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American sniper Chuck Mawhinney holds record for deadliest aim

On Valentine’s Day 1969 in Vietnam’s An Hoa Basin, U.S. Marine Corps sniper Chuck Mwinney lay under a canvas tarp in the middle of a damp night. Through a night vision scope, he saw a lone North Vietnamese fighter plane pass through a chest-high river, scouting for American activity on the other side.

The NVA soldier ended up a few feet away from Mwinney, who was motionless with a sniper rifle held between the man’s eyes.

When the scouts decided that all was well, they crossed back across the river.

Shortly thereafter, Mawinney’s real target appeared, the line of NVA soldiers that the Americans expected to attack that night.

The NVA crossed the water with their rifles high in the air and entered the river in single file.


At a sniper reunion. The third from the right is Chuck Mwinney.
Courtesy of Chuck Mwinney

As their leader neared the landing, Chuck fired a single shot. Blood, which appeared greenish through Mawinie’s starlight scope, spurted out from the back of the man’s head.

The rest of the NVA quietly sank into the river, leaving only their helmeted heads above the water.

In what became known as the “Valentine’s Day Massacre,” Chuck Mwinney blew them up like tin cans on a fence and “dispatched” 16 NVA soldiers in less than a minute. bottom.


At age 12, Chuck Mwinney used a BB gun to shoot blackbirds stealing fruit from his grandfather's cherry tree.
At age 12, Chuck Mwinney used a BB gun to shoot blackbirds stealing fruit from his grandfather’s cherry tree.
Courtesy of Chuck Mwinney

Jim Lindsay, in “The Sniper: The Untold Story of the Marine Corps’ Greatest Marksman of All Time” (St. Martin’s Press), wrote that “pith helmets and corpses were swept into the river.”

Born in 1949 and raised in small town Oregon, Chuck Mwinney has always been a shooter.

At the age of four, he “borrowed” his grandfather’s shotgun and, with both barrels, blew up a flock of quail full of bird shots.

His collarbone may have been broken, but Mawinnie was preparing dinner for the next few days. At the age of 12, he used his brand new Daisy Red Rider BB gun to shoot a blackbird in the eye stealing fruit from his grandfather’s cherry tree.

As a teenager, he used his new pilot’s license and his father’s plane to hunt from the air and kill rabbits and deer from high above.

In high school, Mawinney loved stock car racing, girls, and beer, but often got into trouble with the law (mostly because of underage drinking).

Mawinney thought a career in the military was a good option, but when he was drafted in 1967, he realized his troubled legal past could be an obstacle.

With the help of his hometown police who erased his records, Mawnie became a U.S. Marine.


Mawinney was a quick study of the sniper program.
Mawinney was a quick study of the sniper program.
Courtesy of Chuck Mwinney

He had planned to become an aviator, but had fallen asleep on an important test because of a hangover.

Mawnie learns of a new Marine Corps sniper program while sulking kitchen duty as punishment.

His fate was decided, and soon he went to Vietnam.

His domestic career didn’t take off as planned, and as an FNG (“F-king New Guy”) he was yelled at, “The legion doesn’t need a sniper.” I need a grunt! Mawney spent his first time in Vietnam as an infantryman involved in a crossfire, but was unsure if his shot hit his target.

That would change after he transferred to the Scout Sniper Platoon and began working as a spotter rounding out tours of experienced shooters.

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Chuck chose the man’s brain to learn from his experiences.

you Shoot the motherfucker! ”

Mawinie did. It was his first confirmed kill. Although he always believed in the biblical commandment “thou shalt not kill”, he knelt over a dead Viet Cong officer who shot between the eyes from 300 yards away, intent on killing his American comrade. I felt no remorse for dispatching the enemy.

“Don’t kill your fellow Marines,” Chuck whispered to the corpse.


Early on during their first tour in Vietnam, Mawinie guards Phu Vai's bridge.
Early on during their first tour in Vietnam, Mawinie guards Phu Vai’s bridge.
Courtesy of Chuck Mwinney

On three missions, Mawnie protected the Marine platoon around him.

Sometimes those platoons returned the favor. Chuck and his spotter are trapped in a bomb crater and completely surrounded by his NVA soldiers firing AK-47s. Mawney did not foresee how they would survive, at least not until he heard the roar of the Marines and the symphony of his M-16 in America.

“It was sweeter than the music,” Lindsay writes.


Mawinnie with a spotter on our second tour in Vietnam.
Mawinnie with a spotter on our second tour in Vietnam.
Courtesy of Chuck Mwinney

Mawinney’s fears in Vietnam did not end there.

There were giant rats, giant cockroaches, poisonous snakes of all kinds, and scorpions that stung and were deadly.

He had to pick up shrapnel from his chest from an exploding booby trap that killed a Marine nearby.

He survived being shot in the side, mainly due to VC bullets hitting a can of peaches in his backpack.

One night, Mawnie got into hand-to-hand combat with an assailant who jumped into a muddy foxhole. The intruder forcefully pushed Mawney into the crumbling wall and stabbed him repeatedly.

45 pistol in the dark, and later a flashlight actually illuminated a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig.


The Sniper: The Untold Story of the Marine Corps' Greatest Marksman of All Time by Jim Lindsay
The Sniper: The Untold Story of the Marine Corps’ Greatest Marksman of All Time by Jim Lindsay

And as a sharpshooter, Mawnie was revenge itself in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

He averaged four kills per week on combat missions in Vietnam and ended up with 103 fatalities, a record unmatched in Marine Corps history.

He insisted he was just “doing his job” in Vietnam and never liked killing.

But if he was raised to believe that “you don’t kill,” the mantra “you don’t kill my fellow Marines” was his true way of life.

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