The Giant Killer


1966 Vietnam. Guided from a first-aid station to a helicopter

966 Vietnam. Guided from a first-aid station to a helicopter evacuation clearing, yet still wanting to turn back to his dead commanding officer, a marine gunnery sergeant instinctively moves toward a mud-splattered comrade.


The Story:

"That's my father with his hand reaching out!! " said Josh Hadley when he noticed a photo on our Facebook Page of Mutter Ridge, Nui Cay Tri, South Vietnam, October 1966

“That’s my father with his hand reaching out!! ” said Josh Hadley when he noticed a photo on our Facebook Page of Mutter Ridge, Nui Cay Tri, South Vietnam, October 1966 by Larry Burrows (1926-1971). Josh invited his father, Jerry Hadley, to tell us more. “That’s SP5 Jerry Hadley, Oxford, Alabama, seen with his hand out second from the left. He was 19.”

“I don’t remember the exact moment in time that the picture was taken,” says Jerry, “however I do remember that day because there was a battalion aid Station at Mutter Ridge. We (special ops 45, 3rd battalion, 4th marines) had one of our marines killed (Kia). There were at least three hills surrounding mutter ridge that were being contested by the enemy (VC).

“The nearest place we could take the body of marine to be transported was the battalion aid Station at Mutter Ridge, our nickname for the place officially named Bamboo Ridge. We took the body to the battalion aid station, while we were there the Station came under heavy mortar fire. as a medic all I remember is trying to stay alive and save as many of the wounded as I could.

“The only other name in the pic I can remember is Gunny Sgt Jeremiah Purdie [fourth from left with the head bandage].”

“I said medic not corpsman because I was army medic not navy corpsman. Marines normally used corpsman, but I had combat medic training, mid level security clearance and survival school, because of that they chose me as their doc.”

“This is probably the most famous pic from the Vietnam era. It has been in over countries 150 publications worldwide, such as: Time magazine Sept 25th 2017 issue, Life magazine Feb 1971 (where it appeared first), the sixth grade history book American Journey, displayed at the Museum of Modern Art NYC, the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Mihn, Vietnam, just to name a few.

“Larry Burrows took this pic on his first trip to Vietnam. During his third trip to Vietnam he was killed. After his death a lot of his pics were published. I’m in several of them.”

“I’m 70 year old dental technician living in Oxford, Alabama. Then I was assigned to First Infantry Division, First Medical Battalion, 257 Medical Detachment, attached to Special Ops 45 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. We were involved mostly in covert operations so I can’t give a lot of details. We didn’t exist officially).”

The Giant Killer book & page honors these incredible war heroes making sure their stories of valor and sacrifice are never forgotten. God Bless our Vets!

This story was written by Flashbak

Photo by Larry Burrows from the Life magazine collection


https://www.facebook.com/smallestsoldierThe incredible story finally revealed about the iconic photo "Reaching out."




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