The female Viet Cong sniper and interrogator, known as “Apache,” enjoyed torturing 5th Regiment, 1st Marine Division US Marines and South Vietnamese troops and letting them bleed to death. She was known for cutting off the eyelids and saving them as souvenirs. She was of Vietnamese and French ancestry and grew up in Hanoi.
She operated around Hill 55, in the vicinity of Duc Pho, 8 miles (13 km) from DaNang. She used a 7.62mm Model 44 Russian-made Mosin-Nagant rifle, with a scope. In 1966, legendary sniper, Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock, II and his spotter, Captain Edward “Jim” Land were sent from DaNang to hunt for Apache. She was notoriously well-known to the Marines around Hill 55. Because of her brutal tactics and infamy, she quickly became a high profile target
One day she had captured a young Marine during an ambush. Within hearing range of the hilltop camp defenders, she tortured him through the night. Hathcock and Land heard horrendous screams and the next morning a Marine private staggered toward camp. He was bleeding profusely, much of his skin had been cut away and his fingernails had been removed. He had been castrated, and his arms were hanging limp, the bones were broken and exposed. Land said, “Carlos ran towards the Marine who collapsed dead, a few feet in front of him.”
It took several days for Carlos and Jim to locate the Viet Cong sniper team. Late one afternoon Land spotted the group with a Vietnamese woman that fit Apache’s description, 700 yards away. He pointed her out to Hathcock. She was a small woman walking towards a ridgeline with her squad of five Viet Cong guerrillas. All of them were armed, and Hathcock noticed that the woman was carrying a rifle with a scope. Carlos did not want to shoot the wrong one so he waited.
When she squatted down to urinate, Land called in an artillery barrage on the group of snipers. The group started running towards Hathcock and Land. At that point Jim told Carlos to take her down. Hathcock put a round in her with his bolt-action Winchester Model 70 30.06 (7.62mm) rifle and she collapsed on the ground. Land told Hathcock to “put another round in her.” Hathcock fired again and her body convulsed. She was 31 years old and that was the end of that “sadistic bitch.” This was a major morale victory. The artillery strike killed the other five snipers.
Read more about Carlos Hathcock in an earlier post from 2016. Here’s the direct link: This Marine Was The ‘American Sniper’ Of The Vietnam War – CherriesWriter – Vietnam War website
A 1993 Youtube interview with Carlos can also be found here: https://youtu.be/vEIWEMiCg8I
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