9

U.S. Marines from 1st Platoon, Echo Company, 3rd Assault Amphibious Battalion, 1st Marine Division firing AK-47 assault rifles and Dragunov SVD sniper rifles provided by the Mongolian armed forces as part of Khaan Quest 2009 at the Five Hills Training Area in Mongolia Aug. 14, 2009. The Marines and Mongolians are exchanging knowledge about their respective weapon systems.

10

October third and fourth of 1993…

The Battle of Mogadishu took place on October 3rd and overnight to the 4th. This mission was apart of Operation Gothic Serpent. Members of the 75th Ranger Regiment, Air Force Rescue and Air Force Combat Controllers, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta, and pilots from the 160th Spec Ops Aviation Regiment. The overall goal was to swarm in to a meeting in the city between Mohamed Adids lieutenants. Shortly after large groups of armed militants attacked the U.S. Forces and shot down two Black Hawk helicopters. In the end, 18 service members died, along with 80 injured. Many personnel were awarded for their actions. Two Delta Force snipers received the Medal of Honor after fighting and perishing while defending one of the crash sights.

Lest we forget the deceased

** - SFOD  Delta - **

MSG Gary Ivan Gordon - Killed defending Super 6-4   - Received Medal of Honor and Purple Heart

SFC Randy Shughart - Killed defending Super 6-4 - Received Medal of Honor and Purple Heart

SSG Daniel D. Bush - Crashed with Super 6-1, mortally wounded defending the crew - Received Silver Star and Purple Heart

SFC Earl Robert Fillmore, Jr. - Killed moving to the first crash sight - Received SIlver Star and Purple Heart

MSG Timothy “Griz” Lynn Martin - Mortally wounded by an RPG on the ‘Lost Convoy’, and died en route to Germany’s Field Hospital - Received Silver Star and Purple Heart

- 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment - 

CPL James “Jamie” E. Smith - Killed around the crash sight of Super 6-1 - Received Bronze Star with Valor Device, and Oak Leaf Cluster as well as a purple heart

SPC James M. Cavaco - Killed on the Lost Convoy - Received a Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple heart

SGT James Casey Joyce - Killed on the Lost Convoy - Received a Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart

CPL Richard “Alphabet” W. Kowaleski, Jr. - Killed on the Lost Convoy by a RPG - Received Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart

SGT Dominick M. Pilla - Killed on Strueckers Convoy (1st Convoy to move back to base) - Received Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart

SGT Lorenzo M. Ruiz - Mortally wounded on the Lost Convoy and also  and died en route to Germany’s Field Hospital - Received Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart

** - 160th SOAR - **

SSG William “Wild Bill” David Cleveland, Jr. - Killed on Super 6-4 (Crew Chief) - Received Silver Star, Bronze Star, Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart

SSG Thomas “Tommie” J. Field - Killed on Super 6-4 (Crew Chief) - Received Silver Star, Bronze Star, Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart

CWO Raymond “Ironman” A. Frank - Killed on Super 6-4 (Copilot) - Received Silver Star, Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart

CWO Clifton “Elvis” P. Wolcott - Killed in Super 6-1 Crash (Pilot) - Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Valor Device, Bronze Star, Purple Heart

CWO Donovan  ”Bull” Briley - Killed in Super 6-1 crash (Copilot) - Received Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart

** - 14th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division - **

SGT Cornell Lemont Houston, Sr. - Killed on the rescue convoy - Received Bronze Star with Valor Device, de Fleury Medal, Purple Heart

PFC James Henry Martin, Jr. - Killed on the rescue convoy - Received Purple Heart

** - Malaysian Army - **

LCPL Mat Azan Awang - Killed when his vehicle was struck by an RPG - Received Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa

USMC war dog “Caesar von Steuben” is x-rayed by Navy corpsmen after being wounded on patrol during the fight for Bougainville. 

As with most of the dogs that fought with the United States military in World War II, the three year old German shepherd had been a civilian, owned by a family in the Bronx who volunteered him for service, one of thousands of families to offer their pet up for the war effort.

Only a select few were accepted into service, and even then they would undergo rigorous training to prepare them for life in the combat zone. In total, 1,074 dogs were ‘enlisted’ in the Marine Corps, and 29 would die in combat, along with just under 200 fatalities from disease or accidents. After the war, an outcry ended plans to euthanize the remaining veteran animals, and instead they were put through demilitarization training, with almost universal success. Many were returned to their families, although in more than a few cases, the Marine handler would bring the dog back to civilian life with him.

In Caesar’s case, he recovered from his wound quickly, and he received an official commendation for his communication runs prior to his wounding, including completing his ninth and final one while injured. Returned to service however, he would be killed in combat while fighting on Okinawa in 1945.

(National Archives)

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