For the photographer, it all started on June 8th, 1972, when a South Vietnamese fighter plane swooped in on a cluster of its own soldiers, and some women and children, opened fire and dropped napalm on civilians. Photographer Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut happened to be in the right place at the right time that day, and captured the group as they attempted to flee the cloud of burning napalm behind them. His photo was seen on the cover of Time Magazine later that month, and is still remembered today as one of the most infamous images of the Vietnam War.
Before delivering his film with the Kim Phuc photo, he took her to the hospital. Horst Faas, AP’s chief photographer for Southeast Asia at that time ordered the photo transmitted despite the AP bureau’s debate about transmitting a naked girl’s photo over the wire.
Wounded three times in Vietnam, Ut has since worked for the Associated Press in Tokyo, South Korea, and Hanoi and still maintains contact with Kim Phuc. He had became a photographer when he was 16 years old, pressed into service during hard times. His older brother (also a photographer) was killed during the Vietnam War. Ut earned the Pulitzer prize for his photograph. He still works for the AP, but now at their Los Angeles bureau. Today he is a United States citizen, and is married with two children.
Phan Thi Kim Phuc And Huỳnh Công Út
A Return to Saigon
I’ve never escaped from that moment: Girl in napalm photograph that defined the Vietnam War 40 years on
The girl in the picture: Kim Phuc’s journey from war to forgiveness