My Lai Massacre

My Lai Massacre
The Event
• March 16, 1968
• Committed by C Company (Charlie
– Commanded by Captain Ernest Medina
– Platoon is led by Lieutenant William Calley
• Military intelligence said the VC were close
in this region (They were wrong)
• In the months leading up to the event The
company is racked by booby traps, snipers
and land mines
The Massacre
• Company enters My Lai without being fired at
• They begin to move through the village killing
everyone they see (old men, Women and children)
• They mutilate many bodies of the dead and rape
the women
• At least 500 civilians are killed
• U.S. suffers one casualty; a soldier accidentally
shot his own foot
• Officer Hugh Thompson, Jr.
– He puts his helicopter down between U.S.
Soldiers and a group of villagers
– Orders his gunner to open fire on the troops if
they advance on the villagers
– His reports of the story were originally covered
up by the military
The Outcome
• Not a single VC or Vietminh was found in
the village
• Only one rifle was found in the village
• Originally the story was covered up and
promoted as a huge victory for the U.S.
• Truth eventually comes out
– Army claims that My Lai is the exception
– Actually the killing of civilians was common
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