Top 5 Deadliest American Snipers

5. Carlos Hathcock

Carlos Norman Hathcock II (20 May 1942 – 22 February 1999) was a United States Marine Corps sniper with a service record of 93 confirmed kills.
Hathcock’s record and the extraordinary details of the missions he
undertook made him a legend in the Marine Corps. His fame as a sniper
and his dedication to long-distance shooting led him to become a major
developer of the United States Marine Corps Sniper training program. He
was honored by having a rifle named after him: a variant of the M21
dubbed the Springfield Armory M25 White Feather, for the nickname “White
Feather” given to Hathcock by the NVA.
DoD Photo
Carlos Norman Hathcock

Hathcock in November 1996
Nickname(s) “White Feather”
Born May 20, 1942
Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
Died 22 February 1999 (aged 56)
Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1959–1979
Rank Gunnery Sergeant
Unit 1st Marine Division
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Silver Star
Navy Commendation Medal
Purple Heart

 4. Chuck Mawhinney

Charles Benjamin “Chuck” Mawhinney (born 1949) is an Oregon-born
American who served in the United States Marine Corps as a sniper during
the Vietnam War. He holds the record for the most confirmed kills by a
USMC sniper, having recorded 103 confirmed kills and 216 “probable
kills” in his 16 months of action.
DoD Photo
Charles Benjamin Mawhinney
Nickname(s) Chuck
Born 1949 (age 65–66)
Lakeview, Oregon
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1967–1970
Rank Sergeant
Unit 5th Marine Regiment HQ
Scout Sniper Platoon
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Other work U.S. Forest Service, Public speaker

3. Adelbert Waldron

Adelbert F. “Bert” Waldron III, (March 14, 1933 – October 18, 1995)
was a United States Army sniper who served during the Vietnam War with
the 9th Infantry Division. Although little known, until 2011 Waldron
held the record for confirmed kills by any American sniper in history at
109. Although U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle later
acquired more confirmed kills, Waldron worked in a jungle environment
where target opportunities were less commonplace, whereas Kyle worked in
a target-rich urban environment where the rules of engagement were more
DoD Photo
Adelbert F. Waldron III
Nickname(s) “Bert”
Born March 14, 1933
Virginia, U.S.
Died October 18, 1995 (aged 62)
California, U.S.
Buried at Riverside National Cemetery,Riverside, California, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
 United States Army
Years of service 1953–1965 (U.S. Navy)
1968–1970 (U.S. Army)
Rank Staff sergeant
Unit 9th Infantry Division, Army Marksmanship Unit
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Cross (2)
Silver Star
Bronze Star (3)
Presidential Unit Citation

 2. Randy Shughart & Gary Gordon

While not ranked high in terms of number of confirmed kills, Master
Sergeant Gary Gordon and Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart are notable
for their heroic action while assigned to a Delta Force Sniper Team
during the events of  Operation Gothic Serpent, a joint-force
assault mission to apprehend key advisers to Somali warlord Mohamed
Farrah Aidid.  An operation made famous by the book and movie “Black
Hawk Down”.  After Blackhawk Super Six Four had been shot down by
Aidid’s militia, Gordon and Shughart extracted the pilot, Chief Warrant
Officer Mike Durant, Bill Cleveland, Ray Frank, and Tommy Field from the
aircraft, and established defensive positions around the crash site.
Despite having inflicted heavy casualties against the Somalis, the two
Delta snipers were too outnumbered and outgunned. Their ammunition
nearly depleted, Gordon and Shughart were killed by Somali gunfire. It
is believed that Gordon was first to be killed. His teammate Shughart
retrieved Gordon’s CAR-15 and gave it to Durant to use. Shortly after,
Shughart was killed and pilot Durant was taken alive.
Concerning Shughart and Gordan, Durant made the comment “Without a
doubt, I owe my life to these two men and their bravery…Those guys
came in when they had to know it was a losing battle, There was nobody
else left to back them up. If they had not come in, I wouldn’t have
survived.” For their bravery and actions beyond the call of duty, the
United States government awarded both Shugart and Gordon the Medal of
Honor, the only snipers to have ever received the MOH.
US Army Photo Released
Randy Shughart

Shughart, during his tenure as a Sergeant First Class.
Birth name Randall David Shughart
Nickname(s) “Randy”
Born August 13, 1958
Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.
Died October 3, 1993 (aged 35)
Mogadishu, Somalia
Place of burial Westminster Cemetery
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1976–1993
Rank Sergeant First Class
Unit 1st SFOD-Delta
Battles/wars Operation Just Cause
Battle of Mogadishu 
Awards Medal of Honor(posthumous)
Purple Heart
Gary Ivan Gordon

Gordon as a Sergeant First Class
Nickname(s) “Gordy”
Born August 30, 1960
Lincoln, Maine
Died October 3, 1993 (aged 33)
Mogadishu, Somalia 
Place of burial Lincoln Cemetery, Penobscot County, Maine
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1978–1993
Rank Master Sergeant
Unit 1st SFOD-Delta
Battles/wars Operation Just Cause
Battle of Mogadishu
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal (2)
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Good Conduct Medal (4)

1. Chris Kyle

Christopher Scott “Chris” Kyle (April 8, 1974 – February 2, 2013) was
a United States Navy SEAL proclaimed to be the most lethal sniper in
U.S. military history, having accumulated 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills.
These numbers are based on individual shooter logs, filled out at the
end of a mission, and reported to higher command. Confirmed kills must
have a witness.
Kyle served four tours in the Iraq War and was awarded several
commendations for acts of heroism and meritorious service in combat. He
received two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals, one Navy and
Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and two Navy and Marine Corps
Achievement Medals. Iraqi insurgents dubbed him the “Devil of Ramadi”
and placed a series of ever increasing bounties on his head, purported
to have eventually reached the low six figures. He became known by the
moniker “Legend” among the general infantry and Marines whom he was
tasked to protect. This title initially originated in jest among fellow
SEALs following his taking of a sabbatical to train other snipers
in Fallujah. He was wounded twice and involved in six IED attacks.
Kyle was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2009 and wrote a
bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, which was published in
January 2012. On February 2, 2013, Kyle was shot and killed at a
shooting range near Chalk Mountain, Texas, along with friend Chad
Littlefield. The man accused of killing them is awaiting trial for
murder. A film adaptation of Kyle’s autobiography, directed by Clint
Eastwood, was released in December 2014.
Getty Images
Chris Kyle
Kyle during a book signing at Camp Pendleton in January 2012
Birth name Christopher Scott Kyle
Nickname(s) “Chris”, “Shaitan Al-Ramadi”, “The Devil of Ramadi”, “Legend”
Born April 8, 1974
Odessa, Texas, U.S.
Died February 2, 2013 (aged 38)
Erath County, Texas, U.S.
Buried at Texas State Cemetery, Texas, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1999–2009
Rank Chief Petty Officer
Unit United States Navy SEALs

  • SEAL Team 3, sniper element, Charlie Company (later called Cadillac Company)
Battles/wars Iraq War

  • Second Battle of Fallujah
Awards Silver Star Medal (2)
Bronze Star Medal (Valor; 5)
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (1)
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2)
Spouse(s) Taya Renae Kyle
Relations Wayne Kenneth Kyle (father)
Deby Lynn Mercer (mother)
Children: 2
Other work American Sniper (2012)
American Gun (2013)

Honorable Mention

Simo Häyhä

While not American, Simo deserves honorable mention on this list.
 Simo “Simuna” Häyhä  (December 17, 1905 – April 1, 2002), nicknamed
“White Death” by the Red Army, was a Finnish marksman. Using a Finnish
version of the Mosin–Nagant in the Winter War, he acquired the highest
recorded number, in any major war of at least 505 confirmed sniper kills.
DoD Photo
Simo Häyhä

Häyhä after being awarded the honorary rifle model 28.
Nickname(s) White Death
Born December 17, 1905
Rautjärvi, Viipuri Province, Grand Duchy of Finland
Died April 1, 2002 (aged 96)
Hamina, Finland
Allegiance  Finland
Years of service 1925–1940
Rank Alikersantti (Corporal) during the Winter War, promoted to Vänrikki (Second Lieutenant) shortly afterward
Unit Infantry Regiment 34
Battles/wars Winter War
Awards Cross of Liberty, 3rd class and 4th class;
Medal of Liberty, 1st class and 2nd class;
Cross of Kollaa Battle


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