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"The still photograph is powerful in that it’s a little slice of time that’s converted into… something tangible." (Audio interview, 59:47)

   Richard A. Ruddy
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War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Air Force
Unit: 600th Photo Squadron
Service Location: Orlando, Florida; Vietnam; Andrews Air Force Base (AFB), Maryland
Rank: Captain
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Arriving in Vietnam in 1965, Richard Ruddy worked to coordinate the visual documentation of the war as it escalated. As an officer with the 600th Photo Squadron, stationed at Tan Son Nhut Airbase, it was his job to determine into which planes to place cameras in order to get the best documentary footage, and to work with the media--such as Life photographer Larry Burrows--to provide access. In his interview, he notes his pride in helping to "record history in a way that it can’t be recorded any other way."

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview  (92 min.)
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»Military Photographers: Framing the Shot
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Nature of still photography in Vietnam; working with the media; military allowed and assisted the media as much as they could. (01:58) State of technology in Vietnam; initially working with cameras from Korean War; types of still and motion picture cameras; transition to lighter equipment; film shot in color. (03:04) Gaining an appreciation for still photography; working with Life photographer Larry Burrows; becoming a still photographer as a professional career after Vietnam. (03:11)
Going up to a little radar station near the DMZ to take still photos; remote runway in middle of flat valley; no other military man who was further north than he was at that point. (02:03)  
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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