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Hood River soldier’s photographs uncovered

Recently, in San Marcos, Texas, a group of photos were found by Linda Thompson, a Seguin, Texas, resident, at an estate auction stored in an old tool box. Curiosity and a love of old photography saved the images and a young man’s artistry was rediscovered.

The photographs were taken by Sgt. Baynes Ballew McSwain Jr., a Hood River native who, along with seven other members of A 2/12, 25th Infantry Division, were killed in action in the Republic of Vietnam on Oct. 10, 1968. Killed while trying to retrieve a wounded comrade, McSwain was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valor.

He graduated from Hood River High School in 1968. His parents were Baynes and Elizabeth McSwain of Hood River, who owned and operated local movie theaters from 1949 to 1983.

The photographs were on exhibit in December at the Walker’s Gallery located in the San Marcos Activity Center.

Thompson said, “These photographs highlight McSwain’s creative talent and a unique perspective. Many of the photos are of the men in his unit, local villages and pictures of children from a nearby orphanage.

“Bayne’s legacy is carried in the hearts of his comrades, and now through his images,” said Thompson.

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