While the quagmire may have technically ended some time ago, in many veterans' and war photographer's hearts, the Vietnam War rages on.
1967: Operation "Oregon," a search and destroy mission conducted by infantry platoon of Troop B. Here an infantryman is lowered into a tunnel by members of the reconnaissance platoon.National Archives
1965: In the jungle area of Ben Cat, U.S. paratroopers carry their weapons above water in the rain while they search for Viet Cong troops.
Photographer Henri Huet would later die in 1971, when the helicopter that he and three other photojournalists were in was shot down. Henri Huet/Daily Mail
1968: Armed South Vietnamese marines slog through jungle mud, Mekong Delta, South Vietnam.Wilbur E Garrett/ Flickr/manhhai
1954: French paratroopers descend on Dien Bien Phu to provide reinforcements. Daniel Camus and Jean Péraud/Daily Mail
1965: U.S. Army helicopters lay down cover fire over South Vietnamese troops as they attack a Viet Cong camp north of Tay Ninh, near the Cambodian border.Horst Faas/Daily Mail
Combat at the Con Thien Base in 1968.Flickr/manhhai
1966: U.S. Marines south of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) after a night of fighting North Vietnamese troops. The supply chopper seen in the picture was shot down.Henri Huet/Daily Mail
1965: American soldiers arriving at Red Beach at Da Nang.Peter Gregg/Daily Mail
Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc burns himself to death on a Saigon street to protest persecution of Buddhists by the Catholic South Vietnamese government. This was the first in a series of self-immolation by the monks.Malcolm Wilde Browne/Daily Mail
A South Vietnamese woman grieves the loss of her deceased husband, who was discovered in a mass grave.Daily Mail
A wounded paratrooper in agonizing pain awaits medical evacuation at the base camp of Shau Valley.Daily Mail
"Home is where you dig" was the sign over a fighting bunker, 1968.National Archives
1971: Near Camp Eagle, an aerial view of a peace symbol probably made by U.S. troops with a bulldozer. Daily Mail
1966: The body of a U.S. soldier killed in battle near the Cambodian border is lifted up to an evacuation helicopter.Henri Huet/Daily Mail
1968: Private First Class Raymond Rumpa, St. Paul, Minnesota, with a 45 pound 90mm recoiless rifle. NATIONAL ARCHIVES/AFP/Getty Images
Picture released in 1972 by a North Vietnamese official agency with the caption: "Young women carry the ammunition to the front in Quang Tri province, south Vietnam." VAN BANG/AFP/Getty Images
1972: Lightly-wounded civilians and troops attempt to push their way aboard a South Vietnamese evacuation helicopter. AP photo/Flickr/judgerock
Marines of Company H walk through a punji-staked gully in 1966.National Archives
1963: A Vietnamese mother pulls her two children away from their burning home which was set fire to by South Vietnamese soldiers, near Tay Ninh.Horst Faas/Daily Mail
American soldiers taking cover. Flickr/Gerald Simmons
1967: Soldier resting close on his position at the Hill 875 near Dakto, a few days after the North Vietnamese Army made a massive assault.CORR/AFP/Getty Images
Soldiers taking rest close to a small Christmas tree on their position at the Hill 875 near Dakto, few days after the North Vietnamese Army made a massive assault. CORR/AFP/Getty Images
1965: American wounded soldiers of the special forces are evacuated by helicopter from a camp in Plei Me, south Vietnam. AFP/Getty Images
1967: Close up of a U.S. soldier in Vietnam.Flickr/manhhai
1971: American helicopters land at Khe Sanh base on the Laos border after it was "reactivated" following a Vitecong offensive. AFP/Getty Images
1968: Marines load captured material into canoes in a jungle-covered delta on the Cai Lon River.Wilbur E. Garrett/ Flickr/manhhai
Picture released in 1972 of Vietnamese people carrying victims of the American "Christmas bombings" on Hanoi and North Vietnam.AFP/Getty Images
1967: CPL. Jesse D. Hittson of Levelland, Texas, reaches for his mail at the U.S. Marine Con Thien outpost two miles south of the demilitarized zone in South Vietnam. AP Photo/Kim Ki Sam/Flickr/manhhai
1968: Marines riding atop an M-48 tank, covering their ears.National Archives
1968: During "Operation Yellowstone" at the end of a hard day, a few members of Company A gather around a guitar and play a few songs.National Archives
1975: Inhabitants look at a US helicopter which was destroyed the day before the takeover of Saigon -- during the refugee evacuation. Pham Khac/AFP/Getty Images
1968: D.R. Howe treats the wounds of Private First Class D.A. Crum, "H" Company, 2nd Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment, During Operation Hue City in Vietnam. NATIONAL ARCHIVES/AFP/Getty Images
1966: North Vietnamese forces ready to fire during a military exercise in Bach Dang, near Hanoi. STF/AFP/Getty Images
1969: Soldiers carry a wounded comrade through a swampy area.National Archives
1968: A wounded South Vietnamese soldier is helped by his comrades in the destroyed cemetery of Da Nang, during an attack. STR/AFP/Getty Images
During the Vietnam War, the United States military gave the press a remarkable amount of freedom to enter combat zones. Photos from the front lines appeared in every newspaper; footage of the conflict unfurled on televisions across the country.
Photographers in a sense became soldiers as well, risking their lives to tell the stories of those risking their lives abroad, amid an increasingly unpopular war. They worked to preserve the war for the history books, to ensure that the sacrifices of the soldiers did not go unseen.
Fifty years later, this catalog of images provides a vivid, harrowing account of one of the most trying conflicts the U.S. has seen -- and more broadly, cuts straight to the heart of war, its stark horrors and its striking banalities. It gives viewers a deeper understanding of what the soldiers and photographers lived through - and what many of them will never be able to shake.
Next, look at the most powerful photos and enduring myths from World War II.