On March 16, 1968 the men of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai.
My Lai lay in the South Vietnamese district of Son My. It was a heavily minded area where the Vietcong were deeply entrenched. Numerous members of the Charlie Company were maimed or killed in the area during the proceeding weeks. The troops under the command of Lt. William Calley entered the area, ready to fire.
As the " search and destroy" mission unfolded, it soon turned into a massacre of over 300 unarmed civilians including women,children and the elderly. Calley ordered his men to enter the village firing, though there had been no report of opposing fire. According to eyewitness reports, the elderly men were bayoneted. Women and children were shot in the back of the head and at least one girl was raped before she was killed. Lt. Cally was said to have round up a group of villagers, order them into a ditch and he mowed them down with a fury of machine gun fire.