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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 Four hours in My Lai
Title
Four hours in My Lai television documentary archive
Date(s)
1964-1992
Level of description
Collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
21 boxes, (0.21 metres cubed)

Context

Name of creator(s)

Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim, Yorkshire Television

Administrative / Biographical history

Yorkshire Television is an independent television company based in Leeds, Yorkshire. It was established in 1968 and is presently one of the largest independent television companies. In 1997 it became a franchise of the Granada Media Group, later Granada Compass. The television documentary Four hours in My Lai was broadcast as part of the First Tuesday television series during 1989. It was produced by Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim, and directed by Kevin Sim.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presented to the Centre by Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim, Yorkshire Television in three deposits, 12 Jun 1992, 11 Sep 1992 and 23 Mar 1993.

Content & structure

Scope and content

The Four hours in My Lai archive, 1964-1992, relates to the massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians on 16 Mar 1968, by members of C Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11the Light Infantry Brigade, US Army, at Tu Cung sub hamlet (known to US Army as My Lai (4) in the Pinkville region), My Lai hamlet, Son My village, Son Tinh district, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, and includes the documentary video, uncut interview transcripts, photographs, audio recordings, press cuttings, photocopied material from US archives, research notes, and the published book relating to the documentary and also titled Four hours in My Lai (Viking Penguin, New York, 1992). Eyewitnesses interviewed on film for the documentary include Vietnamese survivors of the massacre and well as members of C Company, and other US Army personnel. The photographs collection includes colour and black and white photographs taken on the day of the massacre by Army photographer Ron Haeberle, Frederick Widmer's photographs of his tour of Vietnam and photographs of individuals involved in the massacre and the investigations, some of which were published in the book. Photocopied documentation from US archives includes statements and evidence gathered during the US Army Inspector General's investigation, conducted by Col William V Wilson, Apr-Jun 1969, the US Army Criminal Investigation Division (USACID) investigation conducted by Chief Warrant Officer André Feher, Aug 1969-1970 , and the Peers Inquiry conducted by Lt Gen William R Peers, Nov 1969-Mar 1970, as well as the courts martial of Lt William Laws Calley, the only soldier who was ever convicted for the crime, and Capt Ernest M Medina and Col Oran K Henderson. Audio material in the collection includes recording of the radio communications between helicopters on 16 Mar 1968, news interview from 1969, as well as recordings of Bilton's telephone interview with various witnesses. News cuttings cover reports of the massacre in the US press and the subsequent investigations and trials, as well as articles on the post-1968 careers of individuals involved.

System of arrangement

An alphabetical list of subject files exists within the collection, however it omits a significant number of the files which form part of the collection including the interview transcripts, documentation of the Inspector General's Inquiry, the US Army Criminal Investigation Division (USACID) investigation, the Peers Inquiry, and a number of others. This subject file list also contains additional comments on the material within the files, suggesting it is not strictly a file list. As there is little correspondence between this list and the order in which the material was received, the omitted groups of files have been given their own sections, as have the photographs and preliminary research interviews since they contain material of a particular format. The remainder of the files have been arranged in a broadly alphabetical order.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Language/scripts of material

English

Finding aids

Detailed catalogue available online and in hard copy in the College Archives reading room.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals
King's College London College Archives

Description control

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Alison Field

Rules or conventions

National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997; ISAD(G), Second Edition, 2000.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

March 2001

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Subjects

  • Humanitarian law
  • International conflicts
  • Vietnam War (1945-1975)
  • War
  • War crimes
  • Wars (events)

Personal names

  • Calley, William Laws, b 1944, Lieutenant, US Army
  • Feher, Andre, fl 1968-1969, Chief Warrant Officer, US Army
  • Haeberle, Ronald, fl 1968, US Army photographer
  • Henderson, Oran K, 1921-1998, Colonel, US Army
  • Medina, Ernest, fl 1968, Captain, US Army
  • Peers, William R, b 19194, Lieutenant General, US Army
  • Widmer, Frederick, fl 1968, photographer
  • Wilson, William V, fl 1968-1969, Colonel, US Army

Corporate names

  • US Army
  • US Army Criminal Investigation Division

Places

  • My Lai, Son My, Son Tinh, Quang Ngai, Viet Nam, South East Asia

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