blow a bunker. Long Khanh Province, 8 miles north of Xuan Loc, November, 1969. Photo by Sp4 Jerry Poindexter.
Under fire. Taken by Jerry Van Wyngarten during the May Offensive, 1968.
This photo was taken by SP4 Jim Low in August 1969. The operation was cutting an LZ for a company from 4/12, three miles west of Firebase Joy.
Sheridan tank from Delta Troop, 17th Cavalry, which provided security for the operation. The tanks were apparently newly arrived in the unit. Taken by SP4 Ross.
This shows members of C Company 4/12 extracting part of a 30-ton cache of enemy supplies, including soybeans, peanuts, beans, salt, sugar and gasoline, in July 1969. This was one of the largest enemy cache-complexes ever found by the 199th. Location was north of FSB Joy, along the Dong Nai River. Photographer was 1st Lt. Larry D. Muse.
SP/4 Art Jaeger with then-Brigade Information Officer Captain John W. St. Leger in the Michelin Rubber Plantation, about 50 miles northwest of Saigon. I’m proudly carrying my first camera, an old Ricoh Singlex I bought at the PX. I don’t know if this area was ever officially in our AO but we must have had some troops in the area at this time. This photo was taken on Thanksgiving Day 1969.