In some cases the title is controversial, particularly when it comes to military service. Carlos Hathcock is one of those heroes. He served his country with distinction during the Vietnam War — 75 across 2 tours. Yet he did that as a sniper, a role which had a controversial reputation even among military ranks.
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He grew up in Wynne, Arkansas , living with his grandmother after his parents separated for the first 12 years of his life. While visiting relatives in Mississippi , he took to shooting and hunting at an early age, partly out of necessity to help feed his poor family.
He would go into the woods with his dog and pretend to be a soldier and hunt imaginary Japanese with the old Mauser his father brought back from World War II. He hunted at that early age with a. Higgins single-shot rifle. Hathcock dreamed of being a Marine throughout his childhood, and so on May 20, , at the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.
Marine Corps. In , Hathcock started his deployment in the Vietnam War as a military policeman and later became a sniper after Captain Edward James Land pushed the Marines into raising snipers in every platoon.
Land later recruited Marines who had set their own records in sharpshooting; he quickly found Hathcock, who had won the Wimbledon Cup, the most prestigious prize for long-range shooting, at Camp Perry in Snipers often did not have an acting third party present, making confirmation difficult, especially if the target was behind enemy lines, as was usually the case.
Hathcock estimated that he had killed between and enemy personnel during his time in the Vietnam War. Rewards put on U. Hathcock held the record for highest bounty and killed every known Vietnamese marksman who sought him to collect it. The sniper, known only as the "Cobra," had already killed several Marines and was believed to have been sent specifically to kill Hathcock.
Marines, was killed by Hathcock around the firebase at Hill Hathcock pulled seven Marines from the flame-engulfed vehicle, suffering severe burns some third-degree to his face, arms and legs, before someone pulled him away and got him in water because he did not realize he was burnt that badly.
While recovering, Hathcock received the Purple Heart. Nearly 30 years later, he received a Silver Star for this action. Due to his extreme injuries suffered in Vietnam, he was in nearly constant pain, but he continued to dedicate himself to teaching snipers.
He stayed in the Marine Corps, but his health continued to decline. And, just 55 days short of the 20 years that would have made him eligible for regular retirement pay, he received a permanent disability separation.
Being medically discharged, he received percent disability pay. He fell into a state of depression when he was forced out of the Marines because he felt as if the service had kicked him out. During this depression, his wife Jo nearly left him but decided to stay. Hathcock eventually picked up the hobby of shark fishing, which helped him to overcome his depression.
But I never did enjoy killing anybody. Awards and decorations[ edit ].
White Feather: The Most Feared and Fearless Sniper of the Vietnam War
He grew up in Wynne, Arkansas , living with his grandmother after his parents separated for the first 12 years of his life. While visiting relatives in Mississippi , he took to shooting and hunting at an early age, partly out of necessity to help feed his poor family. He would go into the woods with his dog and pretend to be a soldier and hunt imaginary Japanese with the old Mauser his father brought back from World War II. He hunted at that early age with a. Higgins single-shot rifle.
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