America’s history is full of heroic men and women who risked and sacrificed their lives for their family, their friends and their country. As Memorial Day approaches, it’s worth spending some time remembering at least one of those heroes — Carlos Hathcock — one of the greatest marksmen in history.
Hathcock served two tours in Vietnam and is one of the most famous snipers in American military history. So famous, in fact, a rifle was named after him — the Springfield Armory M25 White Feather. War History Online reported that Hathcock was known for always having a white feather in his cap.
Over the course of his career, Hathcock had 93 confirmed kills, with an actual estimated kill count somewhere between 300 and 400, according to War History Online.
Hathcock is known not only for is incredible capability to deliver kills in classic sniper fashion but also by some of the incredible stories he brought back from the Vietnam War.
One of his most famous is the killing of a North Vietnamese general.
As Military.com reported, Hathcock spent four days and three nights crawling more than 1,500 yards, without food, water or sleep.
“Over a time period like that you could forget the strategy, forget the rules and end up dead,” he said according to Military.com. “I didn’t want anyone dead, so I took the mission myself, figuring I was better than the rest of them, because I was training them.”
He eventually made the kill at an extremely impressive 700 yards, and then managed to get away undetected.
But for Hathcock, it was never about the killing. It was about saving American lives.
“I really didn’t like the killing,” he reportedly once said. “You’d have to be crazy to enjoy running around the woods, killing people. But if I didn’t get the enemy, they were going to kill the kids over there.”
He is every bit the legend people paint him to be.
Thankfully Hathcock made it out of Vietnam alive. Sadly there are hundreds of thousands of those who didn’t but whose legacy lives on. May we never forget their sacrifice.
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