The Army mortuary outside Saigon bustled at least 12 hours a day, seven days a week. It was so far over capacity that the staff had to throw away food to make more space in the cooler. As the decades have slowly crept by, mortuary personnel have tried to forget, but that is all but impossible. But the dead and wounded injured were only the direct casualties of the conflict — there were millions of family members back home, and still more ripples to be felt through generations later.




For those who prepared Vietnam's fallen, a lasting dread

The Vietnam War left scars on the minds of a generation, but for the soldiers who identified the war dead and sent them home to their families for burial, it has never been more vivid.



FEATURE STORY | The history of the medevac callsign [Back to top]



Fifty years ago, medical evacuation pilot Maj. Charles L. Kelly — one of the iconic figures of the Vietnam War — was killed in action.

His legacy, and the legacy of those who came after him, lives on in today’s “Dustoff” pilots, who continue to fly into harm’s way to save those wounded on the battlefield. [Read more]

TIMELINE SIDEBAR | Before 'Dustoff' [Back to top]







FROM THE ARCHIVES | Stripes reporting from 1964 [Back to top]