Woman describes the destruction of her village

SR 2077
Beep tone
Roll 77
578, Take 1
Interview with Truong Thi Mai, 52.
Please tell us with as much detail as possible the event of January 31st, 1967.
Thuong Thi Mai:
On the 31st, the Americans came. When they came, we were in the house. They entered the house and pushed us backward. When we could not go back any further they shot my father, my mother, my sister in law and a niece. They killed three persons in the courtyard and shot my mother in the house.
There were five of us left and we ran to the front end of the house when they opened fire blindly on us. Bodies dropped all over the place. I was the only one who was still alive and I did not know what to do so I just lay flat down there in a ridge and managed to survive.
After they killed my whole family, they used the powdered gasoline to burn the children and my mother. They were so burnt up that when I collected their remains, only a few bones were left.
Do you recall any additional detail?
Thuong Thi Mai:
Next door to me was a woman who had just given birth to her baby. The baby was about a month old. They killed the mother and smashed the baby against the wall like this. Then they used a knife to slit the baby up and then burnt it. They rubbed powdered gasoline on the baby and just burnt it.
When the Americans came and burned your house and killed your parents and your niece, were you angry? What were your feelings then?
Thuong Thi Mai:
I was extremely angry. They called everybody a VC. All the women and children were called VCs.
What kind of soldiers were they who could not even identify women and children? What kind of a war was this they were fighting? We were all women and children. There was not a single able bodied man around. All babies, children and women and old women.
They rushed us, they gritted their monkey teeth and then they opened fire. They gritted their teeth and then they just opened fire with their rifles. They didn't care for anything at all.
After they killed the people, they burnt down all the houses so that the survivors had no place to live in. They burned everything. Not a single thing was left on the ground.
Even dead children were burnt. Hence, I could collect only that much of the remains of three children. It was only a handful of bones. Their parents were also all killed. All the children were killed.
In one case, the mother was killed and left two tiny babies who clung to the mother breasts and sucked at them. The babies were sitting like this and sucked at the breasts. One child is still alive now, but the other one died.