Fiery Response To Evil

By Major Van Harl USAF Ret

Flame Thrower At Work, Vietnam
Flame Thrower At Work, Vietnam

Wisconsin –-(  I once had the privilege of interviewing the American, WWII, Battle of Iwo Jima hero and Medal of Honor recipient, Hershel “Woody” Williams.

Williams was a young Marine serving as a flamethrower operator battling the Japanese at very close quarters with his extremely effective fire producing weapon.

According to the secretive military officer L.B. “Brigid” Johnson, (no known pictures of her) on her web site Home on the Range ( there are three ways to inflict damage on a human body: cutting, crushing or burning.

Woody Williams became very efficient at stopping and destroying our nation’s and his personal enemies employing “Brigid’s” third category of inflicted human physical trauma. Williams would walk right up to a Japanese bunker and launch a stream of gasoline fueled fire into the hardened fighting position and destroy the enemy’s ability to kill Americans.

When I went to Infantry school at Ft. Benning we were taught that in most cases it is better to wound an enemy soldier than to kill him outright. If you kill him his comrades are, for a short period distraught he is dead, but they continue the attack on you, using their remaining strength. If you wound an enemy soldier on the battlefield (assuming the enemy is a normal human) a decision is made to assign two healthy soldiers to tend the wounded and perhaps take the injured party off the battlefield.

Now with a single shot you have removed three combat players from the field not just one.

When the M-16 was being developed back in the late 1950s a light weight and very fast round of ammunition was desired. The idea being that a high speed, small bullet would even more effectively and destructively wound in combat, not necessarily kill.

Here is the problem with modern combat–everyone can watch it anywhere in the world. If not in real time footage than repeatedly viewed on line in videos that never go away.

The Battle for Fallujah, Iraq in Nov-Dec 2004 was the heaviest urban combat fighting that the US Marines had engaged in since the 1968 Battle of Hue City in Vietnam. The US Army and Marine Corps fought an extremely vicious ground war that for the world press did not meet with their perception of just how modern combat should be conducted.

There was a lot of dead bodies and blood everywhere with Marines and Soldiers very effectively destroying the enemy, destroying being the optimal word; not arresting, or apprehending or reading a Miranda warning to make them familiar with their “rights” as good citizens of the world.

What the Coalition Forces did was very effectively and, yes again, viciously destroy the enemy and the world’s sensitive feelings of fair play got hurt–the press cried “foul.” So what did we do? We slowed down the effectiveness of the destruction, not all the bad guys were terminated and within a couple of years the bad guys got their city back.

But the press was happy because they were able to demonstrate to the viewing world just how horrific (and effective) US Forces could conduct a modern ground war and win and the press was effective in getting the politicians to back down.

Flame Thrower Destruction
Flame Thrower Destruction

Remember the US has not (allegedly) won a war since WWII. Lt. Col. Allen West, a retired combat experienced Army officer and former Congressman has indicated that it is time to bring back the flamethrower ( to demonstrate to the enemies of our nation what real destruction on a battlefield is all about.

Not the half-ass attempts the civilian and the sometimes questionable military leaders of this country make. Half heartedly allowing our combats troops to participate in past, current and most likely future attempts at effectively (not stop) destroying first–the evil that wants to destroy us. I do not think Lt. Col. West wants to see a modern version of Corporal Woody Williams standing in front of a ISIS fighting position exposing himself to unrelenting AK 47 fire trying to pump liquid flame onto the enemy.

I believe his point about using a flamethrower is to demonstrate to the evil that wants to harm America and Americans, that we, the US, can deliver total destruction if need be.

As a military and civil cop I have worked the plane crashes, the suicides by fire and the arson fires that left charred bodies. You can tell your mind to override what you see, but you cannot tell your nose to override what you smell. There is nothing worse than death and destruction by flame. It does however advise those who may want to come later and try to bring evil to US shores that walking into a flamethrower or its modern equivalent will cost you dearly.

There is nothing purifying about death by flame, only agony before life ceases.

Major Van Harl USAF Ret. / [email protected]

About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:

Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School.  A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI.  His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training.  He believes “evil hates organization.”  [email protected]

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Greg Tag

I too am a graduate of The Infantry School and I have to address the canard that the 5.56 mm ball cartridge is designed to wound rather than kill. That shibboleth is one of those things in the category of ” it sounds reasonable so it must be true”, but it is not. There is absolutely NO evidence that anyone in the procurement or ordnance development process ever entertained the idea ” let’s issue PVT Snuffy a wounding device”. Please recall that the original 5.56 mm AR’s were purchased by the USAF to arm Air Force Security Police who were… Read more »


Not to quibble, but your “Viet Nam” flamethrower photo is very interesting…especially since the troops in the photo are wearing USMC WWII camo and web gear. OK, it’s a quibble!

The Don

During our family discussions on how to best defend our compound, the general consensus is, that if normal fire control is in question and may not be enough, have grandfather bring his back pack flamethrower. That should get the mobs attention. Be prepared!!

kent payne

We have a Muslim problem in AMERICA and it starts with the president of AMERICA


We could if we would but we won’t as long as the muslim traitor trash is in the White House.
Democrats think war is a patty cake game as long as they don’t have to participate in the killing and being killed. The trash that make up the rules of engagement haven’t had to live or die by those same rules. Surprise, surprise.

Anson E. Long

“Now with a single shot you have removed three combat players from the field not just one.”

This point deserves more widespread emphasis. Disarmists are fond of repeating the canard that guns are only for killing, yet standard military policy has long been there to contradict them.


My Uncle, a marksman and a WWII Vet told me that little thing decades ago. But the question is, do the Islamist POS’s give a darn if their comrades are wounded? If they do then wound them, otherwise help them meet their Goat God.


“Goat God.” ROFL…