Extra tape was carried on the stock to cover the mouths of any Vietcong prisoners we might capture.
Among the most gripping of the almost-forgotten incidents was the shooting in 1968 of a Vietcong prisoner by Nguyen Ngoc Loan, the South Vietnamese national police commander.
The heroes of both novels withdraw from the war - one as a deserter, the other as a traitor of sorts - in favor of personal ties, to a South Vietnamese woman and a Vietcong prisoner.
Vietnam had the monk setting himself aflame, the girl burned by napalm running naked and the Vietnamese officer shooting a Vietcong prisoner at point-blank range.
Behind them is the cyclo driver, whose impassive face might suddenly remind Western viewers of pictures of Vietcong prisoners during the war, who often wore a similar expression.
It showed the South Vietnamese police commander, Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, shooting a Vietcong prisoner in the head on the second day of the Tet offensive.
It may go so far as to shape history and therefore endure, like Eddie Adams's unforgettable photograph of the South Vietnamese police commander shooting a Vietcong prisoner.
He also explains how he was able to execute a Vietcong prisoner only because he saw his father's face instead of the enemy soldier's face.
PAGE B1 Eddie Adams Dies The photojournalist, who galvanized antiwar sentiment with his riveting 1968 photograph of a Vietcong prisoner being executed on a Saigon street, was 71.