Photographer Hugh Van Es Dead at 67

Hugh Van Es, the Dutch photojournalist who took one of the most iconic photographs of the Vietnam War–the people lined up to board a CIA helicopter on a Saigon apartment building rooftop (not the U.S. embassay as has often been misreported) on April 29, 1975–died on May 15 in Hong Kong where he had long lived. He was was 67 years old and had had a brain hemorrhage.

“Obviously he will be always remembered as one of the great witnesses of one of the great dramas in the second half of the 20th century, ” said Ernst Herb, president of Hong Kong’s Foreign Correspondent Club.

Van Es had covered the Vietnam War beginning in 1968 when he worked as a soundman for NBC News. He then took photos for The Associated Press (1969-72) and United Press International (1972-75).
The rooftop photo stands as a symbol of the inglorious end of the U.S. presence in Vietnam. It took on new life when it was recreated on stage in the popular Broadway musical, Miss Saigon .


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