Investigators wrote they could not find Pvt. Frank Bonilla, the man known as "Crazy." The Times reached him at his home on Oahu in March.
Bonilla says he answered a call for volunteers but never pulled the trigger.
"I couldn't do it. There were women and kids," he says. "A lot of guys thought that I had something to do with it because they saw me going up there . Nope I just turned the other way. It was like, 'This ain't happening.' "
Afterward, he says, "I remember sitting down with my head between my knees. Is that for real? Someone said, 'Keep your mouth shut or you're not going home.' "
He says he does not know who did the shooting.
The Criminal Investigation Division assigned Warrant Officer Jonathan P. Coulson in Los Angeles to complete the investigation and write a final report on the "Henry Allegation." He sent his findings to headquarters in Washington in January 1974.
Evidence showed that the massacre did occur, the report said. The investigation also confirmed all but one of the other killings that Henry had described. The one exception was the elderly man thrown off a cliff. Coulson said it could not be determined whether the victim was alive when soldiers tossed him.
The evidence supported murder charges in five incidents against nine "subjects," including Carter and Bonilla, Coulson wrote. Those two carried out the Feb. 8 massacre, along with "other unidentified members of their element," the report said.
Investigators determined that there was not enough evidence to charge Reh with murder, because of conflicting accounts "as to the actual language" he used.
But Reh could be charged with dereliction of duty for failing to investigate the killings, the report said.
Coulson conferred with an Army legal advisor, Capt. Robert S. Briney, about whether the evidence supported charges against Taylor.
They decided it did not. Even if Taylor gave an order to kill the Vietnamese if they moved, the two concluded, "it does not constitute an order to kill the prisoners in the manner in which they were executed."
The War Crimes Working Group records give no indication that action was taken against any of the men named in the report.
Briney, now an attorney in Phoenix, says he has forgotten details of the case but recalls a reluctance within the Army to pursue such charges.
"They thought the war, if not over, was pretty much over. Why bring this stuff up again?" he says.
Taylor retired in 1977 with the rank of colonel. In a recent interview outside his home in northern Virginia, he said, "I would not have given an order to kill civilians. It's not in my makeup. I've been in enough wars to know that it's not the right thing to do."