Happy International Women’s Day
Catherine Leroy was just 21 when she arrived in Vietnam with little more than a Leica and $100 to her name. She went on to take some of the conflict’s most striking photographs. Born in Paris in 1945, her childhood had been permeated by the reports from France’s war in Indochina and, when the war again escalated with American intervention, she decided to travel to Vietnam, arriving in 1966.
Speaking little English she managed to meet Horst Faas, the Associated Press’ bureau chief in Saigon; he offered her $15 a picture. She would spend the next decade periodically covering the war in Vietnam until the fall of Saigon in 1975. Under five feet tall and sporting blonde pigtails she didn’t fit the conventional image of a war correspondent.
Leroy, however, was determined to capture the human aspect of the war. A qualified parachutist, Leroy became the first female war correspondent to take part in a combat jump with the 173rd Airborne Brigade when they launched Operation Junction City in February 1967.
(More on Leroy at Historical Firearms)