George Haywood Young, Jr.
Brigadier General, United States Army
of Michael T. Stein:
Brigadier General George Haywood Young Jr.
Second Lieutenant 1942
Battalion Commander, 3rd Infantry Division
A General and two other officers were cleared by the Army Tuesday of charges they helped cover up the alleged Son My-My Lai massacre in South Vietnam two years ago.
Exonerated were Brigadier General George H. Young Jr., Colonel Nels A. Parson and Major Robert W. McKnight.
The Army said Lieutenant General Jonathan O. Seaman, First Army commander at Fort Meade, Maryland, to whom the charges were referred for investigation, determined they "were unsupported by the evidence."
The three were among 14 high-ranking Army officers accused earlier this year of hushing up a field investigation of the alleged massacre.
Nine, others, including Major General Samuel W. Koster, remain accused of dereliction of duty while the Army determines if there is enough evidence to hold them for courts-martial.
As the Army commission headed by Lieutenant General William R. Peers announced last March 17 after an extensive 3 1/2-month investigation that "there was testimony and evidence to indicate that certain persons, wittingly or unwittingly, suppressed certain evidence about the incident from passing up the chain of command."
Koster, who requested reassignment from his post as superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point when the charges were announced, was the commanding general of the Americal Division, parent of the task force which swept through the My Lai area March 16, 1968.
In addition to the 12 who were accused of hushing up the investigation, 12 other Army officers and enlisted men in the task force were charged with murder and other crimes in the alleged massacre at Son My, village, My Lai hamlet.
These include Captain Ernest L. Medina, charged with over-all responsibility in the death of as many as 175 civilians, and First Lieutenant William L. Calley, Jr., accused of 102 deaths. Four of these 12, including Calley have been ordered to stand trial.
The dismissal of charges against Young, Parson and McKnight brought to five the number of officers cleared of complicity in the alleged coverup. Captain Thomas K. Willingham, 25, of Allenhurst, New Jersey, was cleared June 9. He was accused of unpremeditated murder and of covering up the massacre. A cover-up accusation against Medina also was dropped.
Both Young, 49, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and Parson, 50, of Toledo, Ohio, were charged with failure to obey lawful regulations and dereliction in the performance of their duties. McKnight 37, of San Diego, Calif., was accused of false swearing.
At the time of the massacre, Young was assistant commander of the Americal Division while Parson served as chief of staff. McKnight was operations manager of the division's 11th Brigade.
NOTE: See complete biography
Photo By Michael Robert Patterson, 1999
Posted: 29 December 2001 Updated: 2 January 2002 Updated: 11 September 2004 Updated: 14 September 2005 Updated: 29 January 2008
Biography Coutresy of Woody Young, January 2008
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003