War photographer Van Es bows out
May 15, 2009
Photographer Hubert Van Es, who will be remembered for one of the most famous images of the Vietnam War, has died aged 67.
The picture shows a US helicopter evacuating US citizens from the roof of a building in Saigon in 1975 – an image forever linked with the fall of Saigon.
At the time, the building was reported as being the ‘US Embassy’.
However, all was not as it seemed in the photograph, as the Dutch photographer explained in 2005.
In an article for the New York Times Van Es wrote: ‘In fact the photo is not of the embassy at all; the helicopter was actually on the roof of an apartment building in downtown Saigon where senior Central Intelligence Agency employees were housed.’
The photographer died of a brain haemorrhage, in Hong Kong where he had lived for the past 35 years.
He worked as chief photographer for the South China Morning Post before joining the news agencies, Associated Press and United Press International.
To read the photographer’s New York Times article, and to view the famous picture, click here.
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