There are fifty-three original photographs of people, places and things in Thailand, sent as Real Photo Postcards with typewritten notes on the back in this captivating collection made by Harry Everett Lyndes, Jr., during his time stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War. The photos, most measuring 5” x 7” and some 5” x 8”, were taken and captions written by one airforce squadron commander (and later “C of M”) A.Y.H. (Harry) stationed at NKP (Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Navy Base, formerly Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base), and later Korat and Chiang Mai, and sent back home to his wife and two kids, the Lyndeses, in Orono, Maine, mostly between early October 1970 and March 1971 (some are addressed to his own mother and his wife when they visit her in California, and one hand-written postcard appears to be dated March 1970). From his accounts it appears A.Y.H. spent his time there awaiting assignment as squadron commander at NKP and later transitioning to “C of M” – something maintenance related – in Korat, and working on some sort of paper or report of his own accord on the side (he refers several times to “my experiment” - I believe this is related to his duties, and the “writing project” is possibly not.) Photos range in subject from Thai schoolmates and Karen (ethnic minority in Thailand) children smoking pipes, to young Buddhist monks and temples, to umbrella and charcoal making, to fishermen and traditional life activities, and one shot of the landscape below from the back of a helicopter. Included in his descriptions are: details of many small interactions between him and strangers walking the streets, people selling goods, Buddhist temples and their inhabitants, his “hooch” girl (maid employed to clean the shelters and keep house for American servicemen during the Vietnam War), a mention of opium and the “real drug problem over here”, switching positions in the AF, travel, the ebb and flow of frustrations and smooth sailings in his assignments. Overall the collection is a touching and detailed recounting of a service member’s separation from his family and his wonderment at a foreign land.
Harry Everett Lyndes, Jr. (1922-1993) was a Lieutenant Colonel and Commander of the 56th Field Maintenance Squadron. That would have been when the 56th Tactical Fighter Wing was deployed to Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand (1967-1975). While in Thailand, the 56th TFW was known as the "56th Air Commando."