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Hugh Thompson (1943 – 2006)


US Army helicopter pilot who rescued Vietnamese civilians during the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war and campaigned to bring those responsible to justice.
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Hugh Thompson
I'd received death threats over the phone. Dead animals on your porch, mutilated animals on your porch some mornings when you get up. So I was not a 'good guy'.
Thompson quotes
You can't imagine what courage it took to do what he did.
Thompson
I'm going to go over and get them out of the bunker myself. If the squad opens up on them, shoot 'em.




Thompson Hugh Jr. quotes
Something terrible happened here 30 years ago today. I cannot explain why it happened. I just wish our crew that day could have helped more people than we did.
Thompson Hugh Jr.
Thompson landed again. Glenn and I got out of the aircraft, took out the guns. Hugh walked over to this lieutenant [Brooks], and I could tell they were in a shouting match. I thought they were going to get in a fist fight. He told me later what they said. Thompson: 'Let's get these people out of this bunker and get 'em out of here.' Brooks: 'We'll get 'em out with hand grenades.' Thompson: 'I can do better than that. Keep your people in place. My guns are on you.' Hugh was outranked, so this was not good to do, but that's how committed he was to stopping it.
Hugh Thompson quotes
He was treated like a traitor for 30 years, so he was conditioned to just shut up and be quiet. Every bit of information I got from him, I had to drag it out of him.
Hugh Thompson
What a great man. There are so many people today walking around alive because of him, not only in Vietnam, but people who kept their units under control under other circumstances because they had heard his story. We may never know just how many lives he saved.
Thompson Hugh Jr. quotes
Don't do the right thing looking for a reward, because it might not come.
Thompson
They said I was screaming quite loud. I threatened never to fly again. I didn't want to be a part of that. It wasn't war.
Thompson Hugh Jr.
He was the guy who by his heroic actions gave a morality and dignity to the American military effort. At war sometimes things get topsy turvy, so he was a moral example at a time when things were pure evil.
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