Special Agent Gustav Apsey - The lead agent in the 41/2-year Tiger Force case, he oversaw an investigation that utilized more than 100 investigators to interview 137 witnesses in 63 cities. He prepared the 1975 final report for commanders for possible prosecution, including 20 substantiated war crimes ranging from murder and assault to dereliction of duty against 15 soldiers who survived the war. Now 63 and retired, he lives in Washington state.
Howard “Bo” Callaway - He was appointed secretary of the Army in 1973 by President Richard Nixon. Records show summaries of the Tiger Force investigation were sent to his office for review beginning in 1972. He resigned in June, 1975, the same month the Tiger Force final report was sent to commanders for possible prosecution. Now 76, he told The Blade he doesn't remember the case.
Sgt. Gerald Bruner - He was the only known solider to threaten other members of the platoon to stop a civilian from being killed. He would later complain to three superiors, but no investigation was conducted. He transferred from Tiger Force and served two more tours in Vietnam. He died in Colon, Mich., in 1997. He was 59.
Spec. Barry Bowman - A platoon medic, he said he became so upset after seeing a prisoner beaten and killed that he spoke to a battalion chaplain about it. But he admitted to killing a wounded prisoner himself, calling it a “mercy killing.” He left the Army in 1969 and rejoined from 1980 to 1986. Now 59 and living in Rhode Island, he said he struggles with memories of the war.
Sgt. Gary Coy - A member of a company that occasionally patrolled with Tiger Force, he triggered the Army investigation after claiming in 1971 that he saw a soldier behead a baby. He later told investigators that he heard about the incident second-hand. Now 55, he resides in Missouri.
Sgt. William Doyle - He joined Tiger Force in June, 1967, and admitted in a recent interview that he killed unarmed civilians, prisoners, and interpreters assigned to the unit. He said he left the Army in 1971 to join the CIA's Air America, which helped fight communists in neighboring Laos. He said he was tipped off by an Army investigator to keep quiet about the war crimes. Now 70, he lives in Missouri.
Sgt. Harold Trout - At 30, the sergeant was second-in-command of Tiger Force and considered a combat veteran. Former soldiers say he ordered the execution of a young mother, ordered the execution of a prisoner, and himself executed a wounded detainee. He retired from the military in 1985. Now 66, he lives in Tennessee.
Lt. Donald Wood - A Tiger Force officer who tried to stop two atrocities in 1967, he later complained to superiors about the mistreatment of civilians, but no investigation was conducted. He became a lawyer in Findlay and died in 1983. He was 36.
Pvt. Sam Ybarra - By age 18, the high school dropout was arrested for underage drinking and carrying a concealed weapon. He was released from jail on the day he was inducted into the Army. Soldiers recall him as the most prolific killer in the platoon. Dishonorably discharged in 1969 for actions unconnected to Tiger Force, he returned to his Arizona reservation, where he struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He died in 1982 of pneumonia at 36.
(Story was published on Oct. 19, 2003)