Looking Back 50 Years At A Coloradan’s Photographic Journal Of The Vietnam War

An unidentified soldier is a crewman on a M-113 armored personnel carrier in Tan Thoi Nhut, Vietnam in March 1968 during the Vietnam War.

Courtesy: Dick Durrance


Fifty years ago Dick Durrance of Carbondale was in Vietnam with the U.S. Army, but instead of an M16 rifle, he carried cameras. His 1988 book “Where War Lives: A Photographic Journal Of Vietnam,” provides a look into the experiences of the soldiers and the civilians whose lives were forever changed by the Vietnam War.

Durrance said words and images can’t convey much of what combat is like, but it’s important for people who don’t go to war to understand more about those who did.

He was drafted into the Army in 1966 and began a photographic journal at the induction center, even capturing an image of swearing in ceremony. He continued shooting right through boot camp at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. After that, with some help from his famous ski racer father for whom he was named, Durrance was assigned to the Department of the Army’s Special Photographic Office in Hawaii. From there he was sent across Vietnam, taking pictures everywhere from jungles to cities to boats and helicopters.

Durrance said he put away his photos from Vietnam and didn’t look at them for 20 years, until he decided to publish this book.

Listen to Dick Durrance on Colorado Matters by clicking here.

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