Vietnam Center and Archive Collection Finding Aid

Collection Finding Aid

DASPO unit patch
Howard (Harry) Breedlove Collection
Department of the Army Special Photographic Office (DASPO)
Collection Number
.4 linear feet
Physical Location(s)
D102.3B, D102.5B; Cold Storage Vault; Oversize drawer (Map Section 12, drawer 16), Library
Processed by
R. Grau, Nov. 2002[Updated: Oct. 2011 by S. Montgomery]
Digitization Status
Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in the Virtual Vietnam Archive.

To search for items within this collection, or within all of the holdings of the Vietnam Archive, go to the Virtual Vietnam Archive

Scope and Content

Most of the Breedlove collection consists of printed including scripts to accompany films and Breedlove's published photographs. Also present in the collection are films, photographs and museum objects.

Biographical Note

Harry Breedlove volunteered for the Army in 1955 when he was 17. After serving one tour of duty with a tank company in Korea Breedlove sought admission into a career training school. He settled into a photography vacancy (his third choice after transportation and electrician) at the Army Film School at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, where his instructor was Frank Capra Jr.. Breedlove went on to do feature stories for Stars and Stripes in Italy, Greece, Sardinia, and Turkey. He also served as a staff photographer for the Commander in Chief of NATO for southern Europe in Naples, Italy. He finally found a professional home in the Department of the Army Special Photographic Office Pacific Detachment in Hawaii. Beginning in 1965, Breedlove worked extensively in Vietnam. His assignments required him to travel with various units and document any action with his camera. While in Vietnam, Breedlove captured one of the most recognized images of the entire war. The photograph is of a helicopter landing while men are pouring out of each side of the aircraft. The photo went on to appear in several books, magazines, newspapers and calendars. It was also featured at a photo mural at the Pentagon and was displayed in the meeting room of the House Armed Services Committee. Breedlove received recognition for his photography in and out of the Army. He was twice awarded by the Department of the Army for the best photograph taken worldwide. He also received awards for his combat footage. His photographs and moving images have appeared in several television shows and documentaries about the Vietnam War. After serving in Vietnam, Breedlove continued his career in the Army, working on assignments in Alaska, Bangkok, and Japan. He also worked at the Pentagon filming Medal of Honor presentations and the investigation into the My Lai massacre. He filmed Sammy Davis Jr.'s tour of Vietnam and the return of Vietnam POWs at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Colorado. Breedlove retired from the Army in 1975, after 20 years of service.

Rights and Access

Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research

Collection Inventory

Script forGrowing Under the Colors video
Biographical sketch about Breedlove
Photocopies of photographs
Master captions for photographs
Photocopied newspaper articles
Various magazine and book covers featuring Breedlove photographs, and other published photographs
Initial Distribution Letter for the film 1045VI0876, titled "Peace, Togetherness and Sammy" ("Sammy Davis, Jr. Tours Vietnam"), May 1973
3 photographs
D102.3B Oversize

Separated Materials

Grunts: U.S. Infantry in Vietnam by Christopher J. Anderson, 1998.

The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War by F. Clifton Berry, Jr.

The Vietnam War: The Stroy and the Photographers by Donald M. Goldstein, Katherine V. Dillon, and J. Michael Wenger, 1997.
DASPO photographs taken by Breedlove VA029414 - VA029504.
Poster of photograph of army helmet, machine gune and canteen with the sunset in the background (signed in lower right corner by Howard Breedlove) (Map Section 12, drawer 16).
Museum Objects
Light meter.

Vietnam stamp pin, depicting a Breedlove photo.

Commemorative coin, Vietnam Veterans National Medal.
Moving Images
Growing Under the Colors (3 reels).

You've Come a Long Way (1 reel).

Peace, Togetherness and Sammy (1 reel of Sammy Davis, Jr. entertaining troops in Vietnam).

Hit It Hard (1 reel). (0871 - 0876).

Digitized Materials

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in the Virtual Vietnam Archive.

To search for items within this collection, or within all of the holdings of the Vietnam Archive, go to the Virtual Vietnam Archive