Legendary Vietnam War photographer Tim Page died aged 78
Photographer Tim Page, whose images and exploits from the Vietnam War made him a legendary figure of journalism in the 1960s, died on Wednesday, August 24th, in Australia at the age of 78. He fought a battle with cancer.
Tim Page was one of a corps of young freelance journalists who would hop on US military helicopters, the iconic transportation of the Vietnam War, to reach some of the most intense action of the conflict.
The Vietnam War was the first and last war where there was no censorship, the military actively encouraged press involvement and Page went everywhere, covering everything.
He was wounded four times; the last time was when he jumped out of a helicopter to help load the wounded and the person in front of him stepped on a landmine. He was wrongly pronounced DOA (dead on arrival) at the hospital. He required extensive neurosurgery and spent most of the seventies in recovery.
Besides taking photographs that brought the war to newspapers and magazines around the world, Page was the inspiration for the photojournalist played by Dennis Hopper in the Vietnam War movie “Apocalypse Now.”
Clive Williams MG, platoon commander of 3 Platoon, A Company 1RAR 1965-66 recalls:
“Tim Page was a good friend who came out with 3 Platoon several times. I stayed on one occasion at his house in Saigon and remember drinking with Tim and his housemate fellow- journalist Sean Flynn. (Sean Flynn was the son of Errol Flynn.) Sean was murdered by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in 1970.
I only saw Tim once after that. I was in London for an intelligence exchange conference and one evening walked past a gallery in Chelsea having a photo retrospective of Tim’s Vietnam pictures. Tim was there because it was the opening night. I’m not sure he remembered me. He had been badly wounded in the head in 1969 and I think it affected his recall of past events. Either that, or I didn’t make a lasting impression on him!”