IMO G/Sgt Carlos Hathcock USMC Sniper RVN

Simo Häyhä. Finland. 1939 - 1940.

A member of the 34th Infantry Regiment and a farmer by trade, Simo Häyhä became a most feared sniper during the 1939-40 (30 November 1939 14 March 1940) Winter invasion of Finland by the Soviet Union. Using nothing more than an iron sighted Mosin-Nagant Model 28, Simo is credited with killing 505 Russians during a three month period - a feat still unmatched today by any sniper in any conflict. (Editor's note: Some sources say as many as 542 kills in this period.) The impact of Simo and men like him forced the Soviets to pay dearly for their transgressions. While Finland lost the Winter war, it cost the Soviets 1,000,000 men killed out of the 1,500,000 man invading force*. The Finns lost a total of 25,000 men in that conflict. A testament to their bravery and determination in the face of amazing odds.

He passed away on April 1st 2002 at the age of 96

Gunnery Sergeant Carlos N. Hathcock II - United States Marine Corps. 93 confirmed.

Probably the name most associated with modern military sniping in the United States, Carlos Hathcock has become legend in that nation for his exploits during and after the Vietnam war. The lessons learned by Hathcock and others during the Vietnam conflict were used to rebuild and revitalize sniping within the US military. His influence on the development of the military sniper cannot be exaggerated. Even today, some 30 years later, his name is still well known wherever sniper training is taking place. After his retirement from the Marine Corps, he took a very active role in developing snipers within the law enforcement community. Due to the extraordinary nature of several of his wartime missions, it is hard to single one out for listing on this page. Four stand out most.

The destruction of an entire NVA company over the span of 5 days. Hathcock and corporal John Burke pinned down a fresh company of NVA regulars in what was known as the Elephant valley. Craftily facing amazing but unskilled odds, the two snipers forced the company to sit in place while they slowly decimated the enemy, one by one. Interestingly, few if any of these kills are counted in either snipers' tally. At the end of the fifth day Hathcock and Burke called down artillery fire which in effect took every man left alive.

The longest recorded kill with a .50 BMG mounting a telescopic sight. Hathcock was one of several individuals to utilize the Browning .50 caliber heavy machine gun in the sniping role. This success has led to the adoption of the .50 caliber cartridge as a viable anti-personnel and anti-equipment sniper round.

The sniping of a Vietnamese general under conditions that can only be described as impossible. Displaying the ultimate in patience and field craft, Hathcock crawled approximately 1000 yards across an open field for four days to get into a position enabling him to take this particular general. Under constant threat of discovery from walking dog patrols, he persevered on nothing more than will power and a single canteen of water. He successfully completed the mission with a 700 yard killing shot. This mission was a true double edged sword. While the goal was met, the reaction on the part of the enemy indicated that it may have been in vain. If anything, the shooting strengthened their resolve. Nonetheless, it was an incredible feat of field craft.

Last and probably most impacting to Carlos personally: his actions on the day he pulled wounded fellow marines from a burning AMTRAC and received burns over the majority of his body. The damage he sustained while repeatedly going back into the fire put paid to his career as a sniper and competitive shooter. Not one to be defeated, he turned his effect toward training others, both in the military and Law Enforcement.

Carlos N. Hathcock II exemplifies hard determination, self direction and skill. His actions put a serious dent in the free operation of the enemy in his area of operations, thereby saving many untold American lives. He is historically significant as his actions have affected and directed sniper training in the US ever since. For the first time, and by and large due to Carlos, Jim Land and several others, the military sniper has been looked upon as something more than a fluke of war. He is now a permanent fixture of the United States armed forces.

As a final note, unbeknownst to the Gunny, he was experiencing the debilitating effects of Multiple Sclerosis as far back as the 1960s. This site proudly honors the dedication and determination of this individual, who under the most harrowing of conditions fought on to the end in quiet resolve.
Roadless said:
Seems like someone of high calibre.
Is he still alive ?
Died from complications of MS among other things. down to earth man, he was burned pretty badly pulling wounded out of a burning Amtrack. the site has a lot of inaccuracies( spelling Khe Sanh , & he used an M2HB with a scope mount for his famous shot) but the facts of his life are correct
He had a Confirmed kill at 2500 meters.

He was using a .50 cal with a Unertl sight, and has placed white marker posts at various ranges. Apparantly some VC bloke with a bike crammed with nasties beetled up to have a look at the post, leaning his bike on the bloody thing as he did so...

Oops... didnt do it again...

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