The unit met no resistance in My Lai, which had about inhabitants. Indeed, they saw no males of fighting age. They only found villagers eating breakfast.
Visit Website William Calley Army commanders had advised the soldiers of Charlie Company that all who were found in the Son My area could be considered VC or active VC sympathizers, and ordered them to destroy the village. When they arrived shortly after dawn, the soldiers—led by Lieutenant William Calley—found no Viet Cong.
Instead, they came across a quiet village of primarily women, children and older men preparing their breakfast rice. The villagers were rounded up into groups as the soldiers inspected their huts. Despite finding only a few weapons, Calley ordered his men to begin shooting the villagers. Mothers who were shielding their children were shot, and when their children tried to run away, they too were slaughtered.
Huts were set on fire, and anyone inside who tried to escape was gunned down. But it was mostly done with a machine gun. Michael Bernhardt, a soldier at the scene, later told a reporter. We had no casualties. It was just like any other Vietnamese village—old papa-sans [men], women and kids.
In addition to killing unarmed men, women and children, the soldiers slaughtered countless livestock, raped an unknown number of women, and burned the village to the ground. Calley was reported to have dragged dozens of people, including young children, into a ditch before executing them with a machine gun.
Not a single shot was fired against the men of Charlie Company at My Lai. Hugh Thompson The My Lai massacre reportedly ended only after Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, an Army helicopter pilot on a reconnaissance mission, landed his aircraft between the soldiers and the retreating villagers and threatened to open fire if they continued their attacks.
Thompson and his crew flew dozens of survivors to receive medical care. Among the victims were women—17 of them pregnant—and children, including 56 infants. Knowing news of the massacre would cause a scandal, officers higher up in command of Charlie Company and the 11th Brigade immediately made efforts to downplay the bloodshed.
The coverup continued until Ron Ridenhour, a soldier in the 11th Brigade who had heard reports of the massacre but had not participated, began a campaign to bring the events to light. After writing letters to President Richard M. Nixonthe PentagonState Department, Joint Chiefs of Staff and several congressmen—with no response—Ridenhour finally gave an interview to the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who broke the story in November Army ordered a special investigation into the My Lai massacre and subsequent efforts to cover it up.
The inquiry, headed by Lieutenant General William Peers, released its report in March and recommended that no fewer than 28 officers be charged for their involvement in covering up the massacre. Hugh Thompson, the helicopter pilot who stopped the My Lai massacre, later told the news program "60 Minutes" that he was ostracized and received death threats upon his return from Vietnam.
But inThompson attended a memorial service at My Lai on the 30th anniversary of the massacre. All were acquitted except for Calley, who was found guilty of premeditated murder for ordering the shootings, despite his contention that he was only following orders from his commanding officer, Captain Medina.
In MarchCalley was given a life sentence for his role in directing the killings at My Lai. Many saw Calley as a scapegoat, and his sentence was reduced upon appeal to 20 years and later to 10; he was paroled in Later investigations have revealed that the slaughter at My Lai was not an isolated incident.
Other atrocities, such as a similar massacre of villagers at My Khe, are less well known. Among the American troops still in Vietnam, morale was low, and anger and frustration were high.
Drug use increased among soldiers, and an official report in estimated that one-third or more of U.
The revelations of the My Lai massacre caused morale to plummet even further, as GIs wondered what other atrocities their superiors were concealing. On the home front in the United States, the brutality of the My Lai massacre and the efforts made by higher-ranking officers to conceal it exacerbated anti-war sentiment and increased the bitterness regarding the continuing U.Jan 12, · Watch video · The My Lai massacre was one of the most horrific incidents of violence committed against unarmed civilians during the Vietnam War.
|The My Lai massacre||The Vietnam War produced many indiscriminate killings, civilian casualties and war crimes.|
|The My Lai massacre||These quotations have been researched, selected and compiled by Alpha History authors.|
A company of American soldiers brutally killed most of the people. War crimes: My Lai is a lesson from history whose only crime was to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
the troops who carried out the massacre at My Lai were from C, or. My Lai Massacre Essay Olson and Randy Roberts in My Lai: A Brief History with The My Lai incident on March 16, was purely a “military crime of obedience” (Newman). American soldiers are accustomed to being treated poorly by the natives of an occupied country, but it still influenced the actions that occurred on March Digital History>eXplorations>The Vietnam War as History My Lai Massacre On the morning of March 16, , soldiers of Charlie Company, a unit of the Americal Division's 11th Infantry Brigade arrived in the hamlet of My Lai in the northern part of South Vietnam.
A Vietnamese survivor of the My Lai massacre Alpha History’s website on the Vietnam War contains , words in pages. This site was updated last on October 5th During the course of the Vietnam War, many infamous events occurred, including the disastrous My Lai Massacre.
On the morning of March 16, the Charlie Company, led by Lieutenant William Calley, marched into the small village of My Lai in Vietnam prepared to fight the enemy; the whole operation took less than an hour to complete.