Sunday, September 24, 2017

Vietnam Road Trip - Somewhere Between Saigon, Phuoc Vinh and Bien Hoa, circa 1969

These are the last of my uncle's slides. They're in color, probably dating from 1969 or 1970 during the Vietnam War. My educated guess is that most were taken from the back of an army transport truck leaving Saigon on the Bien Hoa highway. Most likely on my uncle's way to the 74th Field Hospital in Long Binh where he was stationed.

I figured this out by first trying to hunt down the location of the soldier statue and temple. Then, I stumbled on another American soldier's post of the same Shell gas station from the same time frame.  He labeled it as "somewhere between Phuoc Vinh and Bien Hoa."

More of my uncle's photos:  Vietnam in Black & White - 74th Field Hospital, Long Binh 1969

Soldiers cycling with baskets full of bananas.

Thuong Tiec, a memorial statue to the fallen ARVN soldiers, located at Bien Hoa. It was destroyed in April 1975. 
Bien Hoa Cemetery, also called the National Military Cemetery of Bien Hoa, still exists under the name B├Čnh An Cemetery. It was established in 1965 as an Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) military cemetery. 
The Shell station, that appears to be the same one identified by Ken Roy as "Shell station in the middle of no where, somewhere between Phuoc Vinh and Bien Hoa, Vietnam."

Vietnamese movie posters. "Tinh Yeu va Su Mang" in Cinemascope.
Farmers and livestock. 

Water buffalo on the side of the road.

Saigon Bridge, known as Newport Bridge before 1975.

I'm not sure exactly where these were taken, guessing they're still along the same road from Saigon. 

Sign says "US ARMY" along with "50th" but can't make out the rest.

Donald William "Bill" McCaw, Jr. (1945-2005)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Vietnam in Black & White - 74th Field Hospital, Long Binh 1969

Shortly after graduating from the University of Missouri-Rolla, my uncle Donald William "Bill" McCaw. Jr. joined the US Army as an enlisted man. He was an SP5 stationed at the 74th Field Hospital, Long Binh, Vietnam. From the bits and pieces of stories I heard growing up, I don't think he ever got over what he witnessed as a young man while treating the casualties of war.

Curating these images was bittersweet. I wish my uncle were around to tell me about them, and that thought is even sadder knowing that the war is part of the reason he's no longer here. The captions for each picture are his notes to my grandparents written on the backs of a few of the photos. Sarcastic, to the point, and with a hint of sadness, much like I remember him.

A medevac copter. The red cross insignia are small crosses on an OD background.
They are hard to see and, therefore, harder to shoot at. "I guess"

No caption - but from the looks of the suitcases, I would guess this is arrival day. 
Left to right - Bill McCaw, Skip Bond, and Charles Starling, Laboratory Services Personnel, 74th Field Hospital, July 7, 1969. 
Another view to the east. The 1st Logistical Command.

"Guardians and Enforcers"

Headquarters - 74th Field Hospital. On the right, sorry looking banana plants. 

Several OR boys running around in circles. In the back is the motor pool.

"The box" - labs private vehicle. 

View to the east. Note how pre-planning makes for a neat and orderly community.

Looking west, the 24th Evacuation Hospital. The trees on the right are the last of the rubber trees that made up the Michelin Rubber Plantation here. 

"Yours Truly"

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hong Kong Then and Now

Last year I posted photos of my uncle's adventures in Hong Kong. Slides he took in 1969 while on leave from the war in Vietnam. I'm always shocked when someone finds my posts online, and even more so when they post a comment. So to say I was blown away when someone commented with the Google map coordinates of some of my uncle's pictures would be a huge understatement. I can't thank Kevin from Hong Kong enough for taking the time to share what he knows about the places where my uncle visited. Here are a few of the photos from 1969 next to their modern locations. It's fascinating to see how much the city has changed, and yet remained the same.

1969...Hennessy Road, Wanchai. Check out the the white building on the right hand side with the red Chinese characters painted on the building wall. On Google maps below you can see the same building, painted pink. 

2016...Nearly 50 years later.

1969...Paintings for sale at Lok Ma Chau, the Honk Kong/China border

2016... No more paintings, plenty of parking though. 

1969...Victoria Peak lookout, Hong Kong

2014... Not much has changed, you can see the same building that overlooks Hong Kong.
Photo Credit: Michael Coghlan

1969...View of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

2015...Buildings are a little bigger, just a little. 
Photo Credit: Rodney Topor

1969...Hennessy Road, View of the Chinese Methodist Church on the left
2016...The Church on the left has been renovated, but is still recognizable. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

10 Photographs at a Time: Photos 31-40 (Hong Kong 1969, Part 2)

HSBC Bank Lion - Hong Kong 1969
My Uncle Bill in front of the HSBC Bank

These are the last of the photos from my Uncle's slides of his trip to Hong Kong in 1969 while on leave from the war in Vietnam.

Check out the first set of 1960s Hong Kong photos.

His adventures take us from primitive boat dwellings, to the then 80 year old Hong Kong Peak Tram, to a modern school surrounded by barbed wire. They are a snapshot in time of the people of Hong Kong going about their daily lives.

I love that every time I look at these photos I see details that I missed upon first glance. I only wish there were more, but unfortunately this is the last of the roll. The next photos (which I hope to post soon) are of Vietnam.


Victoria Harbour - Hong Kong 1969
Originally called Hong Kong Harbour it was renamed Victoria Harbour after Queen Victoria.

Tanka "on-water people" junks - Hong Kong 1969
Boat dwellings (also called junks) of "on-water people"or "Nam Hoi Yan"formerly called Tanka but that is now considered a derogatory term.

Families on junks in Victoria Harbour - Tanka  - Hong Kong 1969
Close up of the picture above. I looked at this photo dozens of times before seeing the families on the boats going about their daily lives. It's been described that the "on-water people" have lived on junks in Hong Kong "since time unknown."

Hong Kong Peak Tram - Hong Kong 1969
The Hong Kong Peak Tram has been around for 125 years. “You can’t say you've visited Hong Kong if you haven’t been up the Peak, and a journey up Victoria Peak without the Peak Tram is simply incomplete.” 
RIce Paddies - Hong Kong 1969
Rice paddies. Maybe viewed from the tram? UPDATE: This picture has been identified in blog comments as Lok Ma Chau, the Hong Kong/China border.

Prints for sale on the side of the road - Hong Kong 1969
Paintings for sale by the side of the road, I wonder if Mr. Brown Pants buys one or is just posing for the camera. UPDATE: This picture has been identified in blog comments as Lok Ma Chau, the Hong Kong/China border.

Busy Hong Kong Market - Hong Kong 1969
Busy Hong Kong market.

Busy Hong Kong street Mercedes and Double Decker buses Hitachi - Hong Kong 1969
Mercedes & green double-decker buses bearing Hitachi tv ads. Bus transport in Hong Kong was started in the 1920s. 

Busy Hong Kong Street, Mercedes Cabs and bicycles -  Hong Kong 1969
In the 60s European cars were used as taxis in Hong Kong. I think what's pictured here are Mercedes W120 Pontons. 

Hilton Custom Taylor Hong Kong - Hong Kong 1969
Tailor Tailor Tailor. 

School children behind barbed wire - Hong Kong 1969
It must have been odd for my uncle who grew up on a farm with no fences to see school children behind barbed wire.