RIP Lawrence Colburn

We record the death at the age of 67 of a brave man, Lawrence Manley Colburn, who was a helicopter gunner in the Vietnam War.

His bravery was no ordinary kind. Along with a handful of others, he faced down fellow US troops who were busily slaughtering hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese villagers at the My Lai massacre, on 16 March 1968.

Colburn was the last surviving member of the US Army crew who that day ended the massacre. The chopper pilot, Hugh Thompson, landed his helicopter between unarmed villagers and American troops.

Thompson and his crew then persuaded members of ‘Charlie Company’ to stop shooting. The company’s soldiers were not under attack but they nevertheless indulged in a killing orgy which left dead more than 500 Vietnamese women, children and the elderly.

Picture source: Ronald L. Haeberle  via Wikimedia