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HomeSpecial: Tiger Force

Hearsay account triggered the probe 10/20/2003
After 41/2 years of investigating Tiger Force, the only soldier disciplined in the case was the one who brought it to the Army's attention. To Sgt. Gary Coy, it was an ironic end to an investigation that began when he first talked to Army officials on Feb. 3, 1971. By the time the investigation ended in 1975, a letter of

DAY 3: Pain lingers 36 years after deadly rampage 10/21/2003
 Tam Hau lights incense before kneeling in prayer at the grave of her uncle, Dao Hue, who was killed by a Tiger Force officer. SONG VE VALLEY, Vietnam - Incense smoke rose over the grave as Tam Hau knelt on the grassy mound. Hands trembling, she prayed quietly to the uncle who stumbled upon the soldiers so long ago. Like so many others, he didn't survive.

`Free-fire' situation set stage for abuses 10/21/2003
 By the time Tiger Force soldiers stopped firing their weapons, six people were dead, including two children. They weren't carrying weapons, or dressed in enemy uniforms, but it didn't matter: They were living in a free-fire zone.

Charges still possible but unlikely, experts say 10/21/2003
 Former Lt. James Hawkins, who left as a major in 1978. Thirty-six years after their tours in Tiger Force, former platoon members still could be prosecuted for what happened in Vietnam, although legal experts say it's unlikely to happen. The military could recall and sanction those who retired from the Army. An international tribunal could seek their prosecution. And a foreign country could pursue the case - including Vietnam. The stakes …

Army makes adjustments in effort to prevent abuses 10/21/2003
Lt. Col. Chris Hughes had a tough decision to make on a tense street in a southern Iraqi city, so he gave his 130 troops a set of orders that would draw international attention. Drop to one knee. Point your weapons to the ground. And smile.

Vietnam won't dwell on past, official says 10/21/2003
HANOI, Vietnam - Responding to The Blade's investigative series that an elite unit of American soldiers slaughtered hundreds of innocent civilians during the Vietnam War, a Vietnamese official said yesterday the country wants to put the conflict behind it even though it caused “much suffering.”

DAY 4: Demons of past stalk Tiger Force veterans 10/22/2003
 Therlene Ramos visits the grave of her son, Sam Ybarra, at a cemetery on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. After returning from Vietnam, Ybarra drank for days at a time.  `He was alive, but dead,' she said. For Barry Bowman, the images return at night. The elderly man praying on his knees. The officer pointing a rifle at the man's head. The shot. That piercing shot. Before it's over, the old man drops to the ground - his body twitching in the blood-soaked grass.

Why did some troops target civilians but others did not? 10/22/2003
 Former Tiger Force soldier Ken Kerney, who did not take part in atrocities, said: `Once you cross that line, you'll do it again and again. It will escalate. And that's exactly what happened.' Ken Kerney said he joined the Army to fight communism, but he would face another struggle in Vietnam. Entering a special fighting unit in one of the country's most dangerous war zones, he watched in 1967 as his new peers sliced ears from enemy dead and opened fire on unarmed villagers. He had a choice to make.

Vietnam's children: Photo story 10/22/2003
Toledo Magazine's photo story by Andy Morrison on Vietnam's children.

Vietnamese colonel to investigate Tiger Force 10/26/2003
 Col. Nguyen Thai of the Vietnamese Army says he is investigating the atrocities committed by Tiger Force. Thirty-six years after a U.S. Army platoon swept through the heart of Vietnam torturing and killing civilians, a Vietnamese military official is investigating the atrocities to determine how many people died in the rampage. (This story was published on Oct. 27.)

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Map of Vietnam

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Spec. William Carpenter

This southeast Ohio native was a specialist in Tiger Force.

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Sgt. Gerald Bruner

This former Tiger Force member and native of Colon, Michigan recorded a tape about his recollections of Vietnam in 1988.

He died in 1997.

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Sgt. William Doyle

This Tiger Force team leader currently lives in Missouri.

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