Oregon Public Broadcasting

Army photographer Charlie Haughey poses with camera and light meter. Location and date unknown.

An alert, young M60 machine gun operator in the jungle. Names, date and location unknown. Charlie Haughey

An alert, young M60 machine gun operator in the jungle. Names, date and location unknown.

U.S. soldiers patrol through a ghostly, defoliated rubber tree plantation. Charlie Haughey

U.S. soldiers patrol through a ghostly, defoliated rubber tree plantation.

Staff Sergeant Edgar D. Bledsoe, of Olive Branch, Ill., cradles a critically ill Vietnamese infant. The child was brought to Fire Support Base Pershing. This image, with this caption, was originally published in Vol. 3 No. 53 of Tropic Lightning News, December 30, 1968. Charlie Haughey

Staff Sergeant Edgar D. Bledsoe, of Olive Branch, Ill., cradles a critically ill Vietnamese infant. The child was brought to Fire Support Base Pershing. This image, with this caption, was originally published in Vol. 3 No. 53 of Tropic Lightning News, December 30, 1968.

An M60 operator pauses for a moment under the heavy load of machine gun ammo. Members of the unit were all required to carry some type of ammo or supplies, including bandoliers of heavy bullets. Name, date and location unknown. Charlie Haughey

An M60 operator pauses for a moment under the heavy load of machine gun ammo. Members of the unit were all required to carry some type of ammo or supplies, including bandoliers of heavy bullets. Name, date and location unknown.

Vietnamese children. Names, date and location unknown. Charlie Haughey

Vietnamese children. Names, date and location unknown.

Soldiers fire a captured M2 60mm mortar, originally a weapon produced by the United States for use in World War II and the Korean War. The mortar was captured on a patrol in a rice paddy, from Viet Cong forces. Names, date and location unknown. Charlie Haughey

Soldiers fire a captured M2 60mm mortar, originally a weapon produced by the United States for use in World War II and the Korean War. The mortar was captured on a patrol in a rice paddy, from Viet Cong forces. Names, date and location unknown.

An RTO guides a Chinook delivering a sling load of materials and supplies at Fire Support Base Pershing, near Dau Tieng. Name and date unknown. Charlie Haughey

An RTO guides a Chinook delivering a sling load of materials and supplies at Fire Support Base Pershing, near Dau Tieng. Name and date unknown.

A specially adapted armored personnel carrier, known as a flame track, clears ambush positions on the side of a supply route road. Names, date and location unknown. Charlie Haughey

A specially adapted armored personnel carrier, known as a flame track, clears ambush positions on the side of a supply route road. Names, date and location unknown.

A sergeant kneels on wet ground and checks his M16. Name, date and location unknown. Charlie Haughey

A sergeant kneels on wet ground and checks his M16. Name, date and location unknown.

Vietnamese children in a school. Names, date and location unknown. Charliey Haughey

Vietnamese children in a school. Names, date and location unknown.

Charlie Haughey's photos put you squarely in the boots of a U.S. soldier in Vietnam, offering you a glimpse of his fears, his joys, his private moments. Haughey's compelling images, which were in storage for 44 years, are now on display at ADX Art Gallery in southeast Portland.

"It's a celebration of the soldiers," says Haughey.

Haughey was stunned when he viewed his rediscovered images after more than four decades.

"I literally didn't sleep for three days. My mind just wouldn't stop. I didn't realize there's such a connection after all these years."

Former Army photographer Charlie Haughey locked away 2,000 negatives from photos he took during the Vietnam War 44 years ago.

Geneva Chin

Former Army photographer Charlie Haughey locked away 2,000 negatives from photos he took during the Vietnam War 44 years ago.

Haughey served in Vietnam from March 1968 to May 1969 after being drafted. His first job in the infantry was to sweep for explosives. Three months later, he was assigned to be an army photographer. He set up a darkroom in a shipping container. His colonel told Haughey his assignment was not to be a combat photographer, but to help boost morale. The colonel instructed him to photograph the soldiers doing their jobs and to get the pictures in the newspapers, Haughey says.

"I'm surprised at the amount of information that's in these pictures. The experience keeps roaring back," says Haughey.

He occasionally fights back tears when he relives the darker times and the killings.

"There are places in my mind I don't go. Every once in a while, there's a conversation or somebody points out something in a picture that I hadn't really paid attention to. It opens another door. I just say, 'Excuse me. I can't go there,' " he says.

Photos from the Vietnam War: A Weather Walked In

Through April 30, 2013

ADX Art Gallery, Portland

View more details ยป

Haughey came home from Vietnam with 2,000 negatives and put them in storage. A team of seven volunteers has worked for about four months to digitize those negatives. So far, they have completed more than 1,800 images.

Photographer Kris Regentin spearheaded this project after he met Haughey last year. Regentin was photographing Haughey's scrap wood artwork, when Haughey mentioned that he had once been a photographer during the Vietnam War and had about 2,000 negatives in storage. Regentin asked Haughey to allow him to digitize the images.

"I knew we were on to something valuable," says Rengentin.

Haughey consented to the project after being badgered for about one month, says Regentin. And the pictures were born.

"The pictures are incredible and gorgeous. They're striking. It was something I was compelled to share. People had to see them," says Regentin.

Haughey looks for emotion and a story when he shoots.

"When I look through a viewfinder, I ask if this tells a story by itself. Any one of these photographs ought to say something."

However, the passing of time and faded memories have erased parts of the story. In the captions of many of the pictures, Haughey's recollections of names, places and locations are sometimes blurry.

Haughey's exhibit has received worldwide news coverage -- including the BBC, The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe Blog, and Spiegel news magazine in Germany -- and now people from all over the world have been contacting Haughey and Regentin to say they recognize their dads, uncles or other loved ones in the photos.

If you have any information about Haughey's photos, please contact Haughey and Regentin at info@chieu-hoi.com or through Haughey's Facebook page.

Charlie Haughey's exhibit "The Weather Walked In" is on display at ADX Art Gallery through April 30, 2013.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.