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War crimes in Vietnam War

Thu, 29 May 2014. Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:43

The U.S. military and allied forces had caused massive war crimes in Vietnam War by deliberately murdering, beating prisoners, bombing of civilians, and spraying Agent Orange. Specifically, a series of terrible massacres occurred in constantly years.

During Vietnam War, a series of horrible massacres occurred, which proved the felony of the United States and its allies in decimating innocent Vietnamese from adults to children. Typically, the massacres of My Lai, Hue, and Khmer Rouge were among the most severe ones during the war.

My Lai Massacre, also called Son My Massacre is one of the war crimes of the United States Army during the Vietnam War. The massacre occurred on March 16, 1968 in My Lai Hamlet, Son My Village, Son Tinh District, in Quang Ngai Province. The unit caused the massacre was Company C (charlie), Battalion No.1, Regiment No.4 , Infantry Brigade No.11, Americal Division (Infantry Division No.23) under the U.S. Army. The incident happened just less than one month after the Tet Offensive, the information of which was provided by CIA that there was a battalion of the liberation army retired here. On the morning of March 16, artillery and helicopters started short bombardment to pave the way for the U.S. military enter Son My. In the village, there was no one as Viet Cong, just women and children. William Calley, the unit’s commander ordered his soldiers to open fire on the position called “suspected location of the enemy”. The level of brutality was increasing; all people and livestock were killed. U.S. troops used grenades, bayonets and rifles to kill local people “comfortably”, even those who surrendered were killed. From the young to the old, from children to adults were all killed. Only Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, the pilot of OH-23 helicopter and his crew prevented their teammates killing and saved the local people. The consequence of May Lai Massacre was unbelievable. There were 347 people killed (according to U.S. sources), and 504 deaths (as reported in Vietnam). The youngest victim was 1 year old, while the oldest one was 82 years old. Only 16 people were rescued by the crew of Thompson including one child. Then, he informed the emergency to Major Watke, and the order of ceasefire was given. My Lai Village was devastated, bodies appearing everywhere. The only American soldier wounded in the massacre was first class private – Carter who shot himself to not participate in the massacre.


People dead in My Lai Massacre


The Tiger Force was a special unit established by the U.S. Army in 1965, led by Colonel David Hackworth. The force was founded to join the Oregon special force under the General William Westmoreland, and became a part of the infantry battalion 1/327, presented in Quang Ngai from May 3, 1967 to scout and prevent the Liberation Army of South Vietnam. This unit consisted of one platoon of 45 soldiers with the task of identifying target, location of the enemy for infantry and air force to attack. This platoon’s soldiers wore tiger-striped uniforms. This was one of the divisions of the United States suffered the most losses in the war. Crimes that the unit committed were regularly tortured and executed prisoners; deliberately killed Vietnamese civilians, including men, women, children and the old. They massacred and conducted ferocious ways of killing innocent people such as cutting ears, peeling skin, cutting head, and so on. In October 2003, Toledo Blade Newspaper reported these crimes by posting a series of articles about the investigation of the force having committed terrible war crimes.

Thanh Phong Massacre occurred February 25, 1969 in Khau Bang (Thanh Hoa Hamlet, Thanh Phong Commune, Thanh Phu District, Ben Tre Province). This massacre was conducted by a special-task force of the U.S. Navy SEAL, led by Commander Bob Kerrey. There were 21 civilians killed including old people, women and children while tracing an officer of the National Liberation Front. Operation Speedy Express is a campaign launched by the U.S. military. It operated from early December 1968 to May 11, 1969 in Dinh Tuong, Kien Hoa and Go Cong. The goal of the campaign is attacking units of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam. When the campaign ended, the number of the U.S soldiers’ deaths was 41, and 312 ones wounded. In the side of the Liberation Army of South Vietnam, over 10,000 soldiers, at least 5000 civilians were killed. Binh Hoa Massacre was caused by South Korean troops. The massacre took place on December 3, 5, 6 in1966 at 5 locations in Quang Ngai Province. In retaliation for the guerrilla’s sniper of the National Liberation Front, South Korean troops conducted a raid. In this massacre, South Korean troops killed 430 people, including 269 women, 104 old people, 174 children, 3 families killed with no one left. Besides, there were many other massacres happening during the war, which caused the death of a large number of Vietnamese soldiers and innocent civilians, such as Ha My Massacre, Phong Nha and Phong Nhi Massacre, Phung Hoang Campaign, Phu Loi Prison Massacre, and many brutal actions of beating prisons and civilians.


Hue Massacre Interment


Hue Massacre is one of the typical events during Vietnam War when many graves to bury the corpse discovered in the battle of Hue. The discovery occurred when the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam launched the Tet Offensive in Hue and stayed for a month later before the military withdrawal of the Republic of Vietnam and the U.S. So far, both Vietnam and the U.S. blamed each other for the cause and the authenticity of the event. According to sources from the government of Republic of Vietnam (derived from reports of Psychological War Battalion No. 10) and the U.S considered the graves evidence to conclude that Liberation Army of South Vietnam made a scale-large killing in Hue and its vicinity during the 4-week garrison. In other sources, including the anti-war group which confirmed that the number and circumstances of those killed was amplified and fabricated for purposes of propaganda during the war. Sources from the Liberation Army noted that they buried many civilians died due to the heavy firepower of U.S. along with their own soldiers killed.

Ba Chuc Massacre occurred in Ba Chuc Town (situated about 7 km from the Cambodian border), Tri Ton District, An Giang Province in the South-West border war in 1978. Within 2 weeks from April 18 to 30 in 1978, 3157 civilians of Ba Chuc, near Thuong Mountain and Dai Mountain areas were massacred by Khmer Rouge (of 16 thousand people in Ba Chuc Commune). Most victims were killed on April 18, when a troop of Khmer Rouge gathered villagers in temples and schools then massacred. The survivors fled into Tuong Mountain, but they were found out a few days later. Most victims were shot, hacked, and decapitated. Many women were raped, were piled into their vaginas; children were killed barbarically. This is one of the events leading to the counterattack campaign at the West – South border. During five years of war, this is the greatest caravan of human misery.

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