Powerful, long exposure photos show the intensity of the Vietnam War
posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:48 PM EDT
In 1970, James Speed Hensinger was part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, stationed in Vietnam, and under nightly attacks by a Viet Cong gunman. The gunman would visit the camp at night, and shoot at the soldiers with an AK-47. One night, the Brigade opted to respond with all its military might, and Hensinger took to recording it with a series of long exposure images that illustrate the terrifying force they had at their disposal.
Hensinger watched the onslaught from a guard tower, shooting with a camera release cable attached to a 35mm Nikon FTN that was propped up with sand bags. Using long exposures ranging from 15 seconds to one minute, he took photos as the Brigade returned fire on the sniper that night. When the Viet Cong soldier opened fire again, he was met by on onslaught of two 7.62mm M60 machine guns shooting red tracer rounds, an M42 Duster open turret tank with twin 40mm anti-aircraft guns firing white tracers, and high explosive shells from an M2 Browning .50 caliber machine gun.
Hensinger's photographs of the event show just how impressive this display of might must have been, lighting the entire sky, and obliterating the surrounding areas. But the kicker? They never found the sniper.