Skip to comments.Ernest Medina, Army Captain Acquitted in My Lai Massacre, Dies at 81
Posted on 05/14/2018 11:06:37 AM PDT by oh8eleven
Ernest L. Medina, the Army captain who was accused of overall responsibility for the March 1968 mass killings of unarmed South Vietnamese men, women and children by troops he commanded in what became known as the My Lai massacre, but was acquitted at a court-martial, died on Tuesday in Peshtigo, Wis. He was 81.
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My uncle was there (later died from a mortar.) His letters home to my Grandmother strongly suggested that Lt. Calley was railroaded and did not deserve most, if not all, of the accusations or treatment he received.
Being 81 years of age in 2018 would have made him 21 during the Mi Lai Massacre. 21 and a captain?
ok 31 and a captain. Pardon my math.
I think 31 (81-50).
It’s hard not to wonder if that was an intelligence op to provide our enemies with a “gotcha!” moment.
They were correct. And the frustration of attrition and not winning took its toll.
William Laws Calley Jr. (born June 8, 1943) is a former United States Army officer convicted by court-martial of murdering 22 unarmed South Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War.
While not technically exonerated, after three and a half years of house arrest, Calley was released pursuant to a ruling by federal judge J. Robert Elliott who found that Calley’s trial had been prejudiced by pre-trial publicity, denial of subpoenas of certain defense witnesses, refusal of the United States House of Representatives to release testimony taken in executive session of its My Lai investigation, and inadequate notice of the charges.
His initial conviction faced widespread public opposition both due to the campaign circumstances of civilian embedded Viet Cong, and due to Calley being singled out as the sole officer convicted with respect to the massacre.
You note in your “about” page that McCain finished very low in his Navy Academy class. Calley finished last in his OCS class. I live in the greater Columbus, Georgia area as does “Rusty” and he may be a nice guy most days but his guilt at My Lai is pretty well confirmed.
If so many college boys at not dodged the draft or run to Canada, Calley would never have been an officer and he should not have been one.
I seem to remember he was Lt. when all this went down. I have no recollection of him ever being addressed as Capt. Calley
Psst, I believe he is talking about Captain Medina.
Simply more Monday morning quarterbacking.
No offense to your uncle who gave all but there are reams of testimony that Calley was guilty as hell..and then some
What is also true is that he got scapegoated because he sure didnt act alone
This was not some pissed of Marine in Tarawa executing s few Jap prisoners or some Airborne guy in France losing his cool and clipping some surrendered Wehrmacht
This was a platoon directed by their CO to massacre an entire village by all means and Calley led the way
Thats not acceptable and nobody Ive known as an American combat vet thinks it is....
Warrant officer and future major Hugh Thompson stopped the masssacre by force from his chopper and saved dozens from Calley and his men
Its also true that the army brass tried to cover it up....including former free republic favorite Colin Powell
James Webb, former Navy Secretary, made the same point. I think he wrote that Calley was passed over 3 times, but due to all the draft dodgers, the Army eventually took him.
Yeah, I’ve always wondered why Captain Medina wasn’t held accountable, given that he was nominally “in charge”.
Calley was convicted but he did not serve hardly any time, and certainly not nearly enough to pay for what he did. I agree that Calley wasn’t the only bad one. Others deserved punishment too. Calley was guilty but so was Medina and many others. They all said they were told to add to the body count. Truly sad times.
People at the time didn’t want to believe Calley had done such ghastly things. People who spoke out against him were denounced as traitors. The government tried to use the real good guy (Hugh Thompson) to cover up the crimes by lying on his medal, which he threw away. Thompson was then denounced. I thank God for Thompson who stopped it.
Your comments are a virtual paraphrase of those I heard General William Westmoreland speak to the Army officers attending the USAF War College in 1971.
Have to agree. Calley was convicted of personally shooting Vietnamese civilians, not just of losing control of his platoon which ran amok.
Colin Powel is one who should have been taken down, but wasn’t.
Colin Powell ... the “man” who wanted to run for president ... but his wife wouldn’t let him.
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