The Beverly Deepe Keever Collection

Photos by Beverly Deepe Keever, undated

Le Phan Hung

Upon ending my interview with Khanh, I said that to make is assertions more credible to readers, I needed to interview at least one new captive because the U.S. government had for years been accusing North Vietnam of infiltration but had yet to produce prisoners for journalsits to interview. Khanh facilitated this interview. Vuong, An, and I flew to Hue in late July and talked with a twenty-three-year-old North Vietnamese private, Le Phan Hung, whose name means the “Heroic One.”
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 128)


“South Vietnam is not prepared for peace any more than it was prepared for war a decade ago,” one Vietnamese influential politician explained. And, as another added, “The question is whether Huong can unify the Vietnamese nationalists enough to prepare us for the luxury of peace.”
Beverly Deepe Keever

Bev Keever Collection (Packet 124)

Lieutenant Colonel Ma Son Nhon

I soon learned that the pacification effort had been hit hard. A U.S. official confided to me that in eleven provinces it had been set back “a minimum of six months.” A Vietnamese source agreed, saying, “The whole pacification program has been blown skyhigh.”
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 53)


Ambassador Maxwell Taylor, a French-speaking retired genral, recognized this xenophobia, however, when he argued unsuccessfully in February 1965 against introduing U.S. Marine combat units into Vietnam, prophesying that the United States – like France – would fail. “The ‘white-faced’ soldier cannot be assimilated by the population,” Taylor warned. “He cannot distinguish between friendly and unfriendly Vietnamese.”
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 29)

Special Forces

The United States officially repudiated the anti-Buddhist crackdown moves and blamed Nhu for them. Widley considered to be the brains and the iron fist Diem relied on, Nhu controlled his own private CIA-funded and trained Special Forces troops and secret police, which had conducted the raids.
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 107)

Gulf of Tonkin

I later was able to describe these kinds of covert opearations in connection with Tonkin Gulf incidents that catapulted the United States into a massive air war against North Vietnam and a buildup of its troop strength in the South.
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 11)

Aircraft Carrier

Morale remained high, with many Vietnamese repeating with a singsong lilt: “The more Americans keep coming, the deeper the grave.” U.S. bombing was galvanizing the North Vietnamese like the stealth attack on Pearl Harbor had the United States in World War II.
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 145)

Danang, USAF

The marines’ mission “to secure enclaves in the northern region of Vietnam” included the strategic Danang airbase and the six hundred square miles surrounding it, inhabited by 411,000 people. The marines’ area was included in the five northernmost provinces in South Vietnam, and area of about ten thousand square miles, where about 2.5 million people lived.
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 154-155)

Vietnamese Soldiers

Politically, the South Vietnamese armed forces manifested a glaring contradiction of the war – they had helped to reconquer the city and then proceeded to damage it further by looting. Their troops had in effect nullified their prime political mission – to reestablish law and order – and instead simply added to the anarchy and destruction.
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 202)


Diem also used substantial outlays of U.S. funds and materials to push viorously for economic development. He intended the province to showcase high-impact programs for fast rural development that might serve as successful prototypes in other provinces.
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 48)

Vietnamese Children During War

I though that the Communists’ countrywide offensive opened up the possibility of the United States losing its first major war in history. The United States, the most powerful nation militarily in history, had become the underdog in the multifaceted war of politics, psychology, military battles, and xenophobia.
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 192)


The 46-year-old Secretary believes a man who can not explain to him clearly and lucidly a subject probably does not understand the subject at all. One night in Washington he was helping his son with his mathematics. His son said he understood the problem, but could not explain it. “Then you don’t understand the problem at all,” his father replied. McNamara has put a premium on being articulate.
Beverly Deepe Keever

Bev Keever Collection (Packet 90)

American Troops

“Suppose you lose your billfold in a dark place,” one Vietnamese provincial official explained. “But you insist on looking for it where there is light because it is easier. Well, you are now looking for the Communists in the light place — the military field — but you never, never find them all — they are also where you refuse to look.”
Beverly Deepe Keever

Bev Keever Collection (Packet 100)



Saigon is beginning to be a capital without a country. It is beginning to suffer visibly from strangulation in slow-motion – but it is not yet being starved to death. “The Viet Cong are putting the squeeze on Saigon,” one Vietnamese intellectual who had once served with the Communists explained. “But they won’t go to the breaking point to starve Saigon–until they are ready to seize power. and that is several years away.”
Beverly Deepe Keever

Bev Keever Collection (Packet 98)


The U. S. Navy’s official interest in the Vietnam area dates back 15 years, when the United States and France signed an agreement to provide military assistance to Indochina. The miliitarty Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) Indochina was created to carry out this agreement, and the first Mutual Defense Assistance Program (MDAP), later renamed Military Assistance Program (MAP), was initiated.

Bev Keever Collection (Packet 127)

US Airforce

At first, the bombing of North Vietnam was a policy of tit-for-tat — if you destroy our installations, we’ll destroy yours. But it soon gave way to general retaliation, and then to regular and continual bombing. In the beginning, the policy was officially proclaimed an inducement to the north to negotiate. High ranking American officials said hopefully: “We’ll be at the conference table by September.”
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 274)

US Aircraft/Aid

The immediate and overriding United States objective in South Vietnam is to help the Vietnamese government and people resist and defeat the Communist insurgents. To achieve this goal, the United States provides two forms of assistance: military, administered by the Department of Defense, and economic, administered by the U.S. Operations Mission (USOM) of the Agency for International Development (AID).
Government paper for US Embassy in Saigon

Bev Keever Collection (Packet 92)


Besides missions and briefings, I took careful note of the humdrum camp activities so that I could make vivid the scene and conditions for readers half a world away. During the day the PX was open for drugstore items from 9 to 6, the post office from 7:30 a.m. on. Holes were being dug for a frame chapel near the mess hall, which served breakfasts of ham, eggs,and pancakes and dinners of mashed potatoes and meats.
Beverly Deepe Keever

(Keever, 59)