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Kent B. Potter
1971 02 10
4 photographers lost; Reds gun down copter over Laos
By United Press International
SAIGON -- Four photographers aboard a South Vietnamese Air Force helicopter shot down over Laos were missing today. Field reports said there were no survivors in the crash but there was no official confirmation they were dead.
The photographers were Kent Potter of United Press International Henri Huet of Associated Press Larry Burrows Life Magazine and Keisaburo Shimamoto Newsweek. Among them the men have won a number of photographic awards.
Vietnamese move into the country to try to cut the Ho CM Minh Trail Their chopper was in a group of four helicopters which came under heavy groundfire by B40 rocket-propelled grenades.
One of the helicopters exploded in flight while another was damaged and crashed It was not clear which of the two downed helicopters the photographers were aboard.
A Vietnamese Army cameraman also was aboard the helicopter but military officials did not identify him.
Potter, 23, was a native of Philadelphia and a former UPI Newspictures manager for Vietnam. He had served as Newspictures manager in Bangkok since September and was on assignment in Vietnam covering the South Vietnamese drive into Laos.
Potter began his UPI career in Philadelphia in 1963 as a motorcycle runner and later as a part-time photographer. He was appointed UPI Newspictures manager in Philadelphia in mid-1966 while completing active duty with a US Marine Corps Reserve unit In 1967 he won three awards of the Pennsylvania Photographers Association including the first prize in the spot news category for photographing a bank robbery suspect being shot by a policeman.
Huet, 43, was born in Vietnam of a French father and Vietnamese mother and had covered the Indochina conflict for nearly two decades he began as a combat photographer with the French Army during the French Indochina War and also worked for UPI in Vietnam.
While working for AP he was seriously wounded in action. He won the 1967 Robert Capa award of the Overseas Press Club for "superlative still photography requiring exceptional courage and enterprise.Burrows, 46, a native of Britain worked out of Hong Kong where his wife resides He first went to Vietnam in 1962 and with occasional breaks had been covering the Indochina War ever since. Burrows also had covered war in Iraq Lebanon Iran Cyprus and the Congo but never wanted to be typed as a war photographer He also covered such varied subjects as bullfighting with Ernest Hemingway and Billy Graham's tour of England.
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