Saturday and I wander off my traditional path for some FYI or humor or history…..this day it is the war that I try to forget and cannot…..
Sean Flynn…..Sean Flynn could have done anything he wanted. For a while he tried to be an actor like his swashbuckling father, Errol. But the passion that drove him was to work as a photographer covering America’s deadly wars in Indochina.
The dangerous, chaotic assignment brought him excitement and fame, but it also led him to his death. Forty years ago next week, Flynn and another journalist, Dana Stone, disappeared without trace after encountering a hostile checkpoint south-east of Phnom Penh.
Flynn and Stone disappeared in April 1970 while riding motorcycles together to cover the battlefront in Cambodia. According to the Defense Intelligence Agency, they were captured by Viet Cong and then turned over to the Khmer Rouge, who executed them.At the time, Page was still recovering after he had been severely wounded a year earlier when shrapnel from a land mine pierced his skull, resulting in serious brain injuries.
Flynn was a photojournalist during the Vietnam War….what got me to thinking about this person was a story I read about the bodies of photojournalists from that war had been turned over for burial…
The legendary Life magazine photojournalist patted the empty seat next to him in the back of the South Vietnamese UH-1 Huey army helicopter. Then he invited Marine Cpl. Sergio Ortiz, a 23-year-old combat photographer, to climb aboard.
“See? There’s room,” said Larry Burrows, who had spent nine years covering the Vietnam War. “Come along if you want.”
Ortiz was tempted. The reporters on that helicopter on Feb. 10, 1971, would be the first to follow South Vietnamese troops on their invasion of Laos, then in its third day. Anyone in the Saigon press corps would have wanted to go.
But Ortiz had a separate assignment to finish for his Marine Corps editors — plus, explicit orders to stay on the Vietnam side of the border.
Sadly Sean Flynn’s remains were not included he is still listed as missing presumed dead…
May the families of these fallen Americans now get the closure they need…..
May they rest in peace.
“lego ergo scribo”