March 16 in the Vietnam War: Col Underwood Shot Down & My Lai 4 Tragedy

March 16, 1966 in the Vietnam War: Col Underwood Shot Down

This Date in the Vietnam War March 16th, 1966. Colonel Paul Underwood piloted a bombing mission over Lai Chau Province in North Vietnam. After releasing bombs from his F-105 Thunderchief, his aircraft crashed. Unfortunately, Colonel Underwood did not survive the crash, and his remains were not recovered for decades. It was not until 19 98 that the Vietnamese government returned his remains to the United States. The recovery of Colonel Underwood’s remains was organized as part of a larger effort by the US government to recover and identify the remains of American service members who were lost during the Vietnam War.

My Lai 4 Tragedy – March 16th 1968

This Date in the Vietnam War March 16th 1968, the tragedy of My Ly 4 took place in a heavily mined region where the Viet Cong guerrillas had a strong presence. The U S platoon had suffered numerous casualties in the preceding month, and Lieutenant William L Calley was leading his men on a search and destroy mission. As they entered the village, they discovered women, children, and elderly men, instead of their expected targets. Frustrated by the losses they had suffered due to snipers and mines, the soldiers directed their anger toward the villagers. The violence only came to an end when Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, an aero scout helicopter pilot, intervened by landing his helicopter between the Americans and the fleeing South Vietnamese. Lieutenant Calley was found guilty of personally murdering 22 civilians and was initially sentenced to life imprisonment. However, his sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals, then again halved by the Secretary of the Army.

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