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Marie Colvin

The women who fought to be war correspondents

The women who fought to be war correspondents

Photojournalist Dickey Chapelle was wearing combat boots, a bush hat and her signature pearl earrings when she was hit by shrapnel from a Viet Cong land mine near Chu Lai Air Base on Nov. 4, 1965. She was the first female American war correspondent to be killed in action. "When I die, I want it to be on patrol with the United States Marines," she'd once said. Her last words were, reportedly, "I guess it was bound to happen."

Chapelle was one of the founding generation of female war correspondents in World War II, when women weren't officially allowed to cover combat — there were no latrines for them at the press camps, they were told. Undeterred, Chapelle...