Doubts About a Korean 'Massacre'
American soldiers allegedly slaughtered hundreds of innocent refugees at a place called No Gun Ri. A new review of the facts challenges that claim
For all Daily's detailed knowledge of the cavalry's service in Korea, many in the cavalry who served at No Gun Ri had no idea who he was. "The first time I ever heard from Ed Daily was Christmas of 1988, when he phoned to invite me to a reunion of the 7th Cav Korean War Veterans," said Robert Carroll, the former first lieutenant reconnaissance officer assigned to the 2nd Battalion's heavy-weapons H Company at No Gun Ri. In the autobiographical sketch he included with his history of the cavalry units in Korea, Daily said Carroll had recommended him for a battlefield commission, to second lieutenant, on Aug. 10, 1950. That would have been just two days before Daily says he was taken prisoner by North Korean forces. All of this was news to Carroll. "I wondered then [in late December 1988] who the hell he was," Carroll told U.S. News. "I never had time to recommend anyone for a battlefield commission. I was way too busy."
Retired Col. John Lippincott, who was the 3rd Platoon leader of F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, was one of the veterans cited by the AP who said he saw no massacre at No Gun Ri. But Lippincott conceded to the AP that he could have missed any shooting of the refugees there, "because we were extremely spread out." Asked about Ed Daily by U.S. News, Lippincott was adamant: "I never saw this guy in my life . . . I never knew him in Japan or Korea. I told the Army investigators."
That, for now at least, is where the matter stands. The Army's inspector general last week extended its investigation of No Gun Ri. Investigators have interviewed more than 100 people, but officials say the inquiry almost certainly cannot be concluded by the June 25 deadline the Army originally set.
_ For Daily, meanwhile, things have taken a decidedly unpleasant turn. The man who was so enamored of the Army cavalry that he wrote two books about it has, with his claims about No Gun Ri, alienated many of the men whose fraternity he so wanted to be part of. "This guy Daily has concocted a story that is a lie, and he has been caught up in it," says retired Maj. Gen. William Webb, who was the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry adjutant when the unit deployed to Korea and when it descended into the chaos of No Gun Ri. ". . . I believe there is adequate documentation now to totally discredit Daily and his story."