This page is Dedicated to Charlie Chellappah Combat Photographer for the Associated Press and all those that gave their lives on that Valentines Day February 14th, 1966.
Charlie Chellappah was the third Combat Photographer to die while working in Vietnam on the 14th of February 1966. Chellappah was from the East Indies and then moved to Singapore so he could work as a News Photographer. When the opportunity came, he got to ful-fill his life time ambition to become a Combat Photographer by going to Vietnam and working for Associated Press. He went to Vietnam in January 1966. Charlie decided to go to Cu Chi, also known as “HELL’s HALF ACRE” just 23 miles north west of Saigon because that was where the action was. After being told NOT to go in the Cu Chi Area because it was too DANGEROUS by his AP Supervisor, he went any way. He figured that if you were going to be a good Combat Photographer, you had to go where the action was, and Cu Chi was HOT! On the 14th of February 1966, only after being in Vietnam for 3 weeks, he went into the Fil Hol Plantation with A Company of the 1st Battalion M 5th Infantry Regiment 2nd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division where he was killed by one of a series of command detonated claymores were set off by the enemy in a large Fire Fight with A Company 1st of the 5th. The Photo below was the last one he took before being killed along with another Freelance Newsman that was working with him in the FEROCIOUS BATTLE that took place in the Fil Hol Plantation. The Fil Hol was directly to the front of the Battalions perimeter at Cu Chi. The Infamous Fil Hol Plantation was also known as “The Gateway to the Ho Bo Woods.
May GOD BLESS Charlie and all that gave their lives on that Valentines Day in 1966.
S/SGT Frank Andress Alfa Company working on one of our Guy's that was hit that BAD day we had in the Fil Hol Plantation.