A dozen photographers were huddled together at the airport when the heavy C-47 hospital plane landed. After a short wait, the wide door of the plane opened and the word was passed along quietly: Private Smith did not want pictures made —"yet."

Without protest, hard-bitten photographers put down their cameras, as attendants gently lifted down a stretcher and loaded it into a waiting ambulance. On it, swathed to his neck in heavy G.I. blankets, lay Pfc. Robert L. Smith, a 20-year-old soldier from Middleburg, Pa., who had suffered as grievously as a man could and still live. He was the...

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