An absolutely amazing story from the Vietnam Era.
Charles “Chuck” Mawhinney was one of the most lethal snipers of the Vietnam War with 103 confirmed kills. In a particularly daring engagement, Mawhinney stopped a Viet Cong assault by hitting 16 headshots in 30 seconds at night in bad weather.
“Chuck was extremely aggressive,” retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Mark Limpic, Mawhinney’s squad leader, later told LA Times. “He could run a half-mile, stand straight up and shoot offhand and drop somebody at 700 yards.”
Mawhinney was operating out of a base near Da Nang in what the U.S. military called Arizona Territory. A large North Vietnamese Army force was spotted moving its way south towards the U.S. base, but a monsoon shut down air support. So Mawhinney volunteered to cover a river crossing where the force was expected to march.
Mawhinney left his sniper rifle at the base and moved forward with an M14 semiautomatic rifle and a Starlight scope, an early night vision device.
The sniper and his spotter positioned themselves overlooking the shallowest river crossing. A few hours later, the NVA appeared.
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