Share This Episode
Our American Stories Lee Habeeb Logo

The American Sniper Other American Snipers Look Up To

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
June 22, 2023 3:01 am

The American Sniper Other American Snipers Look Up To

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 2151 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


June 22, 2023 3:01 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, long before Chris Kyle penned "American Sniper,” which became Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated movie masterpiece — Carlos Hathcock was already a legend. Hathcock was so efficient and fearless during the Vietnam War, that he wore a white feather on his gear—taunting the Communists to come find him.

Support the show (https://www.ouramericanstories.com/donate)

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

For each person living with myasthenia gravis, or MG, their journey with this rare condition is unique. That's why Untold Stories Life with myasthenia gravis, a new podcast from iHeartRadio in partnership with Argenics, is exploring the extraordinary challenges and personal triumphs of underserved communities living with MG. Host Martine Hackett will share these powerful perspectives from real people with MG so their experiences can help inspire the MG community and educate others about this rare condition. Listen to find strength in community on the MG journey on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. You are today at Roku.com.

Happy streaming! I've thought about trying medication for my anxiety before, but I don't know where to start. I've got you. Through hers, you can get a prescription 100% online if a medical professional determines it's right for you. And through the Hers app, you can message them at any time. There shouldn't be a stigma about taking medication for anxiety. Start your free assessment today at ForHers.com slash care.

That's ForHers.com slash C-A-R-E. Prescriptions require an online consultation with a healthcare provider who will determine if appropriate. Prescriptions apply. See website for details and important safety information. Subscription required.

Controlled substances like Adderall are not available through the Hers platform. And we continue with our American stories. No single soldier on the battlefield is more revered or more reviled than the sniper. They are seen as either cowardly assassins or surgical soldiers.

With a single bullet, snipers can change the outcome of a battle or even a war. Long before Chris Kyle penned American Sniper, which became Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated movie masterpiece, Carlos Hathcock was already a legend. Hathcock was so efficient and fearless during the Vietnam War that he wore a white feather on his gear, taunting the communists to come find him. Our next story comes to us from Colin D. Heaton and Mike Droberg, two military veterans and the founders of the YouTube channel Forgotten History.

Their videos focus on military heroes, actions, and events spanning across the globe and are watched by hundreds of thousands of people. Here's Colin Heaton with the story. Carlos Norman Hathcock was born on May 20, 1942, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Hathcock supported his extremely poor family by shooting and hunting at an early age with a.22 caliber JC Higgins single-shot rifle. He later graduated to using a Kar 98 German Mauser that his father had brought back from World War II. Hathcock joined the Marines on May 20, 1959, at the age of 17, and rapidly became a known quantity.

He had won the matches at Camp Perry in 1965 and the Wimbledon Cup shooting championships. In 1966, Hathcock deployed to South Vietnam as a military policeman, but later became a sniper after Captain, later Major, Edward James Land wanted snipers in every infantry platoon. At that time, there was no formal sniper school in the Marine Corps, and snipers were designated according to a Marine's marksmanship record and field expertise.

Land knew right away that Hathcock was a natural. Hathcock soon went to work protecting Marines, and one enemy was a woman. The story of the woman VC called the Apache has been questioned, but here is how Carlos explained it. I really don't like to talk about her, to tell you the truth. She was a...

I don't like to use bad words. She was a very bad woman, a very bad woman. Had her own sniper platoon down there, and I don't think they were out to get all my snipers myself, everybody. And she had been torturing a lot of people prior to us getting there, and that was a primary objective, kind of, for me. And I was in her own backyard, she was tromping out of mine, and I didn't like that. And she sent that one kid that she'd captured. This was very, very personal.

Very personal. Saw her coming, saw the group coming, there were about five of them. And saw her squat down to tinkle. And I ascertained it was her. And the guy in front of her was trying to get her to stop, because they were running right towards us where they'd seen her before. He was trying to get her to stop. She didn't. But I stopped her. And I put one extra for good measure. Because I was the best shot I ever made, I think.

The best shot I ever made. The NVA and VC called Hathcock Long Trang, which means white feather, because of the white feather he kept in the band on his bush hat. At that time in Vietnam, all the troops were wearing garbage on the dog tags. Peace symbols, right? You need a peace symbol. You know, all kind of garbage. Grenade pins, all kind of mess in their hats and stuff. Well, I picked it up.

Why I picked it up? It's because I was just going nya nya nya nya nya to the bad guys, see? And the snipers don't do this.

Not supposed to do it. But I was kind of a very belligerent individual, I guess, as a sniper. And kind of like to flaunt my authority, I guess. After a platoon of Vietnamese snipers failed to kill him, many Marines in the same area donned white feathers to deceive the enemy and confuse them. Ho Chi Minh placed a bounty of $30,000 on Hathcock because he was so effective.

And through a mishap, they learned his name. It was believed that one of the local women working on the base accessed Hathcock's service record book. In those days, sniper kills were recorded in the SRB.

Generally, rewards put on U.S. snipers ranged from $8 to $2,000. Hathcock held the record for the highest bounty ever placed on a Marine, and he killed every Vietnamese sniper who came after him. In one of the most remarkable sniper versus sniper duels in history, Hathcock and his spotter, John Roland Burke, were stalking the enemy sniper, called the Cobra, in the jungle near Hill 55. This was a firebase southwest of Da Nang where the Cobra had already killed several Marines to lure Hathcock out to kill him. The stalking lasted for two days. Carlos said, This North Vietnamese sniper was sent down there to get me, which I really didn't appreciate.

And he was doing a bad job on the Hill. The colored gunner was starting right outside my door with my hooch. And I watched him die. And I took a vow right then. I was going to get him, some way or another. So I left Vietnam the first time with 86 confirmed, and the whole goblet problem was. And I figured I was a little bit better than what they were.

Just a smidge because I was still alive. I got John Burke, who was my partner, and we went out. As a team leader, I trailed him.

Very cagey, very smart individual. And I figured he was close to me and as good as I was, but there ain't no way. Ain't nobody that good. And you got to think like that too. You got to think like that. And I made a mistake. I fell on an old rotted tree. And he made a shot. And hit my partner's canteen. And Burke and I both thought he was hit.

With all the warmness running down over his legs and stuff. And I noticed the homeless canteen. You ain't hurt. Just kill the devil out of your canteen. That's all. And we moseyed around and mingled around. And he started running. Bad guy started running, man. And we worked around to where I was in his old spot.

He was in my old spot. Which was a bad thing for him because he was facing the sun by that time. That was afternoon by then. And the sun glinted off his lens of the scope, I guess.

Which I didn't know at that time. But I saw the glint. I shot it where the glint was. And it just happened to be the right time. And by the looks of things, I was just the quickest on the trigger.

Otherwise, they had to kill me. Because I shot right through his cup. Right straight through his cup. Didn't touch his eyes.

And it didn't do his eyesight no good on that side either. Hathcock and Burke collected the dead sniper's rifle. As Hathcock wanted to keep it as a trophy.

But it was later stolen from the armory after he checked it in. And you're listening to the story of Carlos Hathcock. And it's being told by Colin Heaton and Mike Droberg of Forgotten History. And you're also hearing from Carlos Hathcock himself. Born in Little Rock, he supported his family hunting. And obviously that marksmanship came in handy when at 17 he signed up for the Marines. There was a $30,000 bounty on his head by Ho Chi Minh himself.

That's how feared Hathcock was. When we come back, more of this remarkable story. A true American sniper. And believe me, you want a good sniper on your team in deployment for sure. More of this remarkable story here on Our American Stories.

This is the perfect TV for gatherings big or small. Get yours at Walmart today. Download the Wish app today. But I don't know where to start.

I've got you. Through hers, you can get a prescription 100% online if a medical professional determines it's right for you. And through the hers app, you can message them at any time. There shouldn't be a stigma about taking medication for anxiety. Start your free assessment today at 4hrs.com slash care. That's 4hrs.com slash C-A-R-E. Prescriptions require an online consultation with a healthcare provider who will determine if appropriate. Restrictions apply. See website for details and important safety information. Subscription required.

Controlled substances like Adderall are not available through the hers platform. And we continue with Our American Stories. Few Vietnam-era Marines are more storied than legendary sniper Carlos Hathcock. Yet his legend is not rooted in confirmed kills or the longest shots taken. Though he held both records in his lifetime, it was his talents for tracking and hunting that were his greatest weapons. He taught himself to shoot as a boy, just like Alvin York and Audie Murphy before him. He dreamed of being a U.S. Marine his whole life and enlisted, as I said before, at the age of 17. Hathcock was a world-class sharpshooter by then, winning the Wimbledon Cup shooting championship in 1965, the year before he would deploy to Vietnam and change the face of American warfare forever.

I liked shooting and I loved hunting, but I never did enjoy killing anybody. It's my job, he said famously. Let's continue with the story.

Here again is Colin Heaton. Hathcock was offered a top-secret mission, which he accepted knowing nothing about it until he was briefed after acceptance. The mission was to kill a North Vietnamese general, far behind enemy lines, and he would be alone this time. Following his insertion several miles away, he entered the enemy-controlled area. It took him four days and three nights without sleep as he crawled inch by inch over 1,500 yards of an open field after already covering two miles just to get to that point. Hathcock was wearing a hastily assembled ghillie suit from the local vegetation to blend in with the surrounding terrain, and he was almost stepped on by patrols as he laid camouflage of grass and vegetation in a meadow shortly after sunset.

During this process, he came face to face with a deadly bamboo viper and managed to outlast the reptile until it crawled away. He then managed to complete the stalk and get into a concealed position, and not long afterward, the general came into view. I did not know what none of my people did, so I took the mission on myself, and figured I was maybe a little bit better than all the rest of them, because I was the one training them all. I was supposed to be better. I come out of the tree line back there and got onto the open land, and I went to my side. I didn't go flat on my belly because I made a bigger slug trail when I was on my belly. I climbed on my side very minutely, very minutely. I knew I had a long ways to go.

I didn't want to tire myself out too much. And, uh, patrols were within arms reach of me. I could have tripped the majority, some of them, and they didn't even know I was there. I was in their backyard. I was in their backyard, and they didn't expect a one-man attack. They didn't expect that, and I knew for the first time when they was coming while they were egging by me that I hadn't made that. This would be good.

This would be real good. So, I just continued squirming along, squirming along, and many patrols, many patrols come by. There was two twin 51s on my left, two twin 51s on my right. And I could see them cooking their groceries and wishing I was there to have a little bit of it, but I was definitely hungry. I was thirsty. But, you got a job to do. You can't let none of that enter.

Just you're in your bubble, and that's all is your job, your job. And I crawled up on that little rise with an escape route to my right. And I just waited to win, and the temperature, the humidity, the whole ball of wax, tried running through my mind real quick. And I dumped the bad guy. Hathcock fired a single shot that struck the general in the chest, killing him from a distance of 700 yards using his preferred Winchester 300 Magnum bolt-action rifle. Carlos was deep inside the enemy compound, but this was the easy part. Now he had to escape the area without being captured. His egress and evasion was on.

He egressed out of the area as the soldiers went through the trees to hide, and he made his escape without being actively pursued. That is the toughest part of a deep penetration mission, surviving after making the shot. On September 16, 1969, Hathcock was riding on an LVTP-5 armored personnel carrier full of Marines on Highway 1 north of Landing Zone Baldy, a U.S. Marine Corps and Army, Army Republic Vietnam base located northwest of Chu Lai in Quang Nam Province, where the APC rolled over an anti-tank mine. The explosion rocked the heavy vehicle and wounded all the Marines on board, and a fire broke out. Hathcock jumped off and ran to the rear and pulled seven Marines from the vehicle, which was an incinerator. Hathcock then collapsed, suffering first, second, and third-degree burns to his face, arms, and legs, and his uniform was aflame.

Another Marine grabbed him and pulled him away and placed him in water alongside the road in a rice paddy, and he was still smoking. While recovering, Hathcock received the Purple Heart. Nearly 30 years later, he received the Silver Star for this action, saving those Marines. Although Hathcock had 93 confirmed kills, which had to be confirmed by the spotter and a third party, who had to be an officer, he estimated that he had killed between 300 and 400 enemy personnel during the Vietnam War. However, not to be sidelined, Hathcock returned to active duty, and along with now-Major Ed Land, established the Marine Corps Sniper School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. The results of his efforts saw the establishments of Scout Sniper Schools at Stones Bay, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Camp Pendleton, California, and Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii. Despite returning to active duty, Hathcock was in daily constant pain, but he continued teaching snipers. Hathcock's health began to deteriorate, and in 1975 he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and he was medically retired with full benefits and 100% of his pay, just 55 days short of the full 20-year retirement requirement.

Hathcock was honored by having a rifle named after him, derived from the older semi-automatic M14, and named the Springfield Armory M25 White Feather due to his nickname. I met Carlos Hathcock twice. Having been a sniper myself, I was well versed in his exploits.

Carlos summed up his philosophy. But to pit myself against another living, breathing human being who could kill me just as quick as I could him. That was the challenge of it.

That was the challenge. See, only when you're needed, only when you're needed, are you the good guy. Only when you're needed. Seems like because that's training the powers that are. They look down on snipers, and everybody else looks down on snipers.

Because we have a job, people down below do not understand that job, do not understand what can be done for them by snipers. Carlos Hathcock, the legendary white feather, died on February 22, 1999 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is buried at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens in Norfolk, Virginia, and his legend still stands. And a terrific job on the editing, storytelling, and production by our own Greg Hengler. And a special thanks to Colin D. Heaton and Mike Droberg, two military veterans and the founders of the YouTube channel Forgotten History, and terrific partners of this show. Visit their YouTube channel.

Visit it often. And a special thanks posthumously to the legend, to the great Carlos Hathcock, the sniper par excellence, who in the end started marine sniper training. It had not existed before. And my own mother's brother, well, he did something called paratrooping, which had not existed before in World War Two.

And so many of those innovators and those dreamers paid the price of being the first. And imagine being a sniper without training, because it is one of the deadliest jobs. There is in the military is the other guy sniper is looking for yours and yours theirs.

It is a very special and very singular type of talent. And my goodness, that secret assignment that he described to kill a Vietnamese general and how many lives he could save crawling those fifteen hundred yards, as he said, squirming, not just crawling like a snake. And then I dumped the bad guy with his Winchester bolt action rifle. The hard part, of course, the getaway. And what a thing so many of our soldiers do for us doing things like this, crawling in a swamp.

And of course, the record is surreal. Ninety three confirmed kills, an estimated three hundred or more by his account, and then establishing the Marine Corps Sniper School. And ultimately, his final statement, I did not like the killing.

It was his job. The story of Carlos Hathcock, the legendary white feather, an American sniper here on Our American Stories. Week after week, Xfinity Flex unlocks access to premium networks and apps so you can try fresh entertainment for free each and every week. Catch the season premiere of Outlander from stars journey through the sounds of Black Music Month with pics from Lifetime Movie Club and Revolt. Celebrate Pride Month with stories from OutTV and HearTV, then kick back with nature scenes from Music Choice Relax and jam all June with I Heart Radio's Songs of the Summer Radio. Discover new shows and movies for free, no strings attached.

Say free this week into your Xfinity voice remote. In Denver, a girl's getaway to the city comes with a side of Rocky Mountains. Shopping in Cherry Creek turns into delicious Larimer Square eats. Sunny days in Wash Park lead to sizzling nights in River North. And a concert at Red Rocks means dancing with a view. When you're planning your girl's trip, come to the intersection of life and however you like living it. Denver, always welcome.

Plan your getaway at visitdenver.com slash summer. Sponsored by Visit Denver. For each person living with myasthenia gravis, or MG, their journey with this rare condition is unique. That's why Untold Stories Life with myasthenia gravis, a new podcast from I Heart Radio in partnership with Argenics, is exploring the extraordinary challenges and personal triumphs of underserved communities living with MG. Host Martine Hackett will share these powerful perspectives from real people with MG so their experiences can help inspire the MG community and educate others about this rare condition. Listen to find strength in community on the MG journey on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-22 04:20:51 / 2023-06-22 04:29:43 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime