The My Lai massacre was the mass murder of up to 500 innocent Vietnamese civilians on the 16th of March 1968 during the American-Vietnam war. This incident is one of the most infamous events of the War, and prompted global outrage when it became public knowledge in November 1969. The cover up and injustice following the event has gone down in history as one of the most infamous events of that War and prompted global outrage when it became public knowledge in November 1969. It was definitely a contributory factor to the growing domestic opposition to the war in the United States at that time.
On the morning of March the 16th shortly after dawn, three platoons of US troops from “C” Company, 11th Brigade, arrived in the “Son My” area just outside the small village of My Lai. One of the Platoons, commanded by Lieutenant William Calley, was ordered to go My Lai village. They were part of Task Force “Barker” – the codename for a search and destroy mission. They had been informed that the village was a hot spot of enemy activity. Troops of this platoon were briefed that all residents of the village would have left for the local market by 7.00am and that anyone left after that time, were enemy Vietcong or enemy sympathisers. When the troops from “1” Platoon moved through the village, they started to firing at the villagers. These were women, children and the elderly, as the young men had gone to the paddy fields to work. Sergeant Michael Bernhardt, who was at My Lai, was quoted in 1973 as stating that “he saw no one who could have been considered to be of military age”.He also stated that the US troops in My Lai “met no resistance”. U.S Army photographers snapped pictures of civil atrocities taking place against women, children and elderly men by fully armed troops.
A helicopter pilot providing close - air support for ground forces named Hugh Thompson, saw dead and wounded civilians as he was flying over the village of