My Lai massacre

1968 mass murder of civilians by American soldiers during the Vietnam War / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about My Lai Massacre?

Summarize this article for a 10 years old


The Mỹ Lai massacre (/ˌmˈl/; Vietnamese: Thảm sát Mỹ Lai [tʰâːm ʂǎːt mǐˀ lāːj] (Loudspeaker.svglisten)) was a war crime committed by the United States on 16 March 1968, involving the mass murder of unarmed South Vietnamese civilians by the United States Army in Sơn Tịnh district, South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Between 347 and 504 unarmed people were killed by U.S. Army soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment and Company B, 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, 23rd (Americal) Infantry Division. Victims included men, women, children, and infants. Some of the women were gang-raped and their bodies mutilated, and some soldiers mutilated and raped children who were as young as 12.[1][2] Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offenses, but only Lieutenant William Calley Jr., a platoon leader in C Company, was convicted. Found guilty of murdering 22 villagers, he was originally given a life sentence, but served three-and-a-half years under house arrest after President Richard Nixon commuted his sentence.

Quick facts: Mỹ Lai Massacre Thảm sát Mỹ Lai, Location, Co...
Mỹ Lai Massacre
Thảm sát Mỹ Lai
Part of the Vietnam War
Photo taken by U.S. Army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle on 16 March 1968, in the aftermath of the Mỹ Lai Massacre showing mostly women and children dead on a road
LocationSơn Mỹ village, Sơn Tịnh district, Quảng Ngãi province, South Vietnam
Coordinates15°10′42″N 108°52′10″E
Date16 March 1968; 55 years ago (1968-03-16)
TargetMỹ Lai 4 and Mỹ Khe 4 hamlets
Attack type
Massacre, war rape, torture
DeathsMore than 500 people were killed based on the estimations and the number of people who were wounded is unknown; the Vietnamese government lists 504 killed in total from both Mỹ Lai and Mỹ Khe. However, United States Army lists 347 (not including Mỹ Khe killings).
PerpetratorsUnited States Army, specifically the C Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment and B Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 23rd Infantry Division
ConvictedWilliam Calley
ConvictionsPremeditated murder (22 counts)

This war crime, which was later called "the most shocking episode of the Vietnam War",[3] took place in two hamlets of Sơn Mỹ village in Quảng Ngãi Province.[4] These hamlets were marked on the U.S. Army topographic maps as Mỹ Lai and Mỹ Khê.[5]

The U.S. Army slang name for the hamlets and sub-hamlets in that area was Pinkville,[6] and the carnage was initially referred to as the Pinkville Massacre.[7][8] Later, when the U.S. Army started its investigation, the media changed it to the Massacre at Songmy.[9] Currently, the event is referred to as the Mỹ Lai Massacre in the United States and called the Sơn Mỹ Massacre in Vietnam.[10]

The massacre prompted global outrage when it became public knowledge in November 1969. The massacre contributed[11] to domestic opposition to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, both because of the scope of killing and cover-up attempts.

Initially, three U.S. servicemen who had tried to halt the massacre and rescue the hiding civilians were shunned, and even denounced as traitors by several U.S. Congressmen, including Mendel Rivers (D–SC), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Thirty years later, these servicemen were recognized and decorated, one posthumously, by the U.S. Army for shielding non-combatants from harm in a war zone.[12]

Mỹ Lai is the largest publicized massacre of civilians by U.S. forces in the 20th century.[13]