Calley Is Court-Martialed for My Lai Massacre (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: William Calley was convicted of murdering twenty-two Vietnamese and was the only person convicted of any crime in the aftermath of the My Lai massacre.
Summary of Event
The My Lai massacre occurred during the first hours of a March 16, 1968, operation carried out by a battalion-sized unit, code-named Task Force Barker, of the Americal Division of the U.S. Army. This unit, comprising three infantry companies (A, B, and C) supported by artillery, helicopters, and coastal patrol craft, was intended to sweep between two hundred and four hundred Viet Cong from a group of hamlets in the Son My subdistrict of Quang Ngai Province in South Vietnam.
Following the surprise Tet offensive launched by the Viet Cong on January 31, American commanders sought to reestablish control and to destroy known Viet Cong units. The Americal Division, including Task Force Barker, had been searching around Quang Ngai in February and March but encountered few Viet Cong.
On March 15, Lieutenant Colonel Frank A. Barker announced a three-day sweep against the Viet Cong 48th Local Forces battalion operating in and around a large, coastal fishing village. This was the third such operation against this village since February. Barker planned to move his three infantry companies into place by helicopter about 8:00 a.m., following a short artillery barrage. Helicopters were to engage fleeing or fighting Viet Cong....
(The entire section is 2456 words.)
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