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Massacre story needs to be told 10/19/2003
Mike Ware of Haskins, Ohio, a veteran of the Army's 101st Airborne Division who served in Vietnam during America's most controversial and divisive war, reacted to an ad in The Blade last week that promoted the series of articles that started on today's front page.

About the series/The Blade's team 10/19/2003
 Mike Sallah The Blade's investigation began after the newspaper obtained 22 pages of classified Army records detailing atrocities by Tiger Force. The records of the Army's Criminal Investigation Command were just the start.

DAY 1: Rogue GIs unleashed wave of terror in Central Highlands 10/19/2003
 Kieu Trac walks through a Song Ve Valley rice paddy in June, where his father, Kieu Cong, and other farmers were killed by Tiger Force soldiers 36 years ago. QUANG NGAI, Vietnam - For the 10 elderly farmers in the rice paddy, there was nowhere to hide. The river stretched along one side, mountains on the other. Approaching quickly in between were the soldiers - an elite U.S. Army unit known as Tiger Force.

THE SERIES: Elite unit savaged civilians in Vietnam 10/19/2003
 These Tiger Force soldiers fan out while patrolling the Song Ve Valley in a 1967 photo taken by a former platoon member. The unit committed an untold number of atrocities in the valley as part of a seven-month campaign of terror. It was an elite fighting unit in Vietnam - small, mobile, trained to kill. Known as Tiger Force, the platoon was created by a U.S. Army engaged in a new kind of war - one defined by ambushes, booby traps, and a nearly invisible enemy.

7 allegations focused on GI from Arizona 10/19/2003
 Pvt. Sam Ybarra was often seen wearing a necklace of human ears and was known for scalping Sam Ybarra sat in the darkness of his mother's Arizona home, sobbing. Once a feared member of Tiger Force who boasted of shooting civilians, he was now a broken figure - haunted by images of the war.

Experts: Earlier Tiger Force probe could have averted My Lai carnage 10/19/2003
 A memorial in My Lai marks the 1968 massacre of civilians by U.S. troops. MY LAI, Vietnam - Just before dawn, the ritual begins. People gather around stone statues, some whispering prayers, others crying. Every year, hundreds of Vietnamese travel to the memorial that marks the day the soldiers swept into the tiny village before sunrise expecting to meet enemy soldiers.

Primary figures 10/19/2003
 Sgt. James Barnett 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.

DAY 2: Inquiry ended without justice 10/20/2003
Seven years after leaving Vietnam, James Barnett broke down. Haunted by the killing of civilians, the former Tiger Force sergeant invited Army investigators to his home to offer a surprise confession.

Vietnamese teen saved by sergeant 10/20/2003
 Gerald Bruner transferred from Tiger Force in September, 1967. After watching Tiger Force soldiers execute an unarmed villager, Sgt. Gerald Bruner did the unthinkable. He raised his rifle with his own threat: He would kill anyone who tried to shoot any more civilians. The soldiers backed down.

2 officers clashed over the treatment of noncombatants 10/20/2003
 Wood: The Findlay, Ohio, man attempted to alert his superiors about war crimes. The two elderly Vietnamese women were walking toward the soldiers when Tiger Force platoon Lt. James Hawkins ordered his men to shoot. Quickly, another lieutenant, Donald Wood (left), told the men not to fire.


Photo Gallery

Map of Vietnam

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Spec. William Carpenter

This southeast Ohio native was a specialist in Tiger Force.

MP3 Audio Files:

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.

MP3 Audio Files:

Sgt. William Doyle

This Tiger Force team leader currently lives in Missouri.

MP3 Audio Files: