The guerrillas struck at breakfast time, catching the American infantrymen unarmed and off guard. One U.S. sergeant was decapitated at the mess table: his head tumbled neatly into his plate of hash. Others fought back and were later found dead with bloody forks clenched in their fists. Of the 74 officers and men of C Company, 9th U.S. Infantry, only 26 survived. As one of them raged with tears in his eyes: "Damn the infernal Googoos!'
Googoos? That was the contemptuous label which...