On January 3, Peers flew over the My Lai villages, accompanied by Hugh Thompson. He told the troops that new intelligence suggested My Lai presented an unparalleled chance to meet the enemy head on. In January 1968 Charlie was one of three tasked with the destruction of the 48th Battalion, an especially effective Viet Cong unit operating in Quang Ngai province. Q: Did you ever give an order in My Lai four, on sixteen March, over the radio or in person, to anyone that they should move the civilians out of the way, or get rid of them, or anything in substance like that? Q: Now, could you tell us who gave you these reports, or what the reports were? From his hospital bed, Bernhardt told Ridenhour that he was approached after the massacre by Captain Medina and threatened to keep quiet. Over time the site—officially the Son My Vestige Area—grew to include a museum, gardens, and commemorative statuary. He joined the army in 1956 and worked his way up the ranks until he reached the rank of Captain and was a company commander in Vietnam.
But then again, maybe the war should have never happened. Medina acknowledged killing one woman, but said he believed she was about to attack him. On April 24, 1968, Col. In 1970, Seymour Hersh won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his My Lai story and went on to write for the New York Times. A few soldiers reported Medina directly killing civilians on three separate occasions and abusing noncombatants on other occasions. The most well-known of the soldiers who took part in the operation was Lt.
In fact she was unarmed. Close this pop-up window to remain on this page Captain Ernest Medina, Witness of the Court Questions asked by Judge Kennedy: Q: Let me ask you, were there any questions asked of you at that briefing? Medina's mother died shortly after his birth and his grandparents raised him in Montrose, Colorado, according to his family's obituary. The defense lawyers brought up many incidents during the Vietnam War of Viet Cong suspects and sympathizers in order to use hidden pistols or grenades to harm or kill American military personnel. Lieutenant Brooks, the second platoon leader, told me the like number. Ridenhour, Medina, Thompson, and Calley were among those interviewed, and in September 1969 Calley was charged with the murder of 109 Vietnamese civilians.
But then again, maybe the war should have never happened. It wasn't until more than a year later that news of the massacre became public. His curiosity piqued, Hersh sought out Lieutenant Calley at Fort Benning and landed an interview with him on November 11, 1969. On May 27, Wilson interviewed Colonel Henderson, who initially claimed that his informal investigation revealed nothing alarming, but later in the interview admitted that he handed off the formal investigation to Colonel Barker. After the initial investigation by Colonel Wilson, Thompson was presented with a lineup on June 13, 1969 and asked to identify the officer he argued with when he landed the helicopter the first time.
Later that month, Ridenhour heard accounts of the incident from two other members of Charlie Company, and he searched fruitlessly for an official report on My Lai. By this time, three of those charged Blake, Mather, and Pawlowski had escaped to Canada. I got my platoon leaders together and I asked them for a body count of innocent civilians that had been killed. Medina was accused of responsibility in the deaths of at least 182 civilians. See The Unlawful Concert by Fred Gardner for a fuller description of the case, as well as entry for October 14, 1968.
Medina died May 8, according to an obituary written by his family. However, his Army career was finished. He died on January 6, 2006. Dennis Davis editor of the antiwar newspaper Last Harass is given an undesirable discharge. Medina was accused of responsibility in the deaths of at least 182 civilians. This information was a red flag to Wilson, who was still unable to locate such a report. The fifth time Thompson was shot down, during a mission from Da Nang to an airbase at Chu Lai, the fall broke his back and he narrowly escaped death from nearby Vietcong.
The black and white photographs from his Army camera primarily depicted soldiers interrogating villagers and burning huts. Medina's mother died shortly after his birth and his grandparents raised him in Montrose, Colorado, according to his family's obituary. . Colleagues described Henderson as authoritative and decisive; the Colonel was on track to become a General by the end of the Vietnam conflict. Medina acknowledged killing one woman, but said he believed she was about to attack him. Observing wounded civilians, he marked their locations with smoke grenades and radioed for troops on the ground to proceed to those positions to administer medical aid.
Shortly afterward, he resigned his commission and soon left the Army as well. By 11:15 that morning, Thompson's helicopter had returned to the base. Captain Medina went on trial in September 1971, defended by the prominent criminal lawyer F. Charlie Company killed 504 villagers in just three to four hours, most of them women, children and elderly men. Medina died May 8, according to an obituary written by his family. Major General Koster, commander of the Americal Division, however, countermanded this order and told Medina that no further examination was necessary. The push for answers gave photographer Ronald Haeberle courage to publish his personal photos from that morning, providing concrete evidence of Task Force Barker's misdoings.
Bravo Company had, I think, forty to forty-five. Morris Udall, who forwarded the letter to the Army's Chief of Staff, General William Westmoreland. Koster was not directly involved with the operation in My Lai until the afternoon of March 16, when he countermanded an order from Colonel Henderson for Captain Medina to get an exact count of civilian casualties. On March 19, Henderson reported to General Young that the investigation yielded nothing suspicious or out of the ordinary. After retiring from the military in 1973, Koster served as deputy commander of the weapons tester Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Those left in the village at that hour would supposedly be Vietcong soldiers who had blended in with the population.
In August 1971, Medina was ultimately found not guilty of all charges relating to the deaths of more than 500 South Vietnamese civilians in the massacre. Joining the Army in 1956, he served in Germany and married a German woman. Sent to Hawaii in September to train with the 11th infantry brigade, he developed friendships with many soldiers who would go on to comprise Charlie Company. Don't send him back in there. After refueling, Thompson returned to My Lai only to see that the wounded civilians subsequently had been killed. Q: Did you say anything to your lower command or your higher command about that? Cover-up, investigation, and legacy Upon his return to base later that morning, Thompson reported that he had observed the widespread killing of civilians in My Lai. After the war, Medina moved to Michigan to work at a helicopter manufacturing company.