Vietnam Center and Archive Collection Finding Aid

Collection Finding Aid

DASPO unit patch
Bryan Grigsby Collection
Department of the Army Special Photographic Office (DASPO)
Collection Number
0.8 linear feet
Physical Location(s)
D102.6A, D102.6B, D102.6C, Photograph Collection, Museum Objects
Processed by
H. Nelson, Oct. 2002[Updated: Sep. 2008 by L. Duy]
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

Photographs, audiotape, printed material, and drawings document Bryan Grigsby's service with DASPO in Vietnam. The collection includes the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine of January 31, 1998, which featured a photo essay, "20 Years of Vietnam" by Grigsby, "DASPO: The Inside View, 1968-1969," cartoons drawn by Grigsby, and an audiotape of a firefight recorded by Grigsby, at the French National Cemetery outside Saigon, May 6, 1968. Also present in the collection is material arranged by Grigsby to cover three subjects: 1. Grigsby's first combat operation with the 25th Infantry Division: Operation Tran Hung Doa II in February, 1968. 2. Material gathered by Grigsby during the post - Tet offensive in May, 1968. 3. Text of DASPO power point presentation written by Grigsby and his wife, Susan Van Dongen. Also included are personal recollections of Grigsby's regarding Tran Hung Doa and the May (1968) offensive. The collection also includes a wide assortment of equipment used by Grigsby while in the field in Vietnam. Also added to the collection is a VHS copy of "Vietnam Veterans Issues and Answers" episode # 96: "Combat Photographer".

Biographical Note

Bryan K. Grigsby, originally from Gainesville, Florida served in the U.S. Army from 1967 until 1970. Grigsby served with the Department of the Army Special Photographic Office (DASPO) and was based out of Ft. Schafter, Hawaii. As a DASPO Still Photographer and Sound Specialist, he went TDY to Asia on five occasions: once to Thailand (1968), twice to South Korea (1967 and 1968), and twice to South Vietnam (February-May 1968 and June-August 1969). In May 1968, in South Vietnam, Grigsby was awarded the Silver Star for his actions while shooting combat during post-Tet Offensive action.

Rights and Access

Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research

Collection Inventory

"DASPO, the Inside View 1968-69," by Bryan K. Grigsby
The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine - "20 Years of Vietnam"
Thunderer! Magazine (Fall 1968).
Chieu Hoi pass
Seeing the Elephant, Operation Tran Hung Doa: Personal recollections of the operation.
Original captions of still shots (VA029958 through VA029964) taken during the operation.
Grigsby's personal recollections from the May 1968 Offensive.
Hand drawings
Original captions from still shots (VA029965 - VA029984) taken during the May Offensive of 1968.
Proaganda leaflets picked up by Grigsby.
A photograph of Grigsby from a page in Vietnam: the Decisive Battles by John Pimlott.
Original Text of a power point presentation written by Bryan Grigsby and Susan Van Dongen
DASPO Standing Operating Procedures, May 1, 1968
Awards Ceremony at Ft. Shafter, Hawaii, October 29, 1968 from Hawaii Army Weekly, November 8, 1968
Combat Operations, 1st Infantry Division, February 28, 1969
Captions for Still shots (VA002088, VA002179, VA002326)
Morgue and Personal Property Depot, June-August 1969
Personal Recollections of Bryan Grigsby, June-August 1969
Assorted Documents
Box Bridge Defense, August 3, 1969
Tracker Dog Story, February 18-20, 1969
Program of Memorial Service for Charles Frederick Rein, December 3, 1968
Correspondence with Boston Publishing Company regarding the book: Combat Photographer in the Vietnam Experience series
Orders for Operation Quyet Thang (April 4, 1968)
Summary of photographs taken while observing Marine Air Group 36 administering care to local Vietnamese in the Hue - Phu Bai area.
The DASPO Villa: Home Away from Home. Short story by Bryan Grigsby.
Flyer Advertising Rally for Freeing the Gainsville 8
Program for Vietnam Veterans Memorial Dedication Ceremony in Bristol Township, Pennsylvania, November 5, 1988
Some Thoughts in Passing: After the Vietnam War by Bryan K. Grigsby
Goodbye Dong Tam: The Troops Begin to Leave by Bryan Grigsby
Summary and Photo Captions for the Withdrawal of the 9th Infantry Division from Vietnam, July 6-8, 1969
Sequence of Events of the Withdrawal of the 9th Infantry Division, July 6, 1969
FIGMO Chart - How Short Can I Get?
TDY Orders, February 19, 1968 - May 14, 1969
Grigsby's military photographer identification card
December 1988 Esquire Magazine article about Dick Durrance.
People Magazine Article about "Where War Lives" by Dick Durrance, February 13, 1989
Washington Times article (October 15, 1985) recognizing Harry Breedlove
New York Times article about the minting of a commemorative Vietnam medal
Memoirs of Bryan Grigsby's time in the United States Army in Vietnam titled "Four Days in May."
Oversize 1
Hawaii Army Weekly, November 8, 1968
The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 10, 1997
Front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer, November 14, 1982 (With picture taken by Bryan Grigsby)
Oversize 2
Combat Photographer
Where War Lives
Combat Art
The Fighting Fourth
The Hurricane

Separated Materials

Combat Photographer (from The Vietnam Experience Series) Where War Lives: a Photographic Journal of Vietnam by Dick Durrance Combat Art of the 25th Infantry Division Volume 3 Tropic Lightning Combat Art Volume 4 Engineer Troops, Vietnam The.

Fighting Fourth in Vietnam: the Third Call to Arms.
VA002088, VA002179, VA002326, VA002475, VA002494, VA002496, VA002546 - VA002549, VA002567, VA002580, VA002722, VA002738, VA002846, VA002859, VA002872, VA002880, VA002887, VA002906, VA002913 - VA002914, VA002916 - VA002925, VA002927 - VA002930,.

VA029958 - VA029984, VA002998, VA003001, VA003005, VA003012, VA003015, VA003024 - VA003025, VA003038, VA003102 - VA003103, VA003138, VA003144, VA030556 - VA030596, VA030672 - VA030677, VA030943 VA030699 - VA030707.
VAS017689 - VAS017693.
Museum Objects
Notebook folder 1048museum0738.

Handmade plastic sleeve 1048museum0735.

Three Rank and Unit patches 1048museum0731-0734.

Pocket calendar from U.S. Army Library Service 1048museum0737.

Bic pen 1048museum0736.

C-ration packet containing: book of matches, salt, sugar, instant coffee, creamer 1048museum0761.

Green plastic canteen 1048museum0768.

Lens papers 1048museum0760.

US Army sewing kit 1048museum0762.

Pocket flashlight 1048museum0766.

Can opener 1048museum0764.

Collapsable Aluminum tumbler 1048museum0765.

AC adapters (2) 1048museum0763.

Gossen Luna Pro light meter and plastic carrying case 1048museum0771.

Silver ware set 1048museum0767.

Green Army issue cotton towel 1048museum0772.

Leather shoulder holster for a pistol 1048museum0770.

Knife with sheath 1048museum0769.

Green toiletry kit 1048museum0773.

35mm Minolta camera 1048mseum0774.

Portable Olympia typewriter 1048museum0775.

Satchel with Grigsby's name on it and places he'd been 1048museum0776.

Backpack with external frame 1048museum0777.

Vietnam Veterans Against the War Button 1048museum0815.
Moving Images
1048VI0987: 16mm Film - "Combat Photographer".

1048VI1819: VHS copy of "Veterans Issues and Answers" episode # 96: "Combat Photographer".
Cassette tape of firefight at French National Cemetery outside Saigon, May 6, 1968.
Thunderer! Vol. 1 No. 1 (Fall 1968).

The Hurricane (March 1968).

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

Oral History

An Oral History Interview has been conducted with this individual. Use the link below to view a record for this interview.

Although the interview has been conducted, the audio and/or the transcript may not yet be available.