My Lai pp 178-199 | Cite as


  • James S. Olson
  • Randy Roberts
Part of the The Bedford Series in History and Culture book series (BSHC)


Fixing blame, determining guilt, and punishing the perpetrators of the My Lai massacre proved to be far more complex than anyone first anticipated. Nearly five hundred Vietnamese civilians had been slaughtered on March 16, 1968, in front of dozens of eyewitnesses, but when all of the investigations were over, the indictments rendered, and the trials held, only Lieutenant William Calley was found guilty of war crimes. Calley was convicted of the premeditated murder of twenty-two civilians and sentenced to life in prison at hard labor. Colonel Oran K. Henderson, commander of the 11th Infantry Brigade, and thirteen other officers and enlisted men had been charged with war crimes, but each of them was acquitted or had his charges dropped. The only other punishments meted out were to military brass for the cover-up. Major General Samuel Koster was reduced in rank to brigadier general, and his assistant, Brigadier General George Young, had an official censure placed in his personnel file.


Hard Labor Administrative Review Pretrial Investigation Garage Door Enemy Soldier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anthony Lukas, “Meadlo’s Home Town Regards Him as Blameless,” New York Times, November 26, 1969.Google Scholar
  2. Lewis B. Puller Jr., Fortunate Son: The Autobiography of Lewis B. Puller Jr. (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991), 257–58.Google Scholar
  3. Peter Steinfels, “Calley and the Public Conscience,” Commonweal April 12, 1971, 128.Google Scholar
  4. Richard Nixon, RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon (New York: Gossett and Dunlap, 1978), 449–50.Google Scholar
  5. William C Westmoreland, A Soldier Reports (New York: Doubleday, 1976), 375–80Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Bedford Books 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • James S. Olson
    • 1
  • Randy Roberts
    • 2
  1. 1.Sam Houston State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Purdue UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations