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My Story Page 2 - Fitting into the Team, Hospital visits with the CG

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helicopter maintenance

Part of the Team

My press experience was helpful to the other staffers and my assignments got better and better. My knowledge of the Pentax cameras was helpful also, I could fix small problems and set up more specific maintenance procedures.
One of my early maintenance photos (like the one on the left) was picked up and run in several publications, (that was what I was told) , a big deal for the information office. When the photo coordinator DEROSED (returned to the world), I was named his replacement in March of 1969. I worked hard for all division photographers to get credit lines on their published photos. New editors for the Cavalair agreed and credited all our photos. When this happened the quality of photos got better.Major J.D. Coleman arrived in April and we really went into high gear. Cavalair newspaper and First Team magazine editors planned more ambitious stories and photos. I got to spend some time in the field with 2nd Brigade a very valuable time for me.

93rd evac hospital, Long Binh

Sunday Hospital Visits with the Cav CG

One of the regular photo jobs was going along with the CG when he visited wounded skytroopers at one of the Evac Hospitals in Long Binh or Vung Tau. I would take a polaroid of the CG talking to or presenting a medal to a soldier. I was amazed at the upbeat attitudes and pride exhibited by these Cav soldiers, some of them severely wounded.
The polaroid film in those days was not user friendly. You had to take the shot, pull the sheet out of the camera smoothly through 2 rollers, wait a minute, peel it apart and coat it with the preservative.The CG's tour was fast moving, and not unusual for me to shoot 50-60 shots. It was a busy time, but always inspirational. It was not unusual for me to fall asleep on the return trip.

In the photo to the left, the pilot banks sharply as we arrive at the 93rd Evac Hospital in Long Binh for one of the CG's sunday visits.

monsoon rain

A Word about Cameras: They had a Hostile Environment too

I brought my own Pentax cameras, but I used the Information office Pentax's too. They held up really well in the heat and humidity. I never had a camera failure. Lenses were more of a problem. I noticed slight darkening around the edges on a proof sheet of recently shot pix, I checked the zoom lens I had used, looking closely I could see mold growing around the outside edge of one of the inside glass elements.(It's the lens in the picture at the top of this page.) It was not repairable, so I got another (better) one. I created a system of heavy duty plastic bags to keep my cameras and lenses dry. The monsoon was amazing. everyday it would rain really hard (2-3 inches) for about a half hour. The photo on the left was shot out the Press/Photo front door during the monsoon rain.

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© Terry A. Moon All Rights Reserved 2007