Academic journal article Military Review

LOST OVER LAOS: A True Story of Tragedy, Mystery, and Friendship, Richard Pyle and Horst Faas

Academic journal article Military Review

LOST OVER LAOS: A True Story of Tragedy, Mystery, and Friendship, Richard Pyle and Horst Faas

Article excerpt

LOST OVER LAOS: A True Story of Tragedy, Mystery, and Friendship, Richard Pyle and Horst Faas, Da Capo Press, Cambridge, MA, 2003, 304 pages, $30.00.

Take a minor footnote uncovered in U.S. military archives-a mere scrap of paper pinpointing a 1971 helicopter crash in Laos-and add a grainy black-and-white photograph that had lain in an attic for decades. From these small clues, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Horst Faas and veteran Associated Press (AP) correspondent Richard Pyle put together their own ad hoc missing in action (MIA) search for four wartime friends and colleagues. Lost Over Laos: A True Story of Tragedy, Mystery, and Friendship documents Faas and Pyle's odyssey.

The authors' return to Southeast Asia brought closure to the lives of four combat photographers: Larry Burrows of Life Magazine (the Robert Capa of his day); AP's Henri Huet; United Press International's Kent Potter; and Newsweek's Keisaburo Shimamoto. In 1971, this foursome rode a Huey into oblivion.

In addition to the main story, a number of subcurrents flow through the book. Pyle and Faas examine and try to put into context the war's 1969 to 1971 extension into Laos and Cambodia. This major historical contribution provides a rare view into the lives and motivation of those who reported and photographed the war. The 20 pages of photographs Faas has assembled should intrigue readers. …

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