During the Vietnam War, Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, a well-known “US Marine” sniper, claimed to have killed over 300 enemy soldiers, 93 of which have been formally verified. Both “Gunny” and “White Feather Shooter” were nicknames for him. At the age of 12, he began shooting with a. 22-caliber JC Higgins single-shot rifle. He joined the ‘US Marine Corps’ at the age of 17 because he wished to be a ‘Marine. He earned the prestigious “Wimbledon Cup” for long-range shooting early in his career. He served in Vietnam as a member of the military police and quickly gained a reputation as a proficient sniper. He was later trained as a sharpshooter. He shot a North Vietnamese sniper through his own sniper scope in one of his most impressive confrontations. He became a celebrity in the conflict area as a result. During his second tour of duty in Vietnam, he suffered severe burn injuries while pulling fellow “Marines” from a car that had driven over a mine, necessitating his evacuation from the scene. He played a key role in the creation of the “Marine Corps Scout Sniper School” and even after his discharge, he continued to offer wise counsel to the police force and specialized groups.
Early Youth & Life
Carlos was born on May 20, 1942, to Carlos and Agnes Hathcock in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the United States. When his parents separated when he was 12 years old, he was raised by his grandma in Wynne, Arkansas. He developed an early love of firearms and began going shooting with a.22-caliber “JC Higgins” single-shot rifle. Because his elders didn’t have much money, the game he shot helped to supplement their diet.
His father was a railroad worker who subsequently moved to Memphis to work as a welder. At the age of 15, Carlos Jr. was forced to leave high school and start working for a Little Rock concrete construction business.
He played with his father’s old World War II “Mauser,” pretending to be a “Marine,” killing Japanese troops because he wanted to be a “Marine” since he was a young kid. At the age of 17, he joined the “US Marine Corps” in May 1959 to realize his ambition.
Carlos Hathcock’s Career
His youth shooting prowess greatly benefited his military career. At Camp Perry in 1965, he won the prestigious “Wimbledon Cup” for long-range shooting, among other shooting contests. In 1966, he was sent to Vietnam as a member of the military police. Captain Edward James Land quickly became aware of his accuracy and chose him to be a sniper for his platoon.
In Vietnam, he estimated that he had killed over 300 enemy personnel, 93 of which had been verified by a different commander of higher rank. Due to the challenging battlefield circumstances that existed at the time, many of his deeds are still not fully documented.
He shot a North Vietnamese sniper known as “Cobra” through his sniper scope in one of his most memorable confrontations. He also killed “Apache,” the notorious female “Viet Cng” sniper-platoon commander and interrogator noted for her harsh interrogation techniques.
He was a master of camouflage and concealment, and he demonstrated his abilities by taking on an independent assignment to kill a specific North Vietnamese officer after lying in wait for three nights close to his target while concealed until he had the chance to fire.
He left Vietnam in 1967 and came back to take over the leadership of a sniper platoon in 1969. He sustained severe burns on September 16, 1969, while saving other “Marines” from an “LVT-5” that had been struck by an anti-tank mine.
He had to be transported by helicopter to a hospital ship, where he would later be taken to a Tokyo military hospital. His time as a sniper in Vietnam came to a stop as a result of this. He was awarded the “Purple Heart” and “Silver Star” for his contributions in the combat area.
He played a key role in the creation of the “Marine Corps Scout Sniper School” at the “Marine” facility in Quantico, Virginia, after he had recovered from his wounds. But as his health declined, he was identified as having multiple sclerosis. Due to his disability, he was eventually forced to leave the army. After leaving the “Marine Corps,” he continued to offer insightful counsel to the police force and specialized groups like “SEAL Team Six.”
Recognition & Accomplishments
He set a mark for the longest sniper kill by using an M2 to drop a “Viet Cng” at 2,500 yards.
a telescopic sight was installed on a 50-caliber “Browning” machine gun in 1967.
The “Silver Star,” “Purple Heart,” “Navy Commendation Medal,” “Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal,” “Good Conduct Medal,” “National Defense Service Medal,” “Vietnam Service Medal,” “Gallantry Cross,” and “Vietnam War Medal” are just a few of the honors bestowed upon him.
Carlos’s Individual Existence
When Hathcock was compelled to leave the army because of his medical condition, he fell into depression. He quickly became interested in shark hunting, which enabled him to recover from his depression and return to normal living. Although he enjoyed hunting and shooting, he did not relish murdering people. But he believed it was his obligation to slay the foe there.
In November 1962, he wed Jo Winstead. They had a boy, Carlos Norman Hathcock III, whom they named. During Carlos’s depressive period, his union experienced some difficulties. His wife, however, made the decision to stay with him until the very end.
At his Virginia Beach residence, he passed away in February 1999 as a result of complications from multiple sclerosis. He was interred in Norfolk, Virginia’s “Woodlawn Memorial Gardens” in the United States. Later, to continue in his father’s ways, his son enlisted in the “US Marine Corps”. In addition to retiring as a gunnery sergeant, his son served on the Marine Corps Distinguished Shooters Association’s “Board of Directors.”
The “National Defense Industrial Association” bestows the “Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock Award” on individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to tactical employment and tactics in small arms weapons systems. The “Gunnery Sergeant Carlos N. Hathcock II Award” is given to enlisted “Marines” who significantly advance shooting instruction.
Estimated Net Worth
Carlos is one of the wealthiest and most well-known war heroes. Carlos Hathcock is valued at $5 million, according to our analysis of data from sources like Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
The highest-ever reward of $30,000 had been placed on Hathcock’s head by the so-called “North Vietnamese Army”. But he murdered every bounty hunter who attempted to pursue him. He was referred to as the “White Feather Sniper” or “Du och Lông Trng” because of a white feather he put in his cap. According to legend, the ‘Marines’ fooled the Vietnamese into sending a squad after him by donning white feathers.
In honor of Carlos Hathcock, a rifle range has been established at Camp Lejeune in northern California. In 2007, the “Marine Corps Air Station” Miramar’s rifle and pistol training facility was also given the Hathcock moniker.
Scenes from the films “Sniper” and “Saving Private Ryan” were influenced by the story of Carlos Hathcock. His life has also served as an inspiration for several novels and television series that portray sharpshooter combat in Vietnam and Afghanistan.