By CHRIS JENSEN
Early in 1971 a company from the 101st Airborne combat assaulted onto a hilltop overlooking the A Shau Valley, a stronghold and major supply route for the North Vietnamese Army.
A three-man Army photo team, including motion-picture photographer Chris Jensen, went with them.
It was a very brief recon in the steep, heavily jungled mountains with grunts typically carrying 70 pounds of gear and weapons – except for one brief side patrol where rucksacks were left behind.
The A Shau had a well-deserved reputation as a dangerous place, but oddly there was no contact with enemy soldiers.
I filmed with a 16 mm Filmo, the standard camera for the 221st Signal Company / Southeast Asia Pictorial Center. It lacked a light meter, the ability to record sound or autofocus. It was powered by a wind-up spring and held a 100-foot roll of film.
A year ago, I retrieved his film from the National Archives and had it transferred to high-definition. This is one of those films. Others are also posted on YouTube.
PHOTOS AND VIDEO BY CHRIS JENSEN OF BETHLEHEM
More photos can be viewed by clicking here.
InDepthNH.org journalist Chris Jensen was a reporter at The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer for three decades and covered desegregation, the 1979 refugee crisis on the Thai-Cambodian border, fraudulent international charities, the 1st Gulf War and the decline of the American auto industry. In 2007, he moved to Bethlehem from which he covered the North Country for New Hampshire Public Radio and routinely tested new vehicles and reported on automotive safety for The New York Times. In a move his parents considered ill-advised, he quit Ohio State University in 1968 and enlisted in the Army. He spent 15 months in Vietnam shooting documentary motion picture of combat operations for the Department of Army. He’s a graduate of George Washington University.