Institute catalogs Cal Olson’s Vietnam War images into Digital Horizons


Child shining a boot belonging to a U. S. soldier, Vietnam

In March 1966, Forum photographer Cal Olson was sent on assignment to report on North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota men and women serving in the Vietnam War. Prior to his leaving, families of these service members were asked to provide their names, rank, branch of service and location in Vietnam (if known), to assist Cal Olson in locating them. Once Mr. Olson arrived in Saigon, he set off to track the service members down to interview and photograph them while on duty. Besides Saigon, his quest took him to various locations in Vietnam including, Tan Son Nhut Air Force Base, Nha Trang, Cu Chi, Di An, Vung Tau, Baria, Phu Loi, Bien Hoa, An Khe, and Da Nang.  He also reported from onboard the USS Hancock in the South China Sea. The correspondence from his trip was a daily feature in The Forum from March 13th to April 24, 1966.

The Institute has digitized and released a sampling of the images taken for this Vietnam series in the Cal Olson Photograph Collection on Digital Horizons. Not all of the service members interviewed by Cal Olson are included in this sampling.