My Lai Massacre | Facts, Map, & Photos (2022)

My Lai Massacre
(Video) The My Lai Massacre | History
March 16, 1968
United States
Vietnam War
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Seymour Hersh
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My Lai Massacre, also called Pinkville Massacre, mass killing of as many as 500 unarmed villagers by U.S. soldiers in the hamlet of My Lai on March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War.
(Video) The Vietnam War - My Lai Massacre

Charlie Company

My Lai, a subdivision of Son My village, was located in the province of Quang Ngai, roughly 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Quang Ngai city. The area had been dubbed “Pinkville” by U.S. soldiers because of the reddish colour used to indicate the densely populated My Lai area on military maps. By the time Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Infantry Brigade, arrived in Vietnam in December 1967. “Pinkville” had earned a reputation as a heavily mined hotbed of Viet Cong activity. In January 1968 Charlie was one of three companies tasked with the destruction of the 48th Battalion, an especially effective Viet Cong unit operating in Quang Ngai province. Throughout February and early March, Charlie Company suffered dozens of casualties due to mines and booby traps, but it failed to engage the 48th Batallion. After the debacle of the broad Tet Offensive, the Viet Cong had returned to guerrilla tactics and tended to avoid direct encounters with U.S. forces.
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Intelligence suggested that the 48th Batallion had taken refuge in the My Lai area (though in reality, that unit was in the western Quang Ngai highlands, more than 40 miles [65 km] away). In a briefing on March 15, Charlie Company’s commander, Capt. Ernest Medina, told his men that they would finally be given the opportunity to fight the enemy that had eluded them for over a month. Believing that civilians had already left the area for Quang Ngai city, he directed that anyone found in My Lai should be treated as a Viet Cong fighter or sympathizer. Under these rules of engagement, soldiers were free to fire at anyone or anything. Moreover, the troops of Charlie Company were ordered to destroy crops and buildings and to kill livestock.

Massacre at My Lai

Shortly before 7:30 am on March 16, 1968, Son My village was shelled by U.S. artillery. The preparatory barrage was intended to clear a landing area for Charlie Company’s helicopters, but its actual effect was to force those civilians who had begun leaving the area back to My Lai in search of cover. Minutes later, Charlie Company’s 1st Platoon, led by Lieut. William Calley, was inserted a short distance to the west of a sub-hamlet known locally as Xom Lang but marked as My Lai (4) on U.S. military maps.
By 7:50 am the remainder of Charlie Company had landed, and Calley led 1st Platoon east through My Lai. Although they encountered no resistance, the soldiers nonetheless killed indiscriminately. Over the next hour, groups of women, children, and elderly men were rounded up and shot at close range. U.S. soldiers also committed numerous rapes. Charlie Company’s 2nd Platoon moved north from the landing zone, killing dozens, while 3rd Platoon followed behind, destroying the hamlet’s remaining buildings and shooting survivors. At 9:00 am Calley ordered the execution of as many as 150 Vietnamese civilians who had been herded into an irrigation ditch.
Sgt. Ron Haeberle, a U.S. Army photographer attached to Charlie Company, documented the events of the day. He used a black-and-white camera for official Army records but shot in colour on his personal camera. Many of the black-and-white images depicted soldiers questioning prisoners, searching possessions, and burning huts; although the destruction of property violated U.S. military command directives, such actions were typical of a search-and-destroy mission and did not provide direct evidence of war crimes. Haeberle’s personal colour photographs, which he did not turn over to the Army, were later published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Life magazine. One graphically depicted a trail littered with the bodies of dead women, children, and infants, and another captured a group of terrified women and children moments before they were shot. These photographs served to galvanize the anti-Vietnam War movement and would become some of the most recognizable images of the war.
(Video) The Killing Hours - My Lai Massacre
As the massacre was taking place, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson was flying a scout helicopter at low altitude above My Lai. Observing wounded civilians, he marked their locations with smoke grenades and radioed for troops on the ground to proceed to those positions to administer medical aid. After refueling, Thompson returned to My Lai only to see that the wounded civilians subsequently had been killed. Spotting a squad of U.S. soldiers converging on more than a dozen women and children, Thompson landed his helicopter between the two groups. Thompson’s door gunner, Lawrence Colburn, and his crew chief, Glenn Andreotta, manned their weapons as Thompson hailed other helicopters to join him in ferrying the civilians to safety. In 1998 Thompson, Colburn, and Andreotta (posthumously) were awarded the Soldier’s Medal for acts of extraordinary bravery not involving contact with the enemy.
By 11:00 am as many as 500 Vietnamese civilians had been killed. Medina ordered Charlie Company to break for lunch and informed his superiors that scores of Viet Cong had been killed in the operation. The sole U.S. casualty had occurred when a soldier shot himself in the foot while trying to clear a jammed weapon.


Who was to blame for the My Lai Massacre explain your answer? ›

Lt. William Calley is charged with six specifications of premeditated murder in the death of 109 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai in March 1968.

Who took the photos of the My Lai Massacre? ›

Ronald L. Haeberle

What was the My Lai Massacre and why did it happen? ›

The My Lai Massacre was an incident that occurred when American soldiers killed more than 500 unarmed South Vietnamese citizens in the village of My Lai. It occurred when Charlie Company was ordered to enter the village for a search and destroy mission.

What was the My Lai Massacre quizlet? ›

What was the My Lai Massacre and when was it? It was when the Americans approached a village called My Lai on the 16th of March 1968. Reports said the village was in a area controlled by the Vietcong. However they found no VC and killed anyone in their way, 500 died.

Who leaked the Vietnam papers? ›

Daniel Ellsberg
BornApril 7, 1931 Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
EducationHarvard University (AB, PhD) King's College, Cambridge Cranbrook Schools
EmployerRAND Corporation
Known forPentagon Papers, Ellsberg paradox
13 more rows

What happened to the soldiers of the My Lai massacre? ›

On April 8, Task Force Barker's mission was declared a success and the companies involved were disbanded. Two months later, on June 13, Colonel Barker and Captain Michles (the Bravo Company during the My Lai operation) were killed when their two helicopters collided in midair.

What actually happened in My Lai? ›

A company of American soldiers brutally killed most of the people—women, children and old men—in the village of My Lai on March 16, 1968. More than 500 people were slaughtered in the My Lai massacre, including young girls and women who were raped and mutilated before being killed.

Why was My Lai massacre important? ›

The massacre at My Lai held importance for a number of reasons. First, upon learning of the event in 1969, the American anti-Vietnam War movement ballooned with new members and support. The movement had struggled to remain united during 1968, but the My Lai Massacre served as a rallying point for antiwar opposition.

How many survived the My Lai massacre? ›

Six survivors

The massacre ended when American Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson noticed with alarm the actions of his fellow Americans as he flew his helicopter overhead.

Was the My Lai massacre successful? ›

In spite of reports from Vietnamese officials that hundreds of civilians had been killed in My Lai and that Son My village had been almost entirely razed, the official after-action report characterized the My Lai operation as a resounding success.

How did Americans react to the My Lai massacre quizlet? ›

- The My Lai Massacre had important consequences. It shocked US public opinion: many number of Americans either refused to believe the massacre had happened or felt it was justified because the villagers were helping the Vietcong. - However, the majority of Americans were horrified.

What happened in the Vietnamese village of My Lai in 1968 quizlet? ›

What happened in the Vietnamese village of My Lai in 1968? American soldiers massacred more than 200 men, women, and children.

Why was the massacre at My Lai significant quizlet? ›

What effect did the massacre have on America? People began to turn against the war because they had previously believed that their country was the good country which was helping but this incident revealed that perhaps their men were not the good people in this war.

What happened to the Pentagon Papers? ›

Full release in 2011. On May 4, 2011, the National Archives and Records Administration announced that the papers would be declassified and released to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, on June 13, 2011.

What indicated that the United States had been secretly involved in Vietnam? ›

Secret government documents published In 1971; revealed that the U.S. government had misled Americans about the Vietnam War. Supreme Court ruling in 1971 that newspapers cannot be censored by the government if there is no threat to national security.

Did North or South Vietnam win? ›

Communist forces ended the war by seizing control of South Vietnam in 1975, and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year.

Who was president during the My Lai massacre? ›

Two days later, President Richard Nixon made the controversial decision to have Calley released from armed custody at Fort Benning, Georgia, and put under house arrest pending appeal of his sentence.

What is Lieutenant Calley doing now? ›

Lt. William L. Calley, Jr. Calley was convicted on 22 counts of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison.

What happened to Lieutenant William L Calley? ›

Calley was found guilty of personally murdering 22 civilians and sentenced to life imprisonment, but his sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals and further reduced later to 10 years by the Secretary of the Army.

How did the American public react to the My Lai massacre? ›

The nation's reaction to My Lai mirrored its attitudes toward a war that by November 1969 had become markedly unpopular. The press properly expressed horror at the revelations, but it also treated My Lai ethnocentrically as an American story. Some blamed the war itself rather than the men of Charlie Company.

Where did the My Lai massacre happen? ›

On March 16, 1968, a platoon of American soldiers brutally kills as many as 500 unarmed civilians at My Lai, one of a cluster of small villages located near the northern coast of South Vietnam. The crime, which was kept secret for nearly two years, later became known as the My Lai Massacre.

Who stopped My Lai massacre? ›

Everybody's heard of the My Lai massacre — March 16, 1968, 50 years ago today — but not many know about the man who stopped it: Hugh Thompson, an Army helicopter pilot.

Can you visit My Lai? ›

Firstly you don't need to go on a tour through a tour company or hotel. Get a private car and driver or normal taxi. The grounds are open all day, closing at 5pm and the entry ticket is only 10,000 VND! A 4 seater private car return trip from Hoi An to My Lai (Son May) is around VND1,4000,000 total.

Who Survived My Lai massacre? ›

Cong was the only survivor — lying wounded and unconscious for hours before his father and neighbors found him. As Friday's 50th anniversary of the massacre approached, Cong said he is still haunted with nightmares from that day.

What country has committed the most war crimes? ›

  • 20.1 United States perpetrated crimes.
  • 20.2 North Korean perpetrated crimes.
  • 20.3 South Korean perpetrated crimes.

What was the United States primary goal in Vietnam? ›

The main goal was to contain communion in Southeast Asia. The US failed to achieve this goal because it wasn't willing to sacrifice as much to win the war as the Vietnamese communists were. Before the war the US wanted to keep US troops out of Vietnam.

What happened at My Lai quizlet yawp? ›

In 1969, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh revealed that U.S. troops had massacred and/or raped hundreds of civilians in the village of My Lai.

How did the United States respond to the independence movement in Vietnam? ›

How did the United States respond to the independence movement in Vietnam? allowed for the president to send combat troops to Vietnam. What was the intention of the War Powers Resolution?

What was the state of the hippie movement at the very end of the 1960s? ›

What was the state of the hippie movement at the very end of the 1960s? The hard realities the hippies experienced, such as poverty and drug addiction, had caused the hippie phenomenon to begin to fade. capitalizing on southerners' skepticism of federal social welfare programs.

What was the reaction of the US Senate when the last troops returned from Cambodia? ›

What was the reaction of the U.S. Senate when the last troops returned from Cambodia? Senators repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

Why was the Tet Offensive considered a victory for the North Vietnamese? ›

At the end of the Tet Offensive, both sides had endured losses, and both sides claimed victory. The U.S. and South Vietnamese military response almost completely eliminated the NLF forces and regained all of the lost territory.

What is My Lai quizlet? ›

My Lai Massacre. One of the most horrific incidents of violence committed against unarmed civilians during the Vietnam War. A company of American soldiers. Killed more than 500 men, women and children of the village on March 16, 1968.

What resulted from the Pentagon Papers released quizlet? ›

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the government had failed to prove harm to national security, and that publication of the papers was justified under the First Amendment's protection of freedom of the press.

What does the word vietnamization mean? ›

Vietnamization was a strategy that aimed to reduce American involvement in the Vietnam War by transferring all military responsibilities to South Vietnam.

Son My, South Vietnam.. Son My, South Vietnam.. Son My, South Vietnam.. Son My, South Vietnam.. Son My, South Vietnam.. Son My, South Vietnam.. Son My, South Vietnam.. Son My, South Vietnam.. Private Herbert Carter, the only American soldier who was injured in the massacre.. On March 16, 1968, U.S. Army soldiers acting on orders from their commanding officers massacred several hundred innocent Vietnamese civilians.. The villagers were South Vietnamese, nominally allies of the Americans in the Vietnam War , and none had any association with the Viet Cong.. "A lot of women had thrown themselves on top of the children to protect them," a witness, Private Dennis Knoti , said afterward, testifying against William Calley, the only soldier who was ever convicted for the My Lai Massacre.

One other general was charged, as were three colonels, two lieutenant colonels, three majors, and four captains.. They told us they .. By the time the Army’s charges against Lieutenant Calley became known in the United States, most of the men of Bravo Company were back home and out of the Army.. I was not operating that division.. But by the time Henderson took over the brigade, General Koster had promised the next battalion command to Barker.. Medina told the Peers commission, “Colonel Henderson .. . . the helicopter pilot,” he testified.. According to Henderson, Koster “asked me how the operation was going, and I gave him the result as I knew it at that time.” Henderson’s testimony continued, “I did tell him, or he asked me, about any civilian casualties, and I do recall telling that, ‘Yes, I had observed six to eight,’ but I had no other report from Colonel Barker as to civilians killed, but I had observed these.” In an earlier version of that statement, Henderson testified that he had told Koster that some of the civilians appeared to be victims of artillery fire, but he made no mention of gunfire.. When Koster was told, for example, that Colonel Henderson had suggested that the General initiated the questions about civilian casualties, and was asked why, he said, “Nothing other than this was a populated area and I would have had concern, because, assuming I had been flying over the area of operations and had just seen a lot of civilians moving along the road.” He could not recall if he was over the area that morning, he said, but “assumed” he had been.

“Ridenhour did not witness the incident himself, but he kept hearing about it from friends who were there,” TIME, which misidentified him as “Richard,” recounted after the news became public.. It was a notorious area and the men of Task Force Barker had a special name I for it: they called it “Pinkville.” One morning in the latter part of March, Task Force Barker moved out from its firebase headed for “Pinkville.” Its mission: destroy the trouble spot and all of its inhabitants.. The other two companies that made up the task force cordoned off the village so that “Charlie” Company could move through to destroy the structures and kill the inhabitants.. “He just stood there with big eyes staring around like he didn’t understand; he didn’t believe what was happening.. Although he had not seen it, Gruver had been told by people he considered trustworthy that one of the company’s officers, 2nd Lieutenant Kally (this spelling may be incorrect) had rounded up several groups of villagers (each group consisting of a minimum of 20 persons of both sexes and all ages).. The full letter, which is widely available these days, ran to about 2,000 words worth of evidence that “something very black indeed” had happened.. In the fall of 1969, one of the leaders of the platoon implicated in the massacre — his name was actually spelled Calley — was charged with murdering civilians; other charges against other soldiers and officers followed.. There were several legal difficulties in pursuing a lawsuit against them, both logistical and sentimental, as TIME polls found that many Americans either did not believe Ridenhour’s account or thought that such killing was a natural result of war.. You must in fact try this country.” The verdict split the U.S. between those who thought that punishments for the massacre should instead go all the way up to the Commander-in-Chief, and those who thought that condemning soldiers for killing was a travesty in its own right.. “The crisis of conscience caused by the Calley affair is a graver phenomenon than the horror following the assassination of President Kennedy,” TIME opined .. Though the nation was divided at the time, history has come out fairly firmly on one side: in 1998, three men who turned their weapons on fellow soldiers instead of My Lai residents were honored in Washington — shortly before Ridenhour died at 52 of a heart attack — and in 2009 Calley apologized for his role in what happened.

Vietnamese women and children in Mỹ Lai before being killed in the massacre, March 16, 1968.]. In August 1967, the 200-page report "Alleged Atrocities by U.S. Military Forces in South Vietnam" was completed.. During this operation, between 60 to 155 people, including women and children, were killed.. Thompson landed and told his crew that if the soldiers shot at the Vietnamese while he was trying to get them out of the bunker that they were to open fire at these soldiers.. On next day, March 28, 1968, Commander of the Task Force BARKER submitted a combat action report for March 16 Operation in which stated that operation in My Lai (4) was a success with 128 Viet Cong partisans killed.. [The 1st Battalion] members had killed at least 175–200 Vietnamese men, women, and children.. 1st Platoon, Charlie Company 1st Battalion 20th Infantry. Robert E. Maples – SP4; Machine Gunner; stated that he refused an order to kill civilians hiding in a ditch even being threatened by his commanding officer to be shot himself.. Later he was ordered by Calley to shoot a number of people with a M60 machine gun; he fired a burst before refusing to fire again, after which Calley took his weapon and opened fire himself.

Ron Haeberle was a combat photographer in Vietnam when he and the Army unit he was riding with — Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment — landed near the hamlet of My Lai on the morning of March 16, 1968.. When Haeberle’s shocking photographs of their atrocities were published — more than a year later — the pictures laid bare an appalling truth: American “boys” were as capable of unbridled savagery as any soldiers, anywhere.. I first met Ron Haeberle in 2009 when I was a reporter at the Cleveland Plain Dealer — the newspaper that, in November 1969, first published his My Lai photos.. Charlie Company had been together for about a year before Haeberle joined it in March 1968, but Haeberle told me that when they landed at My Lai he had just met the men in his unit that morning.. An officer training candidate looks at pictures made by Ronald L. Haeberle, a former Army photographer, that appeared in the appeared in Nov. 20, 1969, issue of the Plain Dealer in Cleveland.. It was more than a year after the massacre before Haeberle approached the Plain Dealer with his photos, but he had begun sharing his My Lai pictures, in slideshow talks to civic groups and even local high schools, after he returned home to northern Ohio in the spring of 1968.. A week after Hersh’s article appeared in dozens of papers around the U.S., the Plain Dealer ran its own story — along with Haeberle’s photos to bolster the reports of a massacre.. Duc was 8 years old in March 1968, and as Haeberle spoke with him, through an interpreter, he realized with a jolt that the woman he had photographed dead behind a rock 43 years earlier was Duc’s mother, Nguyen Thi Tau.. So I gave him my camera, the Nikon I used at My Lai, for the shrine.” Haeberle has returned to My Lai several times, and will be there again on the 50th anniversary of the massacre.

It all happened When Lieutenant William Calley ordered soldiers under him to round up and shoot unarmed civilians in the village of Son My, later named My Lai, on March 19, 1968, killing over 500 old men, women and children.. The village had no combatants, but the soldiers killed everyone anyway, including 173 children and 17 pregnant women.. Not all the soldiers in William Calley’s company were willing to kill unarmed civilians.. In real sense, even children and women that ran away from warning shots were killed and counted as Viet Cong Sympathizers.. They had a policy that said, “If dead and Vietnamese, It is VC.”. At one point, William Calley ordered one soldier to launch a grenade into a group of old people that had been rounded up.. The Mylai massacre happened and was covered up under his watch, but it was not the only massacre that happened in the war.. A similar incident happened in a village called My Khe, but in that case, there were hardly any survivors to tell the tale.. When he landed his helicopter, he noticed that there was no single enemy combatant among the dead.. He then pointed his guns at the soldiers and threatened to fire on them if they fired at the civilians.. More than 20 people were indicted for their involvement in the Mylai massacre, but only 14 people went to trial.. It actually took them 30 years to recognize Hugh Thompson as the hero that day, only giving him his medal in 1998, a medal he refused because he felt it was an ashamed military covering up their mistakes.

On March 16, 1968, during a roughly four-hour operation in the Vietnamese village of Son My, American soldiers killed approximately 504 civilians, including pregnant women and infants, gang-raped women and burned a village to ashes.. Calley, though a low-ranking officer in Charlie Company, stood out because of the sheer number of civilians he was accused of killing and ordering killed.. Out of the roughly 200 soldiers who were dropped into the village that day, 24 were later charged with criminal offenses, and only one was convicted, Calley.. Eighteen months later, in March 1971, a court-martial with a jury of six fellow officers, including five who had served in Vietnam, found Calley guilty of murdering at least 22 civilians and sentenced him to life in prison.. Two faces of William Calley: (far left) at the Kiwanis Club in Columbus, Georgia, in 2009, where he spoke publicly about My Lai for the first time; (left) at a pretrial hearing at Fort Benning in 1970.. Calley and Penny had one son, William Laws Calley III, known as Laws, who went on to get a PhD in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech.. His lawyer disputed one assertion—that Calley “had been backing away from his marital relationship” prior to separation—but confirmed the other assertion—that Calley “consumed alcoholic beverages in his own area of the home on a daily basis.”. In a strange twist, John Partin, the lawyer who represented Calley’s wife in the divorce, was a former Army captain who had served as an assistant prosecutor in Calley’s court-martial.. “There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” Calley told the 50 or so Kiwanis members.. He said Calley told him, two days after the massacre, “I can still hear them screaming.” Medina himself was charged, tried and found innocent.. “If Mr. Calley does not return to Vietnam to repent and apologize to the 504 spirits who were killed,” Cong told me, “he will always be haunted, constantly obsessed until he dies, and even when he dies, he won’t be at peace.. A double exposure including: a) current day scene From My Lai – Quang Ngai photo by Binh-Dang and b) American 'Huey' helicopters during My Lai massacre American military Bell UH-1D Iroquois ('Huey') helicopters in flight during the My Lai massacre on March 16, 1968 in My Lai, South Vietnam.. Left: Pham Thi Thuan, a survivor of the My Lai Massacre at her home in Quang Ngai Province, central Vietnam.. Depictions of village ruins at their original sites at the My Lai Massacre Museum in Quang Ngai Province, central Vietnam.

A year and a half later, Calley would be charged, court-martialed, and sentenced to life in prison for what became known as the My Lai Massacre .. Although the U.S. Army tried to conceal the truth, it later came tumbling out — Calley and his men had systematically murdered between 300 and 500 innocent Vietnamese civilians and burned their village to the ground.. This is the story of William Calley, the only soldier charged for the My Lai Massacre.. “Nobody said, ‘Now, there will be innocent civilians there,'” Calley wrote in his memoir, Lieutenant Calley: His Own Story .. Don’t worry, Medina assured the soldiers, William Calley included.. The next morning, Calley and other members of Charlie Company set out for My Lai by helicopter.. “My name is William Calley, I’m a soldier of this land/ I’ve tried to do my duty and to gain the upper hand/ But they’ve made me out a villain, they have stamped me with a brand/ As we go marching on/ I’m just another soldier from the shores of U.S.A./ Forgotten on the battlefield 10,000 miles away.”

It will then look at the court-martial of Lieutenant Calley before discussing how the Army learned lessons from this tragedy, and took actions that not only ensured that there would be no more war crimes like My Lai, but also made the Army a more ethical and professional institution.. Although Major General Samuel Koster, the Americal Division commander, and Colonel Oran Henderson, the 11th Infantry Brigade commander, received reports that more than 125 civilians had been killed at My Lai, many of whom were women and children, the two commanders failed to properly investigate the event.. Ultimately, an investigation conducted by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command and an official inquiry headed by Lieutenant General William R. Peers resulted not only in charges against those officers and enlisted men who had been present in and around My Lai, but also against officers who participated in the cover-up of the war crimes, either because they failed to investigate reports of misdeeds at My Lai or failed to report the occurrence as required, or both.. (U.S. Army)Thirteen officers and enlisted men were charged with “war crimes or crimes against humanity.” Another twelve officers were charged with having actively covered up the My Lai incident, including Major General Koster, Brigadier General George Young (Koster’s deputy), and Major Watke (to whom Thompson had complained).. Ultimately, the Army court-martialed Calley, Captain Ernest Medina (his company commander), Captain Eugene Kotouc (the battalion intelligence officer, charged with cutting off the finger of a VC prisoner during interrogation), and Colonel Oran Henderson (the brigade commander).. In April 1974, after both the Army Court of Military Review and the U.S. Court of Military Appeals had rejected Calley’s appeals, the new Secretary of the Army, Howard H. Callaway, reduced Calley’s sentence further to ten years confinement.. The Army also developed an “Army Ethic,” which emphasized that soldiers must see themselves as “honorable servants of the Nation” and that they must “reject and report illegal, unethical or immoral orders and actions.” No doubt with My Lai in mind, the Army Ethic stresses that “in war and peace,” soldiers must recognize the “intrinsic dignity and worth of all people” and treat “them with respect.”

If not for Seymour Hersh, a freelance investigative reporter, the army's indictment of a single soldier would have been the last Americans ever heard about My Lai.. For others, My Lai contradicted not just their vision of the war in Vietnam, but also a longstanding American tradition of depicting the enemy, whether Indians, Nazis, Japanese, or Vietnamese, as the perpetrators of heinous atrocities—not typical American "boys.". My Lai and American war tragedies in Vietnam also found their way into popular culture, but at first only through analogy.. views updated Jun 11 2018My Lai Massacre (1968).In South Vietnam on 16 March 1968, American soldiers of Company C (Charlie) of Task Force Barker, Americal Division, assaulted the hamlet of My Lai (4), part of the village of Son My in Quang Ngai province.. Ernest L. Medina, had ordered his men to burn and destroy the hamlet of My Lai (4), which was said to be fortified and held by the 48th Viet Cong Battalion.Contrary to expectations, no enemy forces were encountered during the assault on My Lai (4), yet the men of Charlie Company swept through the hamlet and systematically killed all the inhabitants—almost exclusively old men, women, and children.. The final report of the Peers Commission listed perfunctory instruction in the laws of war in U.S. Army training as a contributory cause of the My Lai massacre.. [See also Army, U.S.: Since 1941; Leadership, Concepts of Military ; Morale, Troop ; Training and Indoctrination ; Vietnam War : Military and Domestic Course; Vietnam War : Changing Interpretations.]. views updated May 17 2018 The event known as the "My Lai Massacre" was one of the darkest moments of the vietnam war, and further fueled the already growing anti-war movement in the United States .. On 16 March 1968, U.S. Army soldiers of Company C, First Battalion, Twentieth Infantry of the Eleventh Infantry Brigade, Twenty-third (Americal) Infantry Division, while searching for a Viet-cong force at My Lai hamlet in Son My Village, Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam, massacred two hundred to five hundred South Vietnamese civilians.. The My Lai incident increased disillusionment with the army's conduct of the Vietnam War , fueled growing antiwar sentiment, and underscored concerns within the army itself regarding the professionalism and ethics of its officer corps.

[1] News of the killings were made public in the United States by independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in November 1969, more than one and a half years later, when extracts of his conversations with the only man ever found guilty of mass killings, Second Lieutenant William Calley, and other soldiers present in My Lai appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.. But in 2009, he broke his silence and formally apologized for his role in organizing mass killings, labeling his actions of following orders to kill as “foolish” and admitting that he felt remorseful for the deaths of Vietnamese civilians and family members.. With those words, my hopes of getting exclusive access to a survivor seemed to have faded, but when you come so far to learn so much, I continued to remain hopeful about prospects of meeting one member of the elder generation living in My Lai willing to share their forgiveness courtesy of an interview.. For many years the identity of the individual who ordered the strike remained a mystery until former U.S. Air Force pilot John Plummer turned pastor at his local Baptist Church in Purceville, Virginia, identified himself as the man who “dropped the bombs” as Kim gave a speech to promote peace on Vietnam Veteran’s Day in Washington D.C., 1996 [8] .. Noticing the tour group passing by, the staff member said to me, “People who live here agree that My Lai is Vietnam’s holocaust.”. After saying a prayer for the souls of the departed, I referred to my copy of Four Hours In My Lai one last time to read the tale of Truong Thi Le, a 30 year-old woman in 1968, who lost nine members of her immediate family on that day.. [6] Statement by Private First Class Varnado Simpson, an American soldier from Charlie Company who participated in the My Lai Massacre, Vietnam, 1968, cited in Michael Bilton and Kevin Sims, (1992), “Four Hours In My Lai”, pg.

The My Lai massacre is probably one of the most infamous events of the Vietnam War .. 1 Platoon was commanded by Lieutenant William Calley and was ordered to My Lai village.. When the troops from 1 Platoon moved through the village they started to fire at the villagers.. An official US army investigation came out with the figure of 347.. However, Calley had his supporters and many believed that he was simply following orders.. “Everyone who went into the village had in mind to kill.. “He (a captain) stated that everything that was there was VC or VC sympathisers.

It sits in a village in Vietnam more than two hour's drive from the booming, busy city of Da Nang in central Vietnam.. A statue at the Son My memorial site in Vietnam honors those killed in the My Lai massacre in 1968.. The footprints of My Lai villagers and US combat boots are recreated on the paths of the Son My Memorial in central Vietnam.. The reflections of visitors look ghostlike from a golden wall containing names of the victims of the My Lai massacre in central Vietnam.. The names of three 1-year-olds, victims of the My Lai massacre, are grouped together on a memorial wall at a museum in Son My, Vietnam.. A ditch in My Lai village, Vietnam, where US troops killed 170 Vietnamese civilians on March 16, 1968.

In 1968 US soldiers murdered several hundred Vietnamese civilians in the single most infamous incident of the Vietnam War.. Civilians, including women and children, were killed for running from soldiers or helicopter gunships that had fired warning shots, or being in a village suspected of sheltering Viet Cong.. The secret investigation into Speedy Express remained classified for decades before I found it in buried in the National Archives.. The military estimated that as many as 7,000 civilians were killed during the operation.. One of the Americans then wheeled around and fired at his mother, killing her.. Speedy Express is referred to as "an operation that would eventually yield an enemy body count of 11,000".. About the author: Nick Turse has been researching US military atrocities in the Vietnam War for more than a decade and has detailed his findings in a book Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.

What was the My Lai Massacre?. American troops went to the village of My Lai to search for Vietcong .. When did the My Lai Massacre happen?. Where did the My Lai Massacre happen?. Why did the My Lai Massacre happen?. ❖ There were also several reports of Charlie Company troops torturing and raping ❖ No Vietcong soldiers were found, and only a few weapons were recovered.. ❖ Charlie Company returned to base and said 22 were killed by accident, and the remaining dead were Vietcong .. As the truth emerged, the government attempted a cover up: ❖ The government announced the troops had killed 128 Vietcong fighters and destroyed their base.. What happened when the My Lai Massacre was investigated?. The government investigation into the My Lai Massacre came to two main conclusions: ❖ It interviewed 398 witnesses and the weight of evidence indicated Charlie Company had approximately 347 unarmed ❖ All those involved in the torture, rape, murder and cover up of the should be punished.. What did the army's investigation into the My Lai Massacre conclude?. Who was Lieutenant Calley in the My Lai Massacre?. What was the role of Lieutenant Calley in the My Lai Massacre?. In accounts of what happened from other soldiers, Calley is reported to have said the following: ❖ In response to questions about a group of men, women and children gathered in the centre of the village by soldiers, he said: 'You know what I want you to do with them.'.. What was the public's response to the My Lai Massacre?

"Only one man, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, and his flight crew stopped the [My Lai] massacre by blocking American soldiers and threatening to kill them, saving countless lives and later testifying against the murderers.". AdvertisementsIn mid-March 2022, posts about a warrant officer named Hugh Thompson and his role in the My Lai massacre circulated on social media, including a tweet describing that time period as the 50-year anniversary of that incident:. Only one man, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, and his flight crew stopped the massacre by blocking American soldiers Only one man, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, and his flight crew stopped the massacre by blocking American soldiers[.]. Only one man, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, and his flight crew stopped the massacre by blocking American soldiers and threatening to kill them, saving countless lives and later testifying against the murderers.. 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.. During the massacre, Thompson and his Hiller OH-23 Raven crew, Glenn Andreotta and Lawrence Colburn, stopped a number of killings by threatening and blocking American officers and enlisted soldiers of Company C, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division.. The page included transcribed exchanges between Thompson and Calley on March 16 1968, as Thompson verbally defied Calley repeatedly:. In March 2022 (and March 2018), social media posts commemorated the anniversary of the My Lai massacre, and the role of Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson in preventing further needless slaughter of civilians.. Posted in Fact Checks , Viral Content Tagged hugh thompson , my lai massacre , vietnam , vietnam veterans , vietnam war , viral facebook posts , viral tweets

The massacre perpetrated by US troops on the villagers of My Lai and My Khe of southern Vietnam goes down as the darkest episode in the history of the War.. My Lai, a village in Quang Ngai province of South Vietnam was a stronghold of the National Liberation Front (VC) a communist group that advocated for the reunification of North and South Vietnam.. In the twenty-year-long Vietnam War, the US supported the independent government of South Vietnam, which had been loyal to the Western bloc in the Cold War.. With now over a close battalion of 100 men, US army commanders shared a wrong correspondence of active Vietnamese Liberation Front (VC) sympathizers present in the nearby villages of Son My with the Company.. The Charlie Company battalion led by Captain Ernest Medina entered the nearby village of My Lai on the morning of March 16, 1968, and found a quaint village with women, children and old people sitting outside their homes, some cooking breakfast in their outdoor yards.. infantrymen had killed 128 Communists in a bloody day-long battle.” The US Army was successful in covering up its war crime by hailing it as a military victory against its opponents in South Vietnam.


1. 50 Years After My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, Revisiting the Slaughter the U.S. Military Tried to Hide
(Democracy Now!)
2. Remember My Lai [Part 1 of 2]
(David West)
3. The My Lai Massacre March 1968 | Teacher Explanation | #HisTV
(T Pattison)
4. How America COVERED UP the My Lai Massacre Pt. 1
(Shelby Nave)
5. What He Saw In Vietnam Has Millions Of Views. Watch It To See What You Think
(David Hoffman)
6. Laniakea: Our home supercluster
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