In October 1966, on a mud-splattered hill just south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Vietnam, LIFE magazine’s Larry Burrows made a photograph that, for generations, has served as the most indelible, searing illustration of the horrors inherent in that long, divisive war — and, by implication, in all wars.
Marines recovering dead comrade while under fire during N. Vietnamese/US mil. conflict over DMZ, w. photog. Catherine LeRoy w. cameras in rear: S. Vietnam.
Members of 1st Marine Division carrying their wounded during firefight nr. southern edge of DMZ during Vietnam War. South Vietnam.
2nd Battalion, 5th Marines making sweep below DMZ, as part of Operation Prairie.
US Marines eating rations during a lull in the fighting near the DMZ during the Vietnam War.
Wounded Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jeremiah Purdie (C) being led past stricken comrade after fierce firefight for control of Hill 484 during the Vietnam war.
American soldiers tending wounded comrade while awaiting evacuation just south of the DMZ during the Vietnam War.
Wounded American Marines being treated and prepared for evacuation during the Vietnam War.
American soldier w. a bandaged head wound looking dazed after participating in Operation Prairie just south of the DMZ.
American Marines aid a wounded comrade during intense battle for Hill 484 as part of Operation Prairie being conducted near the DMZ during the Vietnam War.
US Marine Phillip Wilson carrying rocket launcher across stream during fighting near the DMZ during the Vietnam War.
Shell shocked wounded Marine being bandaged in muddy jungle during OP Prairie US mil. sweep just s. of DMZ, S. Vietnam.
Dirty, exhausted looking US Marine on patrol with his squad near the DMZ during the Vietnam War.
Wounded Marine being helped to an air evacuation point.
(Photos by Larry Burrows—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)