An American soldier firing his M16 rifle during the My Lai massacre on March 16, 1968 in My Lai, South Vietnam. ( Ronald S. Haeberle/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images)
Who Was Involved In The My Lai Massacre?
"We’re going to get even with them for all the losses we've had. We're going in there, we're killing everything that's alive. We're throwing the bodies down the wells, we're burning the villages, and we're wiping them off of the map.”Left to right: Captain Michles, huddled Vietnamese civilians, unnamed sergeant.
What Happened In The My Lai Massacre?
"I walked up and saw these guys doing strange things ... Setting fire to the hootches and huts and waiting for people to come out and then shooting them ... going into the hootches and shooting them up ... gathering people in groups and shooting them ... As I walked in you could see piles of people all through the village ... all over. They were gathered up into large groups. I saw them shoot an M79 grenade launcher into a group of people who were still alive. But it was mostly done with a machine gun. They were shooting women and children just like anybody else. We met no resistance and I only saw three captured weapons. We had no casualties. It was just like any other Vietnamese village—old papa-sans, women and kids. As a matter of fact, I don't remember seeing one military-age male in the entire place, dead or alive."PFC Mauro, PFC Carter, and SP4 Widme (Carter accidentally shot himself in the foot).
Second Lieutenant William Calley, 1969. (Tommy Japan 79)
Who Is Second Lieutenant William Calley?Chief Warrant Officer Hugh S. Thompson at Calley’s trial.
Who Intervened In The My Lai Massacre?Hugh C. Thompson meeting with newsmen after appearing before an Army hearing at the Pentagon of the original investigation of the massacre at My Lai, 1969. (AP Photo)
"In an action today, American Division forces killed 128 enemy near Quang Ngai City. Helicopter gunships and artillery missions supported the ground elements throughout the day."William Calley being escorted out of the courthouse, 1969.