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Fox News
Fox News
17 Feb 2024


The most lethal sniper in U.S. Marine Corps history has passed away. 

Chuck Mawhinney, 75, died on February 12, 2024, at his home in Baker City, Oregon, according to local reports.

Mawhinney holds the record for the most confirmed kills in the history of the Marines — 103, with an additional 216 probable kills.

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Marine sniper Charles Mawhinney

Legendary Marine sniper Charles "Chuck" Mawhinney died at his home on February 12 at 75. He holds the record for Marine snipers with 103 confirmed kills in Vietnam. (Vintage Rifles Shooters Club)

That count also makes him the deadliest sniper of the entire Vietnam War.

For many years, Mawhinney did not boast or make public his record of confirmed kills. He didn't even go into detail with those close to him about the extent of his sniping career.

That changed when he was mentioned in a war memoir that briefly noted his exceptional accomplishments.

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Marine sniper Charles Mawhinney

Mawhinney kept quiet about his record-shattering sniper career for many years after being discharged from the military. He barely even talked about it with those close to him until a former spotter mentioned his accomplishments in a book. (Reacon & Sniper Foundation/Facebook)

"Dear Mom: A Sniper's Vietnam" is a memoir written by fellow sniper Joseph T. Ward. At one point, the author claimed that Mawhinney had 101 confirmed kills. Ward briefly served as a spotter for Mawhinney during the war.

The unbelievable kill count was initially met with skepticism by fellow veterans and military historians. But research proved that his exceptional career was true — and he, in fact, had two more confirmed kills than Ward had thought.

"It was the ultimate hunting trip: a man hunting another man who was hunting me," Mawhinney, an experienced hunter, told the Los Angeles Times in a 2000 interview. "Don’t talk to me about hunting lions or elephants; they don’t fight back with rifles and scopes. I just loved it."

Marine sniper Charles Mawhinney

Mawhinney's extraordinary kill count also made him the most deadly U.S. sniper in the entire Vietnam War. (Reacon & Sniper Foundation/Facebook)

Mahwinney finally told his entire life story from his own perspective in 2023 in "The Sniper: The Untold Story of the Marine Corps' Greatest Marksman of All Time," a chronicle of his career written by author Jim Lindsay.

Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at timothy.nerozzi@fox.com