During the Vietnam War, 8.7 million U.S. military personnel were on active duty, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. For three months during 1966, former Oakland Tribune military writer Tom Flynn, a Marine veteran, reported on their cause.

Flynn volunteered to cover the war and arrived in Vietnam in May 1966 during a civil battle between government troops and Buddhist rebels in Da Nang. He brought along a camera to illustrate his stories. His photos along with stories and memos typed on onion skin paper were airmailed to Managing Editor Stephen Still and published daily in the newspaper until his return in August 1966.

This month we bring you those photos, over 20 of which have never been published, together for the first time.

The Tribune is seeking veterans help in identifying the names, rank and military branch of those servicemen in the previously unpublished photos. Email information to Veronica Martinez at or send mail to the Oakland Tribune, (Tom Flynn photos), 1970 Broadway, Suite 100, Oakland, CA 94612.

For more on this story and a link to the slideshow of Flynn’s photos please go to


Oakland, CA Circa 1945 - Margaret Clare McDonnell, 4, stands on tiptoe to put her donation in a Veteran Hospitals’ Christmas Committee jar with help from Melson Business Association President Elmo Mazzera. (Oakland Tribune Staff Archives)

San Leandro, CA December 1945 - Pfc. George Crimes of San Francisco wraps presents at San Leandro Naval Hospital. (Oakland Tribune Staff Archives)

Oakland, CA December 21, 1947 - Nurses Rita Breit and Esther Kremer help World War II veterans Doug DeCosta (left) and Harold Cholcher decorate a tree at the Oakland Veterans Hospital. (Oakland Tribune Staff Archives)

Oakland, CA December 25, 1952 - Santa Claus presents gifts at the Oakland Veterans Hospital. Seated left to right are Virge Monroe and J.O. Bruce. Standing from left at Paul Argo, Joe Malouin and Hughy Smith. (Jim Edelen / Oakland Tribune Staff Archives)


Veterans were treated to dinner, Thanksgiving Day November 28, 1946.

Clockwise from left: Robert Brown, William Kevern and Lester Miller load turkeys into the oven at the Oakland Army Base. 

Louis Ponig, head chef at the Veterans Cafe in Richmond, CA and manager Eve Straight keep the turkeys basted. 

The women of the Oakland Hospitality House were kept busy serving turkey to an endless line of servicemen on Thanksgiving Day. 

Mrs. Francis Brinkhaur (right) and Mrs. Albert Keilson service after-dinner coffee at the Oakland Veterans Hospital to Jerry Pallock, Henry Crail, Earl Leonard and William E. McKean, a Spanish-American War veteran.

(All photos from the Oakland Tribune Staff Archives)