40 years ago
James Pringle reported from Vietnam for Reuters, Newsweek and the Times during the American War. Writing for the Asia Sentinel he remembers a tragic event in the Cholon district of Saigon 40 years ago today. Pringle was Reuters bureau chief, but was out of the country on May 5, 1968. A day that would claim the lives of five of his colleagues,
Reporters, photographers and television crews started heading towards Cholon. One small group of five journalists jumped into a small open Jeep-like Mini-Moke, painted white, outside the office of Reuters, the British news agency, in tree-lined Han Thuyen street, 200 yards from the then presidential palace, in central Saigon.
There were two Reuters men, Bruce Pigott, 23, an Australian, and Ron Laramy, 31, a recently-arrived British correspondent. Also squeezing into the vehicle were Michael Birch, 24, from the Australian news agency AAP, John Cantwell, 29, another Australian representing Time-Life, whose vehicle it was and who drove it, and Frank Palmos, a freelancer from Perth, Western Australia. Within two hours all but Palmos would be dead in one of the biggest single journalistic tragedies of the Vietnam War – or any war, for that matter. link
Pringle also wrote another piece ten years ago for the IHT remembering a different episode during the same war.