History: October 9, 1966: Viet Nam Massacres You Might Not Know

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A Brief History

On October 9, 1966, the war torn nation of South Viet Nam was the scene of not one, but two notable massacres you may never have heard of.  While much scorn has been heaped on alleged massacres and atrocities by Americans, by the forces of South Viet Nam, by the Viet Cong, and by the North Vietnamese Army, these massacres were committed by another entity entirely.

Digging Deeper

On this fateful day, the Republic of Korea (ROK) forces (aka South Korean) allied with the US and South Viet Nam perpetrated massacres at separate locations, Binh Tai and Dien Nien- Phuoc Binh, murdering a total of 448 innocent South Vietnamese villagers.

At Dien Nien Temple and Phuoc Binh Hamlet in the village of Tinh Sohn Korean Marines murdered 280 unarmed civilians, presumably thought to be communist sympathizers.  On the same day, in the same Quang Ngai province, Korean Marines slaughtered another 168 unarmed civilians at Binh Tai.  Most of these people were the elderly, women, and children.

At different times in 1966, South Korean forces conducted similar atrocities at Binh An village, Binh Hoa village, and Tay Vinh village.  Apparently, 1966 was a bad year for South Vietnamese civilians!

While these massacres are little mentioned in American cultural media regarding the War in Viet Nam, it is likely the people of Viet Nam are aware of the incidents today, and back then the bitterness about the massacres certainly could not have helped the efforts to win “the hearts and minds” of the South Vietnamese people by the US, South Viet Nam, and their allies.

At times Americans seem to forget that the allies we cajole into becoming involved in military adventures become a direct reflection of our own efforts, at least in the minds of the indigenous people.  The US had allies in Viet Nam, a fact often overlooked by the American public.  Assisting in the fighting were South Korea, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia and Laos.  Plus, several other countries lent non-combat support, including Iran.  (Meanwhile, the Soviet Union and China among other communist countries from Europe and Asia aided North Viet Nam.)

During wartime and armed conflict many atrocities occur, and whether or not those incidents are well publicized has little importance to the victims.  To prevent future potential victims, the threat of massive publicity and criminal justice is the best protection against future incidents.  What other little known massacres can you think of?

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please read:

Atrocities, Massacres, and War Crimes [2 volumes]: An Encyclopedia (Hardcover)

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.