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KELLY, William

( American lieutenant, guilty of the massacre of Vietnamese people)

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Biography KELLY, William
photo KELLY, William
In the mid 60-ies the United States sent untrained recruits to fight in the Vietnamese jungle. Their methods of restraint often took the form of madness. One of the victims was the village of My Lai.

America entered the war with Vietnam in the midst of an ideological struggle between the two systems - capitalism and communism. Thousands of young Americans were sent to meet death in the dense jungle, swarming with snakes. They shed their blood in places with unpronounceable names at the hands of people with names nevygovarivaemymi. But, as argued by their commanders,
valiant U.S. soldiers carried out their duty, worthy of the memory of great ancestors - the noble warriors Patton, MacArthur and Eisenhower. They are not satisfied with the pits, traps bristling with sharpened bamboo staves, not torture prisoners, forcing them to confess under torture in its "war crimes" - the fate of many Americans, captured. But all the allegations of the noble mission of American troops in Vietnam were buried March 16, 1968 in the tiny village of My Lai, located on the east coast of the South China Sea.

. On this day a company of "Charlie" from the 11 th Infantry Brigade broke into the undefended village on the coastal plain and cold-bloodedly destroyed about five hundred of its inhabitants - men, women and children
. In the cold detachment, with intermittent bouts of blind rage, in the form of punitive U.S. army massacred the civilian population of Vietnamese village. Starikov dumped into trenches and bayoneted, ripped stomachs of pregnant women and those who tried to get out of this hell, thrown back to the heap of dead bodies ... Collective madness that gripped a company of "Charlie", remained a mystery.

Especially for this crime was punished only Lieutenant William Kelly, if the three-day stay in prison can be considered punishment. He was released after hearing U.S. President. Many times this bloodshed was discussed with the involvement of its direct participants, representatives of the rear headquarters and the American public.
More than any other episode of that war, tragedy My Lai became a symbol of madness, revealing the circumstances under which ordinary, quite respectable young people under psychological pressure of war are transformed into bloodthirsty barbarians. In the fields around My Lai were brutally crushed by the traditional American ideals of goodness and justice. On earth, inhabited mainly by villagers came merciless war, with its modern technology of destruction. Americans descended on them napalm, phosphorous bombs, defoliants and other monstrous ordnance. And the Vietnamese were puzzled: what they have incurred the wrath of such strangers? But My Lai, . Yes, and all the other villages in Viet Nam considered the American military command as guerrilla bases Vietcong fighters, . that with the help of the peasants, not without success resisted the most powerful power in the world,
. The frustration caused by the difficulties of conducting combat operations against an invisible and elusive army of Ho Chi Minh, was growing among American military commanders in the difficult to explain the cruelty.

They have begun to apply the tactics of "scorched earth". When the company was "Charlie" came into My Lai, seventy per cent of villages in Quang Ngai province as a result of such policies have been razed to the ground, but charity never been a mandatory attribute of the war.
. Here's what then spoke about this one of the U.S. marines: "We called them the little man, narrow-eyed, incompleteness, invented them other contemptuous nicknames
. Vietcong for us were not people. We never treated them as people. They were for us than the abstract-t, creatures who wanted to kill us, and we just killed them first. It touches everyone, from kids to seniors. That's what we did with Vietnam. "

. Personal Account enemies killed

. Another soldier, . Marine Philip Caputo, . said, . that although the orders to destroy the civilian population and were written in black and white, . commander of American troops in Vietnam, William Westmoreland, persistently and consistently demanded that his soldiers to kill as many as possible,
. Caputo recalls: "bleeding the enemy's strategy pursued by General Westmoreland, health affects of our actions. Victory and defeat were determined by a simple arithmetic calculation of the losses of the enemy, individual success or failure of the soldiers - a personal account of killed enemies. The administration demanded that the commanders as much as possible of corpses and blood, and they in turn pressured the soldiers. Therefore not surprising that some of us elaborated contemptuous care attitude to human life and the propensity to murder. "

Roth's "Charlie" came into My Lai, in this mood. Initially this unit was staffed by one hundred fifty most common American boys out of those fate ugotovila bloody exam.

. In August 1967, during combat training in a U.S. training centers, soldiers were warned that at any moment they can be transferred to Vietnam
. People like Lieutenant William Kelly, who prior to recruitment did not have a profession, with udovolstviempredvkushali this event. In its homeland rota "Charlie" has earned the reputation of exceptional units. She acted well in exercises in conditions close to the jungle, and military skill of personnel evaluated very highly. Some fear was that unless the state of discipline but the personal qualities of individual soldiers. One of them, Michael Bernhardt, was trained as a paratrooper and was in the infantry company. It is not very flatteringly about his comrades in arms: "Some soldiers in the company to behave strangely, showed undue cruelty. This, of course, were notorious scum, they can always be recognized as fit for military service. But it was impossible to suppose that some of them will be brutally kill or torture people. "

Fateful choices

Roth's "Charlie" came to us, as they called this country the Americans, in the second week of December 1967. Department identified the fighting in Quang Ngai province to the myriad of small villages, whose population dwindled significantly from artillery fire and the frequent air raids. The villagers were ordered under threat of death not to allow the Viet Cong in their homes. However, they could not prevent the fighters Ho Chi Minh used the village as the guerrilla bases, as "their" also threatened them with death.

Thus, the villagers were in this war in the jungle between two fires. January 26, 1968 a company of "Charlie" was included in an assault force of about five hundred people for combing operations in the most remote places Quang Ngai, . in the so-called "Indian country", . where, . according to intelligence, . too loosely ruled by Vietcong,
. The aim of the operation was to eliminate the enemy's battalion, which for years has successfully operated in this area, despite the massive use of explosives and defoliants. This time it was decided to dispense with weapons of mass destruction, providing freedom of action of ground troops. By order of the command was formed task force composed of companies Alpha, Bravo and Charlie.

By mid-February among U.S. soldiers establish an atmosphere of gloom, intensified defeatism. How would any of their quickly threw in areas where there were partisans, those who have some warning, and they managed to disappear. A neobstrelyannye recruits who came from America, trembling with fear in the impenetrable jungle. And in February, began first loss. One soldier struck a mine-trap. Radioman Ron Weber overtaken sniper bullet. Weber died because of an error the first platoon commander Kelly, who decided to do without the intelligence and led his unit into the open. This was the first mistake, but, unfortunately, not the latest manifestation of incompetence, Lieutenant Kelly, who really was not much of a commander. More on "citizen", from day to day waiting for the inevitable agenda of military conscription, Kelly decided to enlist voluntarily. It was Shorty - shorter than 160 cm. In war the army had to be satisfied and such warriors. By the time Kelly wore military uniforms in the United States already have displayed anti-war sentiments: in an effort to avoid being drafted, the youth hid in Canada, peace marches were held with the ceremony of burning the American flag and the call-up certificate. The soldiers who came home on leave from the front, did not meet expectations honors. In such a situation the army did not hesitate cannon fodder of any kind for the continuation of the war, monthly cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

. That is why William Kelly, a frustrated cook and washer machines, a failed insurance company clerk and supervisor on the railroad, at the age of twenty-two years became an officer in the U.S. Army.

. In the endless raids by the dense jungles and rice fields rota "Charlie continued to incur losses
. The Americans captured guerrillas, but by this time a lecture on the treatment of prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention, which they once read, was completely forgotten. War traumatized the soldiers' souls, making adjustments in the usual moral principles. Brutal beating suspected of sympathizing with the enemy became routine. In the book Bilgona Michael and Kevin Sim, Four hours in My Lai "Fred Uidmer, . which is dubbed "Mr killer, . so remember that, . as it lost all semblance of human relationships to people in the company of "Charlie:" The worst thing started, . my opinion, . when we stopped to take prisoners,
. A pair of shots - and all, no fuss and trouble. Then, later, came up to cut a "Vietnamization" ears, mutilate them. "

How to recognize an enemy

"One Viet Cong with his hands tied to a pole. In pants prisoner shoved burning cigarette butts and watched a wild dance, when cigarette butts burned his ass. This was done to loosen his tongue, and simultaneously to vent their anger. I do not remember what came next with such prisoners. The longer it lasted, the less they believed. We have no one believed, because it was not clear who is who. We did not know which of them

Once they started to kill the prisoners, we are no longer constrained. I would say that it has become commonplace. I also mocked the prisoners and behaved the same way as all. We cut off the beards of old men, that was the biggest humiliation: his beard is considered a sign of wisdom Vietnamese. We beat Vietcong prisoners, trying to force them to talk. I myself no one was tortured to death. But in my eyes, it seems, this happened ". It was forced bitter recognition. In the dirty game, which led America into Vietnam, have been erased differences between the army of Ho Chi Minh, guerrillas and civilians. In the fevered imagination played a constant fear and hatred of soldiers companies "Charlie" all Vietnamese polls become enemies. And therefore deserve death. Combat losses reduced the number of companies "Charlie" to one hundred and five. March 15 the soldiers announced that the next day to sweep operation. Kelly said that in the village of My Lai the headquarters of the elusive 48-Battalion of the Vietcong, for which the company was "Charlie" hunted since his arrival in Vietnam. Soldiers also said that by the time of their arrival at 7.30 am in the village all civilians would be evacuated. Will remain only the Vietcong, which should be treated as enemy soldiers. No record of briefing before this operation is not preserved. But all parties claim that the meaning of the order clearly came down to destroy all the buildings, livestock and pets and capture of several prisoners for interrogation. The rest was prepared for hell.

Sergeant Kenneth Hodges says: "Finally, the time for us to get even, to pay bills. It's time for revenge, when we are able to avenge their fallen comrades. We were clearly told that the prisoners should not be. Someone asked whether this refers to women and children. Order dealt with absolutely everyone in the village. They are hostile to the Americans. It became clear that in this village no one deserves no mercy. "

. The next day, soldiers from the reserves of phosphorous incendiary grenades, extra ammunition cartridge pouches, with mortars and small arms to board the chopper with a green camouflage coloring, and went on a date with death
. Below stretched variegated green-brown landscape of Vietnam, which ominously creeping shadows thrown rotorcraft. Along with soldiers of Company "Charlie" on board a helicopter in the area of operations flew a reporter and photographer information department of the American army, which was subsequently submitted documentary evidence of the events of My Lai.

. Death of village

. In the morning when the sky on the village of My Lai suddenly fell armada of attack helicopters, she lived her usual measured life
. In the sights heavy machine guns could be seen as the children play, floundering in the dust, the women boil water on fires, the men working in rice fields.

At 7.30 in the village opened fire high-explosive and incendiary shells with white phosphorus. Citizens rushed to the underground shelter. A few minutes of preparatory fire subsided, and the My Lai soldiers streamed company "Charlie", ready for battle weapons and grenades. They walked through rice fields in open formation, leading continuous fire. At trial, it turns out that almost all women were mowed down bursts even before a company of soldiers entered the village. There the soldiers quite brutalized. In the thatched huts thrown phosphorous grenades, and their inhabitants mowed fire from automatic rifles.

. Private Allen Boyce, who later in the hearings about the massacre, took advantage of the right to refuse to testify, he killed the old man hit a bayonet in the chest, then shot him in the neck
. Then he shot another man and threw him into a well, followed by throwing a grenade. None of the residents were armed. Soldiers of Company Charlie moved from hut to hut, snatching the frightened women and children by the hair, shouting "Vietcong? Vietcong?", And then coolly murdered them. The fugitives immediately shot in the back. Groups of twenty-five to forty people, hiding in roadside ditches, were shot with automatic weapons.

. Captain Ernest Medina, the representative of the brigade headquarters, observed on this day the course of the operation, contacted by radio with Lieutenant Kelly and asked about the reasons for the delay of his promotion company
. Kelly replied that they came upon a group of civilians numbering about sixty. "Take care of them", - told Medina. Omitting reference, Kelly built a Vietnamese and a distance of ten paces with the help of two of his subordinates shot them with machine-gun. Then the executioners began attacking the murdered women that covered their bodies more living children, and finished off their. The fugitives who tried to hide in the saving line of trees, got grenades and machine gun fire. Approximately fifty residents of My Lai hidden in a pit at the far end of the village. In the stinking mire floundering old men, women and infants. Kelly ordered the soldiers to open fire. Lead hail hit the screaming and twisting tangle of human bodies. The water in the well highlighted in scarlet. No less cruelly treated animals. Cows and pigs tore bayonet mi, chickens beheaded. A wild roar of the unfortunate animal was standing in the ears of some soldiers, by their own memories, even longer than the cries brutally killed people.

. Bacchanalia death

. Mad Machine's death continued to rage, grinding life of adults and children
. Already mentioned Fred Uidmer nicknamed "Mr. Killer" slain boy. "When I shot him, I feel sick. And then I realized: My God, what have I done? "- He admitted later. However, what is going on around him, was no less terrible. The soldiers raped and mutilated women, beheaded corpses, took off the scalps. Noon executioners stopped firing and made a break for lunch. But tragedy continued to My Lai. With prisoners, driven to questioning in a ravine, committed suicide by shooting in mouth. By evening it was destroyed more about hundreds of civilians - is "from-the ranks of death of the wounded, whose groans broke the silence of the jungle. Flame of the burning huts, brightly lit night sky.

Daybreak revealed traces of the horrific insanity of the previous day. The peasants, who had returned from work in distant fields, they saw a dead village. Sobbing, they buried the dead in mass graves - mothers close to their fathers, brothers, sisters, close to ... None of the victims has not made a single shot at soldiers, strangers. Only one American was killed, accidentally caught in the artillery fire "their".

The tragedy at My Lai was a victory for the dark forces in this war. In the cold light of a new day U.S. soldiers began to realize that they are hopelessly and forever lost in Vietnam the status of the defenders of freedom. Rumors of the massacre spread among soldiers at a speed of the epidemic. Soon after that happened, I learned the whole of America. I learned - and shuddered. Frank Barker, . commander of Task Force, . rampaged through the My Lai, . from which, . According to many participants of the massacre, . came the order to kill civilians, . have not been able to justify - after three months, . when the scandal reached the highest point, . He crashed helicopter,
. The general public first learned about the massacre under his direction, when one of the soldiers sent letters to witnesses of the horror of My Lai in the well-known political and public figures in Washington.

. Who gave the orders?

. For information about what happened in My Lai, began to come first to the military, then government officials
. Photographer Ronald Heberli, who participated in the operation, provided them with many chilling images. He said he considered the order to kill women and children coming from higher authorities: "Army units do not destroy the civilian population en masse, as happened in the day. I first saw such. Later I heard that the division commander praised the tactical team for this operation, but, as I understand, he was not told that the executed were defenseless women and children ".

State Department spokesman Stanley Rezor first with distrust by the report of the massacre perpetrated by U.S. soldiers in My Lai. Administration of the White House believed that the villagers are accidentally caught in the crossfire in a fierce battle between U.S. troops and vetkongovskimi. However, when Rezor received from his staff confirmation of the massacre at My Lai, he could no longer hide the truth. For questioning the disbanded soldiers of Company "Charlie" in Vietnam were sent to investigators. With some degree of sincerity of the former soldiers of this company, testified about his involvement in the bloody events.

July 5, Lieutenant William Kelly was recalled to the U.S., where he received official notification that he was apprehended on suspicion of committing a mass murder. As it turned out later, he was made a scapegoat and forced to answer for all participants in the massacre. Several other officers were charged with violation of military duty, some soldiers accused of murder in the course of the investigation. In the end, only five appeared before a court martial, but was only sentenced Kelly.

Even hitting the dock, the lieutenant did not feel the slightest remorse. Solovtsov talked at length about his duty to kill Communists and how a good soldier, he was. Perhaps it is this stubborn refusal to acknowledge his actions as a war crime, and Kelly made the symbolic representative of the dock all those who have "distinguished" in the My Lai. While some Americans are stuck in bumper cars with signs demanding "Free Kelly!", . anti-war demonstrations and the participants were accused in case of high army authorities, . Lieutenant William Kelly was found guilty of the murder of twenty-two men and 29 March 1971 was sentenced to penal servitude for life,
. But proshloi three days, by special order of President Nixon's prisoners were released from custody and allowed to appeal. More he did not hit the bars, . and spent three years under house arrest at his spacious apartment on a military base in Fort Benninga, . Ga., . in complete comfort, . enjoying the contemplation of the tropical aquarium fish and devotion to his beloved dog,

November 9, 1974, former Lieutenant Kelly was released. For many Americans he remained a victim of war. In the long-suffering land of Vietnam at peace. The names of fifty-three thousand dead Americans knocked on the polished granite memorial in Washington. But Kelly and others who were with him that day, this war will not end ever.


Varnado Simpson - one of those who were close to Kelly at a rainy day. The forty-four years he had thrice attempted to commit suicide. Varnado's eyes by a stray bullet killed his son. He believes that this is God's punishment for the massacre perpetrated in My Lai. Varnado daily swallow countless pills. "Yes, I killed. I cut off the ears, take off the scalp and cut the throat. Yes, I did it. It seems that every twenty-five. I was plagued by nightmares. Before my eyes are permanently dead children. Wherever I go, everywhere see caricatures person killed my people. How can you forgive me if I myself can not do it ... I do not let anyone close to him and do not love. My love has died at My Lai ".

Kelly now - a balding businessman with a paunch. A former lieutenant working in the jewelry store of his father-in Columbus, Ohio. He did not swallow pills and does not need the services of a psychiatrist. My Lai remained forever in his memory, but he never mention it. Several years ago, Kelly wrote an autobiography in which he tried to justify this madness, which was overcome him and his soldiers. "We came to My Lai is not to kill innocent people. We came there to kill the ideology contained in those - I do not know what to call them, - on foot, screws, pieces of flesh. I was there to destroy communism. I belonged to communism, about the same as a Southerner is a Negro. It's terrible.

For Kelly, it's too late to learn lessons from what happened in My Lai, but, perhaps, for humanity to do it's too late.

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  • citizen for KELLY, William
  • stinking little gutless American child killer..... uuuum, what the fuck kind of pig mush for brains would be in a yanks head. got to make you wonder how any of use could survive as a people, when big tough government trained solders, can murder little kids....
  • james hoskins for KELLY, William
  • i thought it to be a great travisty as to what happend to you. i was a u.s. marine in viet nam, i left home in october 66/ got home feb.68. out in march 70. i personaly think you were made an excape goat for the military in general. the U.C.M.J. clearly states, the senior officer is responcible for every thing that happend. you were a leut.. my heart goes out to you for all the (SHIT) they put you through. i thought it was wrong then, and still do today. but someone had to go down i'm just sorry it had to be you. i have always had the most respect for you. welcom home soldier. only those that have served their can truely understand what goes through the mind of one in that position. i personaly was in 11 major operayions while in nam. i have often thought what happend to you could have easily happend to me. although i was a enlisted man. i can tell you this. some of the things i seen their, i know others they could have gone after, and should have.. my hat is off to you. if your ever in the state of FLORIDA, I would love to buy you a beer. you have my e-mail now, feal free to drop a line anytime. YOUR BROTHER SOLDIER JIMMY HOSKINS 535 W. OCALLA ST. UMATILLA, FL. 32784-7921
  • William Kelly for KELLY, William
  • please note the LT in question was named William CALLEY
  • dale parks for KELLY, William
  • i think he did the right thing allot of kids came to the baraks and blew up our soldiers up for nothing
  • william j kelly for KELLY, William
  • Please use care when spelling names. I am an old veteran from American War in Viet Nam. The Lt who killed the villagers at My Lai is William CALLEY. Not the same.
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