Unformatted text preview: , the platoon led by Second Lieutenant William Calley, went in shooting at any “suspected enemy position.”
After the first civilians were wounded or killed by the indiscriminate fire of Calley’s platoon members, the soldiers began attacking anything that moved, humans and animals alike, with firearms, grenades and bayonets. The scale of the massacre only spiraled as it progressed, the brutality increasing with each killing.
In the course of three hours, more than 500 Vietnamese civilians were killed in cold blood by members of Charlie Company. Soldiers went berserk, gunning down unarmed men, women, children and babies. Families which huddled Soldiers went berserk, gunning down unarmed men, women, children and babies. Families which huddled together for safety in huts or bunkers were shown no mercy. Those who emerged with hands held high were murdered. ... Elsewhere in the village, other atrocities were in progress. Women were gang raped; Vietnamese who had bowed to greet the Americans were beaten with fists and tortured, clubbed with rifle butts and stabbed with bayonets. Some victims were mutilated with the signature "C Company" carved into the chest. By late morning word had got back to higher authorities and a ceasefire was ordered. My Lai was in a state of carnage. Bodies were strewn through the village.
BBC News Army Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, Jr., a helicopter reconnaissance pilot, came upon the My Lai massacre in progress and pointed his aircraft’s guns at the American soldiers and told them he would shoot them if they shot another Vietnamese. He then had his crew members wade into a ditch, in gore up to their knees, in order to airlift children to a hospital. It was probably one of the saddest days of my life. I just could not believe that people
could totally lose control and I've heard people say this happened all the time. I don't
believe it. I'm not naive to understand that innocent civilians did get killed in Vietnam.
I truly pray to God that My Lai was not an everyday occurrence. I don't know if
anybody could ke...
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