My Lai Massacre Research Paper

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Charlie Company had gone without even contacting the enemy in their first three months in Vietnam since December 1967, but by mid-March, they suffered 28 casualties from mines and booby traps. Veterans from Charlie Company state that they had seen little of the war in those first three months, and the people they met were friendly and welcoming to soldiers that played with their children and treated them with kindness. After suffering heavy losses in a short period of time, they viewed Vietnam in a new light, seeing the villagers as possible threats, a view that aided them in the eventual massacre. Charlie Company was in pursuit of the remnants of the 48th NLF Battalion, which they believed had fled into the village of Son My, of which My Lai…show more content…
A helicopter crew consisting of SP4 Lawrence Colburn, Warrant Officer One was commended for bringing an end to the murders. Warrant Officer One Hugh Thompson, Jr., whose requests to help the wounded were met with refusal, witnessed multiple civilians being shot and decided to assist those that remained alive in the village out. Commanding door gunner SP4 Lawrence Colburn to fire on any American soldiers that fired at them, he landed in the village and ushered twelve to sixteen survivors to the helicopter and recovered a child from the ditch, flying them to safety. Afterwards, WO1 Thompson and his crew attempted to report the massacre to company commander Major Frederic W. Watke using language like “murder” and “needless and unnecessary killings.” Despite rescuing multiple civilians, their efforts to make the Army aware of what had happened were met with apathy and inaction; the helicopter crew became some of the first people who experienced the coverup firsthand. The closest anyone came to justice for My Lai was Lieutenant Calley, who served only a few months of his life sentence in prison and spent two years on house arrest. Twenty-six officers and enlisted soldiers were charged with criminal offenses, but all involved received acquittals or pardons. No one involved in the coverup or massacre was charged, effectively blaming no one for what happened in My Lai. It is a complicated process to pin blame on anyone for the massacre, but one thing that is for certain is that the soldiers are not at

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