The Beverly Deepe Keever Collection

Photos by Beverly Deepe Keever, 1965

Bien Hoa

Arriving in Bien Hoa, I was appalled to learn of the ferocity of the fighting that had occurred there. One U.S. veteran officer living on the gigantic base recounted, “This is the worst battlefield I have ever seen – and this is my second war.”

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 53)

Military Operations

U.S. combat units brought with them tremendous technologies of firepower and air-power that increased the level of violence and destruction in the South. I found the cumulative impact and magnitude of allied artillery shellings and air bombardments hard to report to readers because they occurred in so many different places over sporadic stretches of time, and no official announcements about them were made.

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 152)

Military Camp

The marines had transformed swampland, weeds, debris, and six structures into a city of tents, wooden frame toilets, a flimsy canvas shower hall, their own water purifying system, a fuel field, a seventy-five-kilowatt electric plant, and a thousand foot, all weather runway, equipped with portable lights. “This is just a typical marine operation,” [Colonel] Carey said offhandedly.

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 58-59)

McNamara

As then secretary of defense Robert McNamara, a key architect of Kennedy’s policy, wrote later, the Vietnam War was to become “among the bloodiest in all of human history.”

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 8)

Tan Son Nhut

Tan Son Nhut, just about the world’s busiest and best-defended airport and site of the headquarters of Westmoreland’s command, was subjected to pitched battles, mortar fire, sniper siege, and guerilla raids. Communists donning government soldiers’ fatigues attacked the South Vietnamese High Command.

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 191)

Plei Me

“In my opinion, the Air Force has saved this camp…air strikes outstanding.” These are the words of the Plei Me Special Forces outpost commander, Captain Harold M. Moore. His camp has been under attack by a multi-battalion sized Viet Cong Force since 7:00 P.M., 19 Oct. It all started with a 20 to 40 man VC probe of the outpost’s defenses. Since then it has blossomed into a major battle in which air power has played a role of tremendous importance.

SSgt Stewart Diamond

Military Press Release, Bev Keever Collection (Packet 66)

Damages

“It was becoming necessary to destroy the town to save it,” the major [Peter Arnett] was quoted as saying. Returning to Saigon, Arnett focused his copy on that memorable quote, which, he recounted, “leaped out as a comment on the essential dilemma of the Tet Offensive. The authorities had not only to defeat the attackers, but protect the civilian population.”

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 197)

Navy Photos

Hamlet residents along a river in Ba Xuyen and Chuong Thien Provinces were increasingly reluctant to travel the waterways after U.S. Navy boats began patrolling the area, one American in the field learned in 1966, thanks to U.S. polling of Vietnamese nationwide.

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 55)

Amphibious Operation

Eight days after my article was published in New York, the Pentagon, also recognizing that guided missiles could not protect the Danang airbase from guerrilla attacks, ordered 2,000 men of a U.S. Marine amphibious brigade to swarm ashore near Danang.

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 144)

Military Vehicles

Now Americans were calling it the “War of the Prairies.” The advisor told me that more Communist units, better equipped and led, were infiltrating, with command posts in the rear using telephones to their frontline troops. Most units were composed of teenaged northerners, like the private I had reported on eight months earlier but the Pentagon had denied. “These are regular units using regular inafntry tactics,” the advisor summed up. “We aren’t fighting guerrillas anymore.”

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 142)

American Aid

[T]he number of of U.S. troops began to soar from 20,000 for advising and support roles to 184,314 in combat by the end of 1965.

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 144)

B-52 Raid

After a B-52 raid troops would have to wait thirty minutes before the dust settled enough for [Capt. Gerald L. Harington] to assess the bomb damage in the target area. “If you’ve seeen the World War II pictures of London and Berlin,” he said, “a B-52 gives you the same impression, except they’re not in the cities.”

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 219)

Aerial Photos

By launching its destructive bombing campaign against North Vietnam, the United States was trying to rescue South Vietnam. But the U.S. combat units and increased firepower were no substitute for a legitimate, stable government worthy of popular support within the United States and South Vietnam.

Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 145)

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