The Blunt Reality of War in Vietnam


It was perhaps the most controversial cover for LIFE magazine, which usually steered clear of controversy and was known for its staunch defense of American ideals and upbeat approach to modern American culture.

Paul Schutzers was just 26 years old when he started working for LIFE magazine. His series of brutally honest photos of Vietcong guerrillas being held prisoner by U.S. Marines captured the images of the VC soldiers with their eyes and mouths taped for security reasons in a large, desolate field of withering grass. Schutzers and another LIFE reporter, Mike Mok, were embedded with a group of Marines to produce a lengthy photo-essay depicting the grim reality of the guerrilla war that was slowly consuming the American troops in Vietnam.

Schutzer worked frequently in the Middle East during his short career and there he perished: he was killed on assignment on June 5, 1967, the first day of the Six-Day War. He was just 36.

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