David did two tours in Vietnam and changed unit in the USAF each year of his 10 year service. In Vietnam he served with the 600th Photo Squadron and in the 601st Photo Fleet based in Ubon, Thailand. He flew rear observer in the OV-10 Bronco FAC.
“In 1966, I joined the U.S. Air Force and went into the photographic field. I volunteered for two tours of duty in Southeast Asia, where I served as a combat photographer and flew backseat as an aerial photographer in OV-10s with forward air controllers over the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos and Cambodia”
He always carried his private purchase Nikon FTN 35mm camera (serial 6875509) as well as the USAF Issue 4x5 Graflex.
“Other than being clumsy the 4x5’s weren’t a bad camera. For our aerial work from the OV-10 we used a military camera , the KE-28 Aerial camera, fixed focus at infinity, 700mm roll film (15ft roll) and 6x6cm. This camera was heavy, 4-5 pounds and difficult to even hold when pulling out of a dive and pulling g’s. Sometimes we would pull 6-7g’s (without a g-suit) and this would make the camera feel like 30-35 pounds!”
David was also present for the first week of the Khe Sahn siege taking a number of photos (and helping out in defence of the base)
The grouping comes with his Tiger “Nail” boonie, his Nikon FTN, Seiko dive watch, survival knife, lighter and a group of insignia. We are also in possession of a large number of photographs taken by David including aerial shots of the Ho Chi Minh trail.
Courtesy of Guy at Brightlight Military Antiques and the Beau Brummel Collection