Newman said he was carrying out orders to kill the villagers' livestock when he saw a naked girl head toward a group of civilians.
Donald R. Richardson said he was at a command post outside the hamlet when he heard a platoon leader on the radio ask what to do with 19 civilians.
"The cpt said something about kill anything that moves and the lt on the other end said 'Their [sic] moving,' " according to Richardson's sworn account. "Just then the gunfire was heard."
William J. Nieset, a rifle squad leader, told investigators that he was standing next to a radio operator and heard Reh say: "My instructions from higher are to kill everything that moves."
Robert D. Miller said he was the radio operator for Lt. Johnny Mack Carter, commander of the 3rd Platoon. Miller said that when Carter asked Reh what to do with the 19 civilians, the captain instructed him to follow the "operation order."
Carter immediately sought two volunteers to shoot the civilians, Miller said under oath.
"I believe everyone knew what was going to happen," he said, "so no one volunteered except one guy known only to me as 'Crazy.' "
"A few minutes later, while the Vietnamese were huddled around in a circle Lt Carter and 'Crazy' started shooting them with their M-16's on automatic," Miller's statement says.
Carter had just left active duty when an investigator questioned him under oath in Palmetto, Fla., in March 1970.
"I do not recall any civilians being picked up and categorically stated that I did not order the killing of any civilians, nor do I know of any being killed," his statement said.
An Army investigator called Reh at Ft. Myer. Reh's attorney called back. The investigator made notes of their conversation: "If the interview of Reh concerns atrocities in Vietnam then he had already advised Reh not to make any statement."
As for Lt. Col. Taylor, two soldiers described his actions that day.
Myran Ambeau, a rifleman, said he was standing five feet from the captain and heard him contact the battalion commander, who was in a helicopter overhead. (Ambeau did not identify Reh or Taylor by name.)
"The battalion commander told the captain, 'If they move, shoot them,' " according to a sworn statement that Ambeau gave an investigator in Little Rock, Ark. "The captain verified that he had heard the command, he then transmitted the instruction to Lt Carter.
"Approximately three minutes later, there was automatic weapons fire from the direction where the prisoners were being held."
Gary A. Bennett, one of Reh's radio operators, offered a somewhat different account. He said the captain asked what he should do with the detainees, and the battalion commander replied that it was a "search and destroy mission," according to an investigator's summary of an interview with Bennett.
Bennett said he did not believe the order authorized killing civilians and that, although he heard shooting, he knew nothing about a massacre, the summary says. Bennett refused to provide a sworn statement.
An Army investigator sat down with Taylor at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. Taylor said he had never issued an order to kill civilians and had heard nothing about a massacre on the date in question. But the investigator had asked Taylor about events occurring on Feb. 9, 1968 — a day after the incident.