Fred Waters, 86, a longtime Associated Press photographer who covered everything from the Korean and Vietnam Wars to construction of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, died Wednesday in Gulf Breeze, Fla., after several years of failing health, his daughter Karen Wiley said Thursday.

Mr. Waters was born in Alabama in 1927. His family moved to Miami in the 1930s and he got a job as a clerk in the photo lab of the Miami Herald.

He was 17 when he joined the Navy in World War II, earning a Purple Heart on Guam. He joined the Army after his hitch in the Navy ended in 1946 and was trained as a photographer, serving a tour in Japan and earning the name "Mizu-San," Japanese for "Mr. Waters."

Mr. Waters was hired by AP in 1952. He remained in Southeast Asia and covered the Korean War, the French-Indochina War, and Vietnam. He was wounded in Korea, hurt in a helicopter crash in Laos, and suffered an eye injury from a bamboo trap in South Vietnam.

Mr. Waters was inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame in 2008. - AP