Atrocity at Thuy Bo

SR 2077
Interview with Le Thi Ton, 67.
Please tell us as truthfully and with as much detail as you can of the event on January 31st, 1967.
Le Thi Ton:
On January 31st they came at around 12:00, exactly at 12:00. My family was on the outer part of the hamlet. And those other people were living in the middle section of the hamlet. We were only about a paddy field in distance from each other.
When they approached my house – there were ten persons in my family – I was with my fourteen year old son inside the house. And yet four or five of them rushed over to my place. When they entered my house I stood up and said: "Greetings, sirs!" I said as a matter of factly: "Greetings, sirs."
They laughed when they heard this. Their teeth were so white, but their faces were full of hatred. They turned around and laughed and then lobbed a grenade into my house.
Ten persons were blown into pieces. The only person who was wounded and who survived was me. My son and everyone else just fell dead. I was wounded and extremely frightened so I crawled quickly into a corner of the house.
The grenade had already exploded then, but they trained their guns on the bodies to make sure that nobody would survive. There was a baby who was only two months old. They smashed it and then threw it into the fire and then walked out. As they walked out, they suddenly turned around and opened fire again.
I was wounded and was lying behind a wall. I looked out and, even though it was smoke filled then, I saw corpses piling up in front of me. Some corpses lost their heads other corpses had their brains knocked out of them. It was a big mess of ten persons.
I did know what to do. I was wounded, and I tried my best. But I was so shocked when I saw all this and I just did not know what to do. Then there was a woman who died and left behind five children. They are my nieces and nephews. I had only one son.
The gunfire was terrible and then there were artillery shells coming in from the air. My son and my nieces and nephews had been killed, and I wondered what I was going to do then. After the Americans had finished with their shooting, they used their bayonet to slit open my two month-old niece and then walked away to the next place.
Ten persons died and I was the only one who was left wounded. I did not know what to do and just crawled about. After a while, people found me. My neighbors all around me had been all killed. I was the only who was wounded and survived.
After a long time, people from other hamlets came and screamed. In my neighborhood, all those people died. But in the front portion of the hamlet, some 70 to 80 persons were killed. I just don't know how many from what family died. I did not find out at that time.
I only knew that the ten members of my family who were killed, their brains were blown and the guts scattered all over the place. And there was no one left in my family except for me who got wounded. The grenade fragments came into me in two places, but I did not die. After that, I was taken to Bo Bo and then to Da Nang where I was treated and kept alive.
The Americans came in large numbers. When they arrived, they asked for VC. I just did not know any VC at all. In my family there were an old woman and then the rest were young women and children. There were half a dozen children. Now they were all killed, their guts scattered all over.
This was what they did when they came to my neighborhood, the Thau neighborhood. This is what I saw and this is what I can remember. It has been fourteen years now. And it was exactly like I said. The ten persons who were killed in my place, Oh, what guts and blood, and all over the place! I just don't know how to describe it all. I survived.