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Persian Gulf War: U.S. Marines' Minefield Assault

Originally published by MHQ magazine. Published Online: June 12, 2006 
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As twilight approached on February 23, 1991, U.S. Marine Colonel James A. Fulks was getting desperate. Although the ground campaign of Operation Desert Storm would not begin for more than twelve hours, Fulks had nearly twenty-seven hundred U.S. Marines a dozen miles inside of Iraqi-occupied Kuwait and had orders to move that night through the first of the two thick minefields the Iraqi army had planted just to the north. After days of searching, however, his scouts still had not found a path through the mines. Now Fulks was preparing to order a rapid and potentially dangerous effort to clear a way through the deadly obstacle belt.

At about the same time ten miles to the east, Corporal Michael Eroshevich was hunkered down in a small, hastily dug hole on the edge of that same minefield, trying to stay unseen until night fell. The twenty-one-year-old marine was tired, cramped, cold, and a little nervous about his unit's exposed position.

Fulks' marines, designated Task Force Grizzly, and Eroshevich's unit, Task Force Taro, commanded by Colonel John H. Admire, had marched into Kuwait two days earlier. Alone, with no tanks and few heavy weapons, the fifty-three hundred marines were vulnerable to an attack by any of the five heavily armed Iraqi divisions waiting on the other side of the mines. Admire recalled that 'We were essentially up there alone.'

Admire and Fulks had orders from the First Marine Division commander, Maj. Gen. James M. 'Mike' Myatt, to infiltrate through the first minefield well before the start of the ground war. They then were to march farther into Kuwait to shield the breach of those mines by Myatt's two powerful mechanized regiments the next morning. In the midst of the most technologically advanced conflict in history — the so-called Nintendo War — most of the marines in the two task forces marched the twenty miles from the Saudi border to their blocking positions, carrying their gear on their backs or pulling it in crude handcarts.

According to Fulks, the risky infiltration 'was part of our strategy in the division to be very aggressive.' The idea was to mentally overwhelm the Iraqis, who had shown little ability to respond quickly to changing conditions. The Task Force Grizzly commander, who had conceived the infiltration plan months earlier while he was the division's operations officer, conceded that initially 'it was not a very popular idea.' But it embodied the boldness that enabled two marine divisions to punch through the Iraqi minefields on 'G-day,' February 24, jump-starting the allied ground assault that ended with a crushing victory in one hundred hours. That attack was the culmination of the largest deployment of U.S. Marines in history, which had started six months earlier, just days after Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's army overran Kuwait on August 2, 1990.

President George Bush, backed by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, quickly decided that the West had to respond forcefully to Iraq's aggression, which threatened neighboring Saudi Arabia and much of the world's oil supply. But the allies could not effectively help unless Saudi Arabia's King Fahd was willing to accept an army of Christians flooding into the home of Islam's two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina. After a briefing in Jeddah by Defense Secretary Richard Cheney and U.S. Army General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander in chief of the U.S. Central Command, Fahd agreed on August 7 to accept allied troops.

Bush immediately ordered forces to the Persian Gulf under the label Operation Desert Shield. Air force fighters, army paratroopers, and navy aircraft carriers started arriving the next day. The Seventh Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB), commanded by Maj. Gen. John I. Hopkins, began flying into Saudi Arabia on August 14, while three ships of Maritime Preposition Squadron (MPS) 2 sailed toward the gulf with the unit's heavy weapons, vehicles, and supplies. Within two weeks, 15,248 marines were deployed in the desert north of the Saudi port of Al Jubayl, learning to cope with 110-degree heat and talcumlike sand that covered their bodies and fouled their weapons and equipment. According to Lt. Gen. Walter E. Boomer, who as commanding general of the First Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) would lead most of the U.S. Marines' Gulf War contingent, 'The quick arrival of the 7th MEB and the MPS squadron must have put Saddam Hussein on notice that our president was serious about defending Saudi Arabia.'

As more marines arrived from their bases in California, Hawaii, and Okinawa, Hopkins' brigade was integrated into Myatt's First Division. It was the first time a full marine division had deployed overseas since Vietnam. At the same time, helicopter, fighter, and attack squadrons of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing, under Maj. Gen. Royal Moore, flew from air stations in California and Arizona to occupy airfields prepared by marine engineers and navy Seabees.

Myatt organized his division into five task forces with different capabilities and purposes. The first was Task Force Shepherd, which would use its nimble eight-wheeled light armored vehicles (LAVs) for screening and scouting. Myatt then formed two assault units, Task Force Ripper, commanded by Colonel Carlton W. Fulford, and Task Force Papa Bear, led by Colonel Richard W. Hodory. In anticipation of a fast-moving battle in the desert, these units were equipped more like army mechanized brigades than the usual marine light infantry regiments. Each assault force had two infantry battalions plus combat engineer and reconnaissance units. For the mobility essential in desert warfare, each had two companies of thinly armored, tracked assault amphibious vehicles. Ripper also had two companies of M-60 main battle tanks, and Papa Bear had one. Task Forces Taro and Grizzly were more typical marine units, with two battalions of infantry but no tanks or armored vehicles.

While the marines of the First MEF were moving into defensive positions in the desert, fifteen thousand more leathernecks were sailing for the gulf aboard ships. And tens of thousands of soldiers of the U.S. Army's Eighteenth Corps and hundreds of U.S. Air Force warplanes and support aircraft flooded into Saudi Arabia and neighboring nations. Military forces also came from Great Britain, France, and several Arab countries.

As their military strength in the Persian Gulf region grew, the allies began to shift their focus from the defense of Saudi Arabia to an attack against the Iraqi army in Kuwait. General Boomer recalled that he and his commanders 'began to think and talk among ourselves about offensive ops as early as October.' By November, President Bush was doing the same with his advisers. He ordered Schwarzkopf to begin planning for an offensive to liberate Kuwait. At Schwarzkopf's request, Bush authorized additional deployments that nearly doubled the U.S. troops in the gulf in order to provide the combat power required to defeat an Iraqi force estimated at more that six hundred thousand men. The reinforcements included the U.S. Army's Seventh Corps, with two divisions from Europe and two from the United States. Boomer's First MEF was strengthened by the Second Marine Division and the Second Marine Aircraft Wing from bases in North and South Carolina.

The Second Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. William M. Keys, was augmented by hundreds of reservists, including B Company, Fourth Tank Battalion, from Yakima, Washington, which was the first marine unit to get modern M1A1 Abrams tanks. In all, Bravo Company had fourteen of the powerful armored vehicles. The Second Division was also reinforced by the army's First Brigade, Second Armored Division — the 'Tiger Brigade' — with their M1A1s and Bradley fighting vehicles. When fully assembled, the division had 20,500 personnel and 257 tanks, including 185 Abrams, some 170 of which belonged to the Tiger Brigade. 'It was probably the heaviest marine division, with the most combat power, ever to take the field,' Keys recalled. The First Division, meanwhile, had 19,500 marines and sailors and 123 of the older and less potent M-60A1 tanks. With his air and support units, General Boomer would command about seventy thousand marines and navy personnel at the start of the ground war. Counting U.S. amphibious forces in the Persian Gulf (some twenty-four thousand marines commanded by Maj. Gen. Harry Jenkins), the corps had nearly ninety-four thousand men and women in the Gulf War — more than in the biggest battles of World War II.

Just after midnight on January 16, 1991, Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm, with attacks into Iraq and Kuwait by allied aircraft and Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from navy warships and submarines. Marine aircraft joined the air war the next day, with pre-dawn strikes against targets in Iraq and subsequent attacks against enemy troops in southern Kuwait.

The First Division later used its 155mm artillery in a series of combined-arms 'raids' with marine aircraft, aimed mainly at the estimated twelve hundred artillery pieces arrayed against them in Kuwait. The much-feared Iraqi artillery would have little effect during the ground war. The Iraqi army, however, staged poorly coordinated multiple attacks into Saudi Arabia on the night of January 29, triggering a three-day fight known as the Battle of Khafji.

The initial attacks by Soviet-made Iraqi T-62 and T-55 tanks and BMP armored personnel carriers against U.S. Marine border posts were stopped by marine LAVs equipped with 25mm guns and TOW (tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided) anti-tank missiles, attack helicopters, and marine and air force fighters. But two LAVs were destroyed by friendly fire, killing eight marines and wounding others.Another Iraqi armored column survived air attacks to occupy the abandoned Saudi town of Khafji, trapping two marine recon teams. American commanders realized that U.S. forces should not dominate a fight in which Saudi territory and Arab pride were at stake. According to Colonel Admire, 'We decided we would be the supporting force' during the recapture of the town. The attack to liberate Khafji and to rescue the trapped marines was conducted by Saudi and Qatari units, backed by marine aircraft and artillery.

Although a relatively small engagement, Khafji had a major impact on the planning for the ground war. The Iraqis' poor coordination and lack of aggressiveness persuaded the marine commanders that the attack into Kuwait would not be as difficult as they had feared. 'At that particular point, there was a significant psychological change in all of us,' Task Force Taro commander Admire recalled. 'We realized that if we hit the Iraqis hard and fast, they would back down. There was no fight in them.' According to Admire, the successful counterattack by the previously untested Arab troops also emboldened their commanders to offer to make their own attack up the coast highway during the ground war, instead of following the marine assault. That allowed Boomer to move the focus of his attack about eighty miles to the west, into the area of Kuwait known as the 'elbow,' and to revise his battle plan.

Initially, the marine general had planned to have Myatt's division clear paths through the minefields, then allow Keys' more powerful Second Division to pass through their lines and lead the attack. But neither Boomer nor his commanders liked that idea. 'Any passing of lines under combat conditions is a horribly complicated evolution. And the thought of a division-size passage — with troops and vehicles strung out for miles, vulnerable to artillery — really made me uneasy,' the First MEF commander recalled. With more mine-clearing equipment provided by Israel and the Tiger Brigade available, Boomer accepted Keys' proposal for his division to make its own breach of the Iraqi barriers. Schwarzkopf, who had allowed Boomer great freedom in planning his attack, also approved the new plan.

The leeway Schwarzkopf gave Boomer was a reflection of the Desert Shield commander's view that the marines' assault was intended to fix the Iraqi army's attention on the Kuwaiti border, not to be the main battle. The main attack, in northern Kuwait and southern Iraq, would be by the U.S. Army's Seventh Corps far to the west. It was set to start twenty-four hours after the marines' assault began.

The two marine division commanders devised different plans for breaching the minefields, but with similar goals. The First Division would use Task Forces Grizzly and Taro to protect the main assault forces — Ripper and Papa Bear — which would conduct their own breaches. The Second Division would rely on artillery and air cover to defend against counterattacks and assigned only one regiment — the Sixth Marines — to make their breaches. Each of the regiment's three battalions would cut a single lane. The desire in both cases was to move through the minefields quickly. 'We were concerned about speed, and building momentum going north, to get through those two obstacle belts, because the worst thing that could happen was to get trapped between them,' Myatt said.

Moving closer to the Kuwaiti border, most of the Marines left behind their tents and sleeping bags, only to suffer through surprisingly wet and frigid nights. The ground war initially was set to start on February 22, but Boomer asked for a delay in the hope of getting better weather to allow full use of the vital marine air support. The weather, however, did not improve, and in a situation similar to what General Dwight D. Eisenhower had faced on the eve of D-Day in 1944, Schwarzkopf decided to attack despite the poor conditions. 'We fought the ground campaign over the worst four flying days of the whole war,' Moore, the marine air commander, later complained. 'General Schwarzkopf and every weather guy in Southwest Asia promised 72 hours of good weather, but we probably didn't get 72 minutes.'

Corporal David Jackson, a radio operator with Grizzly, recalled that the task force's marines felt 'a lot of excitement and some confusion' but 'not a lot of fear' about their mission: 'People asked me if I was afraid. The honest answer was `no.' Our battalion had trained so hard….By the time we got to the Gulf, we really were family.'

Corporal Eroshevich recollected a more fatalistic reaction among the marines of Task Force Taro. 'We all looked at each other and said, `Well, it was nice knowing you," he recalled. 'This was pretty much a Nintendo war. But we were going to walk 30 miles and go through a minefield on hands and knees.' And Taro's commander, Admire, knew his unit faced a daunting task: 'It would be clandestine, with no armor, no tractors, or artillery. We were literally going to walk across that minefield.'

The First Division began its move into Kuwait on February 18, when Myatt sent reconnaissance teams across the border to look for paths through the first minefield for Taro and Grizzly. The scouts located a clear route in Taro's sector, but could not find one for Grizzly. Even so, Fulks marched Grizzly into Kuwait shortly after midnight on the twenty-second, stopping most of the regiment just south of the mines, where they could see the minefield but could not be observed by anyone on the other side of the barriers. The marines dug two-man fighting holes and used slight depressions in the desert and camouflage nets to mask their vehicles. Meanwhile, Fulks' scouts resumed the search for an opening through the mines.

After daylight, the Iraqis apparently became aware of the marines' presence and fired poorly aimed artillery at them. Return fire from the marines' 155mm howitzers back at the border, however, quickly silenced the enemy guns. Iraqi tanks then approached Grizzly's position, and Fulks had to withdraw, covering his movement with artillery and air attacks.

Taro began its long walk into enemy-held territory that evening. Both task forces had a number of vehicles loaded with radios or carrying TOW missiles or other heavy weapons. And in a throwback to pre-mechanized times, some marines pulled four-wheel handcarts loaded with equipment. Most of the marines marched into Kuwait, carrying heavy loads of their personal gear and extra ammunition.

Eroshevich called the trek 'the most grueling physical experience of my life. Each of us carried over 100 pounds of equipment and our ammo for 30 kilometers.' The fire team leader's load consisted of his own gear, including chemical protective suit and gas mask, his M-16 rifle, and three bandoliers of ammunition. In addition, Eroshevich carried a vest with ten 40mm grenades for his M-203 gunner, a two-hundred-round magazine for his team's M249 squad automatic weapon (SAW), and two 60mm mortar rounds. Some men also carried night vision goggles, telephones, and extra barrels for the machine guns. 'The guys I really felt sorry for were the Dragon [anti-tank rocket] gunners and the machine-gunners,' Eroshevich said. (Each Dragon weighed fifty pounds, while an SAW weighed fifteen and an M-60 light machine gun twenty-six.) When the marines started to march from the border, Eroshevich recalled that 'we had to help each other stand up. I thought: `There's no way in hell I'm going to make this."

The unusually cold and damp weather may have prevented the heavily burdened marines from overheating during the strenuous march. But when they stopped, the cold cut through their sweaty clothes and chilled them. The only casualty of the potentially dangerous movement was a young marine killed by an accidental hand-grenade blast. By midnight, Taro had reached the edge of the minefield and then hurried to get into defensive cover before daylight. Most of the marines then dug fighting holes into which they squeezed, knees against their chests. They remained in the tight foxholes all day.

In preparation for the next night, Admire had his combat engineers and some infantrymen begin marking the task force's path through the minefield. With no mine detection equipment, they advanced on their knees, probing into the sand with bayonets and listening for the clink of metal on metal. Mines would be marked with glowing chemical light sticks.

Task Force Grizzly, meanwhile, was still attempting to find a way through the mines. Its latest attempt was curtailed when allied aircraft started bombing Iraqi positions just across the barrier and Fulks withdrew his men to avoid the risk of friendly-fire casualties. With only hours left before the ground war was scheduled to start, Fulks was getting desperate about being able to complete his mission. As sporadic Iraqi artillery fire landed nearby, the colonel called his battalion commanders together to plan a rapid breach, using explosives to clear a path through the mines. Before he had to launch that effort, however, Fulks received a radio message that his scouts could see Iraqi defectors walking through the minefield with their hands over their heads. Thinking quickly, Fulks told the recon teams to run down and give the surrendering Iraqis chemical lights to mark the lane through the mines. Three Marines followed the defectors' path and attacked a bunker, killing three Iraqi soldiers and capturing others. At last, Grizzly had a way to get to its blocking position.

But then the two task forces' leaders received a disturbing radio call from Myatt, who relayed word from Boomer that President Bush wanted to give Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev more time to attempt to persuade Saddam to withdraw his army from Kuwait. That meant Taro and Grizzly were not to push any farther into Kuwait until the deadline passed, about midnight.

Both commanders protested that the delay would not give them time to reach their assigned positions before the division started its attack. Fulks, moreover, was reluctant to pull back the company of marines he already had on the other side of the mines, guarding the lane. 'Boss, you can't do this to me,' he told Myatt.

After a brief delay, Myatt called back to tell him that Boomer had given permission to put a reconnaissance team across, but not to do anything irreversible. Fulks said he quickly ordered an entire battalion through the mines, as 'a recon in force.' Given the same warning, Admire said he told Myatt: 'I will do nothing irreversible. But I can't guarantee that the Iraqis won't.'

While Taro and Grizzly were making their difficult treks deep into Kuwait, the two U.S. Marine divisions moved toward the border, reaching their assault positions on February 23. That night, Boomer sent a message telling his marines that they would attack into Kuwait the next day,

not to conquer, but to drive out the invaders and to restore the country to its citizens….We will succeed in our mission because we are well trained and well equipped; because we are U.S. Marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen, and because our cause is just….May the spirit of your Marine forefathers ride with you and may God give you the strength to accomplish your mission.

Semper Fi.

As night fell on the twenty-third, the marines and navy corpsmen in Taro and Grizzly climbed out of their holes, pulled on chemical protective suits, and checked their gas masks and weapons. Suddenly an explosion stunned the marines of Task Force Taro and destroyed their artillery fire-direction radar van, killing one marine and wounding another. A U.S. HARM anti-radar missile had caused the explosion, another of the friendly-fire incidents that were to blame for nearly half of the marines' casualties thus far.

Shortly before midnight, Corporal Eroshevich and the rest of Taro shouldered their heavy loads and started following what they hoped was a clear path through the minefield — a narrow route outlined by chemical lights. Once through the obstacles, the marines formed into a wedge and moved north, reaching their blocking position about six miles beyond the minefield well before dawn.

The cold, misty, rainy weather was miserable but 'almost ideal for an infiltration,' Admire said. It reduced visibility, limiting the chances that the Iraqis would spot them. The Taro commander hoped for better weather the next morning, when marine air cover might be needed if Iraqi tanks attacked.

While Taro had reached its position without major incident, Task Force Grizzly's troubles continued. First, the march through the mines was delayed when the lead elements had to deal with more Iraqi defectors. Corporal Jackson, driving a communications vehicle carrying two of his battalion's staff officers, had followed a barely visible light on the vehicle ahead of his. 'My biggest worry was the guys off to the side on foot,' he recalled of the slow advance. 'I thought about them, hoped they didn't step on anything,' meaning mines.

Grizzly passed through the first minefield belt without incident. But about eight hundred yards farther, they ran into an unexpected belt of anti-personnel mines. A team of engineers led by Staff Sgt. Charles Restifo crawled through the field probing for mines with bayonets, as TOW gunners used their thermal sights to watch for any Iraqi movement. Restifo earned the Silver Star for his actions.

Despite the new delay, Grizzly was at its blocking position near the second minefield by dawn. The ground war officially began at 4:30 a.m., with the Second Division and the First Division's Task Forces Ripper and Papa Bear starting their penetrations at the first minefield. Rocket-propelled mine-clearing line charges, or 'mick licks,' were used to make the initial breaches. Each line charge consisted of a 110-yard-long cable along which explosives were attached. A rocket on the cable's end would carry the line across the minefield, and the subsequent detonation of the charges was designed to set off any nearby mines.

Problems with the explosive devices, however, slowed the operation and resulted in damage to several tanks that hit live mines while sweeping the supposedly cleared lanes with mine-clearing plows. The operation also was delayed by numerous false reports of chemical agents. With little Iraqi resistance, however, the marines pushed through the first minefield and reached the second barrier by noon, but they were then plagued with more defective line charges, more damaged tanks, and increased Iraqi artillery fire.

The leathernecks' biggest problem, however, was what to do with the thousands of surrendering Iraqi soldiers, who threatened to bog down the advance. Commanders of the assault units soon turned the flood of POWs over to marines from the supply columns behind them. Others, recognizing that the dispirited Iraqis were harmless, had their men simply direct them toward the rear. Happy to be alive and out of the war, Saddam's soldiers marched to the south, waving dirty white rags and smiling at the marines rushing northward.

The push through the two minefields had left eleven tanks damaged and fourteen men wounded. There had been concern about massed artillery fire catching them bogged down among the mines. But, 'None of our fears materialized,' Boomer said.

Despite low clouds, scattered rain, and dense smoke from burning wells in the sabotaged Kuwaiti oil fields, the marine aviators did their best to support the ground forces. Cobra helicopters had to get under the clouds in order to attack Iraqi tanks or artillery firing on the marines. 'I had six or eight Cobras air taxiing down highways in Kuwait with their landing lights on to get into the First or Second division areas to help them out,' Moore recalled.

The two heavy task forces ran into only scattered pockets of opposition from dug-in Iraqis, most of whom would surrender after being hit by long-range TOW missiles or tank fire. By late afternoon, Papa Bear had cleared its first objective just behind the second minefield belt.

Ripper had to postpone its move onto the sprawling Al Jaber Airfield about nine miles to the northwest due to premature darkness. Still, the marines' aggressiveness and light Iraqi resistance had put the advance hours ahead of schedule, creating a major problem for General Schwarzkopf. The marines' rapid drive increased the risk that they would expose their left flank or would push the Iraqi troops out of Kuwait before the main attack could hit them. As a result, Schwarzkopf ordered the U.S. Army's Seventh Corps to begin its assault by 3 p.m., about fifteen hours ahead of schedule.

After a relatively easy first day, both marine divisions faced their toughest fights of the war on the twenty-fifth, when Iraqi armored units staged strong counterattacks. For the First Division, the battle included a precarious defense of Myatt's forward command post, featuring an aggressive attack by a company of marine LAV-25s against a superior force of Iraqi tanks and armored vehicles.

The Second Division, meanwhile, was fighting off separate attacks from Iraqi mechanized and armored units in what was called the biggest tank battle in marine history. In one fight, the 'Reveille Engagement,' marines, including Bravo Company, the reserve tank unit with its M1A1s, were roused from their sleep to destroy thirty T-72s and four T-55s — in minutes. Counterattacks and darkness, however, prevented both divisions from moving north.

Although the weather remained bad on February 26, Boomer ordered Myatt to move on Kuwait International Airport and had Keys sweep to the west of Kuwait City to cut off the highways out of the capital. With supporting shellfire from the battleships Missouri's and Wisconsin's sixteen-inch guns, the assault units broke through the defenses. Shortly after dawn on the twenty-seventh, marines raised the U.S. flag in front of the airport terminal.

To the south, Grizzly had worked its way through the maze of bunkers and buildings at Al Jaber Airfield, meeting no resistance. Meanwhile, the Second Division quickly occupied a ridge northwest of Kuwait City, sealing off major roads and trapping hundreds of fleeing Iraqis. On February 28, Arab troops passed through the marines' lines and entered Kuwait City, which erupted in a joyous celebration. Later that day, President Bush ordered a cease-fire and the Persian Gulf War essentially ended for the marines.

The U.S. Marines had driven about one hundred miles in one hundred hours, defeated seven Iraqi divisions, destroyed 1,040 tanks, 608 armored vehicles, and 432 artillery pieces, and taken 22,308 prisoners — at the cost of five killed and forty-eight wounded. At a February 27 press briefing in Riyadh, Schwarzkopf praised the marines: 'It was a classic, absolutely classic, military breaching of a very, very tough minefield….And I think it will be studied for many, many years to come as the way to do it.'



This article was written by Otto Kreisher and originally published in the Summer 2002 edition of MHQ. For more great articles, subscribe to MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History today!

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162 Responses to “Persian Gulf War: U.S. Marines' Minefield Assault”


  1. 1
    Ken Adams says:

    I was a gunner on gun 1 for A 1/11. I'm finding it hard to find any detailed facts on our unit. I do know that my gun was the only Gun to direct fire while in Kuwait. I think it was about 1300 meters. I was on the site and our battery commander I think Cpt. Hughes was giving me the directive while looking through binos and he and the rest of the gun section fired 5 HE Shells ducking in between shots because the small force was firing at us. I beleive they were using M60's and 50 cals. Where is the best place to find more info on this. Also I was honorably discharged when we returned and I heard my gun section recieved bronze stars. I was the one on the site and wondered if they were rewarded a bronze star would I be entitled to one as well? Thanks for your time, Semper Fi

    • 1.1
      Donald Green says:

      Correction Mr. Adams. Gun 1 of Hotel 1/11 direct fired on a MLRS under section chief Tom Stark. It's in the history books.

    • 1.2
      Rick Clark says:

      Ken,

      You are right as I was there. It was Sgt. Whit's gun that direct fired one of the fleeing Iraq vehicles. To my knowledge, only Whit got the Bronze Star. I remember that day very clearly as you were part of the advance party like I was. I was in the FDC and I can remember the small arms fire, because Scott Anderson and I were trying to figure out what that noise was as the bullets flew past us. We were firing at targets all around us and kept having to shift trails and I can remember asking permission to return fire with our small arms and 1st Lieutenant Stroble denied me as he wasn't sure if they were the enemy. Because, as soon as the fog began to lift they began firing at us and you could clearly see that they were Russian BMP's about 500 meters in front of us. If you recall, we ended up waiting for air support. There were about 4 or 5 Cobras that landed to our rear, got a game plan together and then took them out. Email me back if you should happen to read this. I too have been out since 1994 but remember it well.

      Semper Fi,

      Sgt Richard Clark

      • 1.2.1
        Amanda Workman says:

        Sir, thank you for your service first of all. My Uncle Lester "Skip" Lake was in Desert Storm. I was to young to know what he was talking about as he told me stories about Desert Storm when I was five. Now that I'm older, and in high school, we're starting to learn about the Gulf War, and I would much rather talk to someone who was there to learn more, for my uncle is no longer here. I have a few questions that the internet does not really provide.

  2. 2
    Patrick Devolder says:

    I was a member of the 1st "Tiger" Brigade of the might "Hell on Wheels" division. I consider it a privilege to have served with the Marines(2nd Marine Division), and our accomplishments are now taught at military schools and have created a standard of how to integrate the services in modern warfare. I am proud to have served my country, and would do it again it. Semper Fi+Hell on Wheels=Swift victory. Huah!

  3. 3
    Rod says:

    Nice article about TF Taro. TF X-Ray A/1/3 was part of Taro but was issued a FRAGO to conduct the only Helicopter Borne Assault Operation of the Gulf War for the Marine Corps. Twice conducting assaults into oilfields with CAT Teams and inflicting destruction on die-hard Iraqi vehicles and receiving small arms fire at the second oil field. Storming Kuwait International Airport with Close Air Support from Cobras and French Gazelles.

    It was an amazing experience as a LCPL and M249 SAW gunner with the burden of lugging over 150lbs worth of combat gear, to include an extra crate of grenades for the squad.

    CPT Rodriguez
    US Army
    Semper Fi and Rangers Lead The Way!

    • 3.1
      Tony Mallini (0341) says:

      Was that a day. I remember it like it was yesterday. Our first sgt. hitched us a ride to get to the birds and off we went. We got on the ground dug in and got our stuff in order ,droped all non essential gear and headed out.

  4. 4
    David Clark says:

    I was a member of 2nd Reconnaissance Bn. during the first Gulf War. We deployed numerous teams into Kuwait days before the ground assault began. We would walk all night then dig holes and stay in them all day. We remained inside Kuwait for six days and then humped all the way back to the Saudi border in one night.

  5. 5
    Tony Warren says:

    I was part of the Marine Team that planned the mine field clearing. They left out that we had to designe saddels on the AAV's to carry all the pvc pipe to fill the Huge tank ditches in front of both mine fields all well carrying 1500lbs of C4 plus all the other explosives we had to use to clear obsticals on the way to the airport. All in an AAV the a 22cal. can penitrate. Semper Fi.

    • 5.1
      Jon Briggs says:

      Semper Fi That is correct Corporal Glass and Sgt Odwire did most of the welding for the saddles of pipe on those amtracks. I marked lanes in the minefields. Our Warrant Officer in the construction platoon came up with the idea of the chained together pipe to fill in the tank ditch, unfortunately he died prior to the atack. Thanks for your service Semper Fi JJ Briggs 89-93

      • 5.1.1
        Greg Stallman says:

        Jon Briggs

        What is the Warrant Officer's name and what happened? I remember trying this out. I also remember hearing something had happened to the W/O and it was mind numbing because it seems like that happened right after the time frame we got these attached to try out. I was with 1st CEB attached to 3rd Tanks. Cleared the minefields. I remember him coming up with this. Before that the plan was to use Engineers with shape charges to fill the tank ditches.

      • 5.1.2
        Andra Britt says:

        The warrant officer was Diffenbaugh. He was Killed in a late nite headon with a five truck.

  6. 6
    Brent Imker says:

    I was a member of Task Force Ripper, o341. C Co 1st Bttln 7th MAR DIV wpns plt. Semper Fi brothers.

    • 6.1
      James says:

      I was with 81mm Mortar WPNS co 1/7. THEN Lt.Col. Mattis was a good man. Glad he's now a General.

  7. 7
    Kauffman says:

    I was a member of Task Force Grizzly.

    3/7 – We lost 2 Marines (KIA)
    Lcpl. Brian Lane
    Lcpl. Christian Porter.
    14 wounded(WIA).

    Semper Fi Brothers

    http://www.taskforcegrizzly.org

    • 7.1
      DeRenobe says:

      Task Force Grizzly was a long time ago for me. I remember it like yesterday, the round exploding, and ripping my right thigh open. I am one of the 14 and miss the two brothers we lost. Semper FI. 3/7 INDIA Co. 1st PLT.

  8. 8
    Lee Fowble says:

    As a gunner on Capt. A. Hart's M1A1 the Crusader, we were fortuneate enough the fire the first shotin the "Reveille Engagement". I wish that we could have ended things then.
    Semper Fi,
    Lee Fowble
    Co. B 2ndPlt. 4th Tk.Bn.

  9. 9
    James Flores says:

    It was my pleasure to be amongst the distinguished company of such Marine heros. I miss you all; RIP LCpl's Lane and Porter, you will forever be remembered.

    I will always cherish and miss my days as a Marine grunt (0311) with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion 7th Marines.

    God Bless you all and Semper Fidelis

    • 9.1
      Ernie Snyder says:

      Hey, you remember me. Long time no see, Contact me at (931) 728-4053 or e-mail.

      • 9.1.1
        Lcpl. Chavez says:

        is this Snyder who worked at the S1 office at HQCo 7th?

    • 9.2
      Rob Boyd aka K2 says:

      Brother, was good to finally reconnect with you. Carried patches for Lane and Porter in my cut for years and miles! Still to this day I miss Christian's dumb ass smile…..May we never forget! LLRB

  10. 10
    Scott Kerrick says:

    I was with 3/7 Wpns Co Dragons attached to L Co. I stayed in upon our return (88-01) but never served with a finer group of Marines and friends "brothers"

    Semper Fi
    MAGTF 4-90

  11. 11
    Mark Reece says:

    I was with Charlie Co., 2nd LAI Bn. We were four days in country and battle hard by the time the "ground offensive" started.

    I could not have served under a better commanding officer: Captain James Amidon! There couldn't be a finer set of military men than those that I was able to serve with.

    Semper Fi!

    Mark Reece
    Sergeant

  12. 12
    John Foldberg says:

    I was the Company Commander of Co I, 3/7 the lead element into Kuwait. LCpl Brian Lane was a member of our company and well respected. LCpl Christian Porter was carrying our gear in his 5 ton. We miss you Marines. You will never be forgotten!
    Semper fi
    John Foldberg
    LtCol USMC (ret)

    • 12.1
      R gilbert-murrain says:

      I was in h&S company and srevice under u you did a dan go job u just walk to dam must the last time we walk was the mrcrest at 29 plams and
      Frech was you raido man thank you

    • 12.2
      tom Carey says:

      Christian Porter was a good friend of. Mine he was killed serving with you can you give me any of the details of how he died or what you guys were doing when he died alot of us still thinking of him thank you

      • 12.2.1
        Greg Leatherberry says:

        Tom,

        I am one of Christians friends and served with him in Desert Storm. I was operating a truck several trucks behind his. e-mail me leather@charter.net

        If there is one thing I remember about him is his smile, a bright glowing smile that was sure to brighten your day.

        I visit him twice a year at Camp Butler. He may be gone but he will never be forgotten…..a promise I made to his mother.

      • 12.2.2
        Rob Boyd says:

        Holy hell Greg! Sent you an email to the addy you listed! Posting here in case that was old (like us). My email is Rob@boydlaw.net. Have wondered about you for years, all like it was yesterday. Still see the tracers and our dumb asses in the dirt.

        Tom, Christian was a pure soul. Miss the hell out of him! I have carried a patch for him in my vest everywhere I rode ever since. Can remember yelling at him in California (29 Palms) and in Okinawa in the squad bay for whatever, but was tough to do as his smile would disarm you and take away any "military bearing". Will carry his memory as long as I live. Still have photos of his promotion to LCpl and the ensuing party at Camp Hansen. Hit me up if you need info.

        Semper Gumby

    • 12.3
      Alexander Beynen says:

      LtCol Foldberg,
      I'm not sure if you remember me but I was your radio operator at the time during the war – Pfc Beynen. It was a honor to serve with you.
      Lcpl Brian Lane was my bunk mate and battle buddy since we both were in I Co H & S. I think of him often and how he went to church when we were in the Phillipenes. And Lcpl Porter was one heck of a basketball player, we went many a round in Okinawa.
      I was at both places when they both passes and was only a few feet away when Porter got killed.

      I miss them both.

      Semper Fi

      Alex Beynen
      GySgt USMC (Ret)

    • 12.4
      Scot Elliott says:

      LtCol. Foldberg,
      Tried to look up something on Lane and Porter and came across this site. Amazing. I was in Wpns. Plt. 0351 under Lt. Dengler and assigned to Lt. Carr when we breached the mine field. Anyhow, I hope your well as you left an everlasting positive impression on that young marine when I first met you in ’99. I imagine you still have your fathers walking stick!

      Semper Fi,
      Cpl. Elliott India 3/7 Wpns. Plt

  13. 13
    Rich Wright says:

    I was on a TOW hummer originally a part of TOW Co, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st MarDiv. Our platton was put on the berm with 3d Marines hours before the berm crossing. I distinctly recall a Captain asking for any NCO's on our vehicle. There were none…just two LCpl's…JP Wilson and myself. He instructed us to us to keep in touch with a bunch of 0351's that would be following us in a vehicle with no radio. We were on the far left flank of the wedge and were to bound out 500 meters, scan for enemy, and signal back to our rear with a red lens…..maintaining radio silence. It was such a cluster…..I recall looking back across the movement through our thermal and seeing nothing but red…all Marines marching. We decided we weren't flashing a damn thing at a locked and loaded USMC infantry battalion.
    Lots more to the story….but I am glad I found this recap..I was less than 5o0 yards away when the hummer got hit by the HARM. We were in front of it and over a rise…saw the flash and heard the explosion.

    • 13.1
      cpl. mathews says:

      hey bud,, I was art of that. I served with the 2nd mar div. on a pump to japan. one month from going home the asshole invaded. two weeks we were inbound to saudi. and got attached as a bastard company to 1st tanks. task force ripper. I was in red 1 behind the plow tank after they blew the line charges. of the first mine field. second tank in bad guy land. so we were there with you bro.

      • 13.1.1
        Jones says:

        cpl. mathews, you sure you were 1st tanks TF Ripper? Lane Red 1 was assigned to 2nd CEB's out of 1/6. the M60's that that were attached to the CEB's were pulled from C co. 8th tanks and A co. 8th tanks and weren't a Ripper element. Red 1 was cleared by Breach Team Task Force Alpha.

      • 13.1.2
        Cpl Avery says:

        Cpl. Avery mine plow red 1, breech lane red 1

      • 13.1.3
        Jones says:

        Cpl. Avery, you from A co. out of Kentucky? Jones here from C co. Tallahassee, Florida.

      • 13.1.4
        cpl avery says:

        I was wondering if anyone was checking this article and was going to reply? To answer your question………." roger that "

        '

      • 13.1.5
        Jones says:

        21 years ago today.

        Avery, what's your contact info. I'd like to drop you an email and see what you have been up to.

      • 13.1.6
        Jones says:

        Jones here. C. Co. 8th Tanks Tallahassee. Mine Plow Red 1 Breach Element Diamond Alpha- Taz Tank. TC Sgt. Napier, Driver Lcpl Kyle Frame, Loader/Combat Engineer Cpl. Rob Holman.

        Avery, never got a chance to say thanks for staying with us after we hit that mine. Much appreciated.

      • 13.1.7
        cpl avery says:

        ok Jones i'm trying this for the third time contact: usmc91@insightbb.com

      • 13.1.8
        Jim Grant says:

        My tank was part of B Co 8th tanks in Syracuse. We were attached to 2nd CEB and were the rake tank clearing the lane after the mic-lic's were fired. The tank in front of us hit a mine and we had to drive around and complete the lane clearance.

        I can't remember what Lane it was, but it was for sure TF Ripper. Once we breached we engaged with 3 bad guys – 2 55's and I think a 72.

        Does this sound familiar to anyone out there?

    • 13.2
      cpl. avery says:

      Taz………nice name . I remember that! as i remember didn't we put on our plows/rollers/rakes/ together "snapper"

      '

    • 13.3
      cpl avery says:

      this site is not letting me give you contact info?

  14. 14
    Kevin Williams says:

    I served with the 1st Tiger Brigade (B Company, 3/41 Infantry) during Operations Desert Shield / Storm. I'm proud to have served with my unit and with the 2nd Mar Div. No other Army unit worked side by side with another branch like we did. I have since caught up with some of the Marines that conducted the breech going into Kuwait and met one Marine that helped clear the lane that I went through. It was both an honor and a privelage to have served with my Marine brothers. "Straight and Stalwart", "Hell on Wheels" and "Semper Fi".

  15. 15
    Mike Parsons says:

    Came to 3/7 H & S as the Religious Program Specialist right before we went over the burm. Was only with the battalion for less than a month, but will always be a part of the unit. Was Chaplain Mark Gefaller's bodyguard and have the utmost respect for everyone from 3/7. We went through alot in only a short amount of time. Have never forgotten LCPL Christian Porter or LCPL Brian Lane! Brothers forever!

    Semper Fi
    RPSN Mike Parsons

  16. 16
    David Oaks says:

    I served in Alpha Battery, 1st Div. 11th Marines (A1/11). I was suprised to see the above post by Ken Adams on Jul 22, 2008 at 4:11 pm asking about the direct fire our unit was involved in. I to have been looking for more information about this. Ken, If you ever see this, I hope that you get the same credit your gun mates got. I was right there with John Maher making a drop for the guns when this all went down and we returned fire. From the historical point I wonder why this part of history has gone unspoken of? Last, our CO was Cpt. McCarthy, who was followed by Cpt. Hughes after the war. Both are good men and even better Marines. Semper Fi to the Marines of 1991's A 1/11 and all Marines to follow…

    • 16.1
      Rick Clark says:

      David,

      I was there as well in the FDC, so I know that it happened. You are right that the CO was Capt McCarthy. I got out in 1994 and just happened upon this page. Give me a shout back if you should happen to read this. I am a member of Together We Served and I will make sure to get this page on that site.

      Oooh Rahh,

      Sgt Richard Clark

      • 16.1.1
        Nunez, Paul J. says:

        I was the gunner on gun 8 with Alpha 1/11. I remember the incident in Burgan oil field. We arrived and were met by our ground guide. He told us that they had been fired upon. He told us gun 1 was in direct fire position. We were then given the word to set up our gun in the opposite direction of fire and to set up for direct fire towards a tree line. After a while Cobras showed up. I remember one of the Cobras firing missles. Armored vehicles then showed up. This went on 4-6 hours I believe. Come night time I remember being told to listen for tanks. Apparently some enemy tanks were in the area. People mentioned with the wind and noise from the oil wells, you wouldn't hear a tank . We had a TOW next to the gun all night. We also had a gas alert go off during the night. Well that's my memory and I'm sticking to it.

      • 16.1.2
        Nunez, Paul J. says:

        Bad memory not a TOW. It was an AT-4 we had with us on Gun 8 at the Burgan oil field.

  17. 17
    Mark Gefaller LCDR, CHC, USN (Ret.) says:

    3/7 had been deployed to Okinawa on a UDP April 1990. It was my honor to join the unit in late May. I caught up with them in Subic Bay/Cubi Point, Luzon, Philippines. It was here that I had the opportunity to work with these fine young men in country during rescue and recovery efforts at Cabanatuan City following the massive earthquake in July. Extended on station, we were eventually transported to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield in 1991. We arrived in a cold rain, in green camouflage, and quickly moved to a forward position on the line. We did change to brown shortly before Task Force Grizzly stepped off on Thursday to preposition for Operation Desert Storm. I remember the events of the days that followed as though it were yesterday. As with many, it was my first experience with combat. By God’s grace we arrived home in March 1991. My thanks to my fine RP Mike Parsons, to the remarkable fighting men of 3/7, and the selfless medical personnel who accompanied the battalion. I continue to honor the sacrifice of Lcpl. Brian Lane and Lcpl. Christian Porter in my heart along with the 14 brave young men who were wounded in action. Though the years have passed, faces have changed and lives have moved on, I treasure the memory of all the exceptional men of 3rd Battalion 7th Marines and still think of them as family. I pray you are all well and wish you God’s richest blessings!

    • 17.1
      Scot Elliott says:

      It’s amazing to come across this site. I was on ACB and went to Cabanatuan for the same rescue/recovery efforts. I’ll never forget that. That whole deployment was life changing. I was with India Co. Wpns. Plt. 3/7 I don’t exactly recall any of our corpsman’s names, but I was always glad to have one close.

      Semper Fi,

  18. 18
    Samuel F. Pappalardo,jr says:

    I was a loader on A-22, Aco. 1st Tanks, 1st MARDIV, We were assigned to task force ripper as the obstalcle clearing detachment, I was on the plts. main plow tank. We were part of the spear head through the obstalces for the task force. we cleared all obstalces on route to Kuwait city.Semper Fi. We put up the fight.

    • 18.1
      Jeffery A. Lee says:

      Sammy!!! That was one hell of a day for us. Remember when SSgt Bodie swapped places with you because his tank backed over the CLAM trailer? That second minefield was one heck of an ordeal, huh?

      Semper Fi!

    • 18.2
      Steven T. Tolliver says:

      Sam and Jeff,

      How you guys doing? I remember that assault into Kuwait and all the firing we did at the second mine field. Remember how our packs were shredded by the shrapnel that was going off around us? SSgt Bodie, I still respect him as a man and fine TC that he was. If I was correct, wasnt you the TC of 2-4 Jeff? I was the TC of 2-5. And if Im correct Sam, you were on 2-3. It might have been 21 years since our war, but the memory is still here like it was yesterday. Semper Fi to all my brothers who served with Alpha company, 1st tank battalion, 1st Marine div(Reinf) from August 1990 to April 91 during Desert Shield and Storm as part of Task force Ripper!

      • 18.2.1
        Samuel Pappalardo says:

        T-Bone? Man I have been looking for you for alot of years…. You should hit me up on the facebook machine … we even have our own company site now. & I was on 2-2.

      • 18.2.2
        Samuel Pappalardo says:

        Jeff was my TC both on 2-2…… Anthony Davis was the driver, James Douglas was the gunner.

      • 18.2.3
        Steven Tolliver says:

        Sammy! Man, the last time I saw you was back in 92, you and Heather were together, and you all came to visit me and my first wifes Apt. Then I went overseas contracting, and that was the last time I was in California, except to divorce April.
        I have been wondering about how you and the others have been doing, the older I get, the more I reminence about the old days, and our time in the Corps. You know, I teach communications and electronic warfare now to the troops going on the MRAPS overseas, and have spent 2 years in Afghanistan and 1 in Iraq supporting the troops there, because of my love for those in uniform, I just cant get away from wanting to do something to keep on serving and supporting them out there, like the whole country was supporting us when we were in back in OUR war.
        Do me a favor bro, here is my email: Steven.T.Tolliver@hotmail.com. Write to me and let me know where you are at now a days, so we can get back in contact. Have you heard anything from Troy Roles? Guissebell? Rockamore? I have bumped into a few guys over the years still in, and I last seen SSGT Bodies loader still in the Corp in 29 Palms back in Nov 08. He was the Platoon Sgt of 2nd platoon of first tanks, can you believe it?
        Get back with me my friend, and lets catch up on these past 20 years or so.

        God bless!

      • 18.2.4
        Samuel Pappalardo says:

        Heather & I ended up having 4 girls together. We split up in 2003 but, I still see her everyday and even live across the street from her and her husband. It's the reason I'm here in Florida. They moved down in Feb. of this year and I just couldn't stand being that far away from my 2 youngest. So, grabed the 2 oldest girls and relocated from Cheyenne Wyoming to here, Gainesville, FL ……. Geez is still in Wyoming …. he moved up there in 96…. I'm still in contact with 23 of the guys on Facebook, I talk to Geez, Siaca, Schwab,Dutch, Washington, Vickers, Sharkey, Huntsucker…. all on a regular basis. At least once a week. Last I heard Roquamore was retired as a SGTMAJ. I've been looking for Roles for years but still can't find him…. Hell man My kid brother P.R. Pappalardo is still in the Corps, just picked up MSGT . last year pulling 3 years on OKI. Great to here from you man. Wierd I ran across this site on accident this morning. I just refound it.

      • 18.2.5
        Steven Tolliver says:

        Hey Sam, thats great, Im only two states away from you, I live up here in Charleston, SC with my wife of 14 years and my 7 year old. Sheesh man, I never thought you would have so many kids, but I guess that when its good, you want to have more and more, like my wife and I wish. We both waited too late to have our children, I was 38 and my wife 40 when we had our little girl, but I tell you, my daughter is the best thing that ever happened to me. I have a good wife and daughter, we travel all over the place every year and go on cruises once or twice a year, I have been all over the world working as a defense contractor. Ive been doing all this since I was discharged back in July 91, been all around the world many times, lived in Europe, the middle east, all over the pacific, and got my education all while doing that with a degree in cummunications electronics (BS in Communications).
        I will get back with you by your email address soon, and lets keep this up, I have been looking for well over 15 years how to get back into contact with people from our time in, and it was just the hardest task.
        You know, we were tankers on those old clunkers back then, but I went to school to be a M1A1, A2, A2 Seps Hull and Turret Tech back in 2006, and I am a master Technician also with the Bradleys and other armored vehicles. The defense industry has been very good to me, and leaving California when I did was probably the best thing I could do career wise.
        Well, feel free if you want to pass on my email address to any of the other guys who might be interested. I also plan and coordinate cruises, and I think it would be very interesting if we could get the guys from Old Alpha company together for a Reunion cruise somewhere sometime.

        Steve

  19. 19
    Kendra Davis says:

    My brothers are also Marines and it is hard but I could never relate to the pain they went through. Although my cousin is a gunner and I love him very much!! So that is why I am doing my persuasive paper on Marines and I am going to use part of this as an example and a fact!!

    God Bless you all and Semper Fi!!!
    Oragh!!!

  20. 20
    Andy Arredondo says:

    Lcpl. K.D. Adams, I do not remember you but, I pulled out my
    Desert ShIeld/ Desert Storm year book to check it out. I also was with
    A 1/11 during Desert Storm with you… 1st FDC. I believe Cpt. McCarthy
    and Cpl. Alvarez were awarded the Bronze Star. I recall that day when
    the enemy fired upon us and all the 155's were pointed level toward the incoming fire and the Cobras flew in and finished them off. I remeber giving Cpl. Alvarez a hard time when he was awarded that day. Do not remember if any of the gun sections getting any awards…
    I had the best time with all of you guys while serving the best branch in the military! I remember everyone calling Sgt. Whit the "Green Goblin" he was ugly! Ha ha… He was cool as hell !!

    • 20.1
      Rick Clark says:

      Andy,

      I can't place your face but the name is familiar. I was in the FDC as well with SSgt Bridgeman. Where do you get one of those year books? I remember the direct fire and receiving small arms fire and yes I remember Sgt Whit and his big ole forehead. He was ugly but you are right that he was cool. He was a great Gun Chief as I worked many years with him. Give me a shout back if you read this.

      Sgt Richard Clark

  21. 21
    Chad Waters says:

    I was also with A1/11 and I also cannot find any info on our battle at Al Burgan oil field. It's all kind of a blur now. I was a PFC then and the war was my first time in the field since joining the fleet. Thats the best on the job training i can think of! I remember the direct fire incident and then the Cobra's coming in and mopping up. Man, those were the days! God Bless and Semper Fi.

  22. 22
    Victor Jimenz says:

    I was a Sgt with Bravo Company, 3rd Platoon, 1st CEB.

    I breached a minefield around Al Wafra. We fired line charges and Cpl Statia from my unit and I crawled through and marked all the remaining mines. Then we made charges from TNT and Det Cord with trunk lines leading to each one, and "BOOM!". 6 months after I got out I was awarded a Bronze Star for that day. I got it at my local MEPS station.

    I've always felt bad because Statia didn't receive any recognition at all and he was next to me the entire time.

    • 22.1
      Larry Jackson says:

      Sgt Jimenz I am Sgt Jackson I also breached the fields in Al Wafra also Capt flowers was my Co. A lot of BS came out after we got back my boys didn't get recognized ither. Maybe we can fix it let me know what you think

      • 22.1.1
        Scott Williams says:

        I was a Cpl. With 3/5 Ico. At the time. We were part of that raid on the Oil Tank Farm just outside of Awafra Forest. I can remember all the deaf animals and messed up homes before there. It smelled god awful!

  23. 23
    angel de la cruz says:

    U was close to where LCpl Porter got hit at I was in H&S Co we took in comeing from the rear we stood no chance no cover i never forget him he is in my heart he was a hell of a man would do anything for his brother Marine we will not forget you

    • 23.1
      Will Anderson says:

      Angel,
      Christian was also a good friend of mine. I was in 2/3 the same time you were in 3/7 just before we left from Oky.

      I have never got a clear answer exactly how that happened. I remember hearing the blast only to find out a few days later that it was Porter.

  24. 24
    Michael Kilbride says:

    I served with Cco.(Cold steel) 1/6 tip of the Spear! THE BEST MARINES I will ever know! we did our jobs better then expected! I am Proud of Brothers, I am glad to be alive! Semper Fi!

    R.I.P. Lcpl. Thomas Tormanen " You are not forgotten"

  25. 25
    Clauss Kontaratos says:

    I was a Cpl and served with 3/3 (Americas Battalion) Kilo Co 3rd platoon Task Force Taro…..My squad pulled those four-wheel handcarts loaded with equipment which included mick licks.

    Semper Fi

    God Bless our men and women then and now.

  26. 26
    Russell Seiber says:

    I served with Alpha Co. 2nd LAI Batt. 2nd MarDiv. I was on the Iron Mistress. We went across the border 3 days before the ground war started and was engaged by enemy fire for 3 days. I hear of Charlie Co. Does any one know if A Co. recieved any more medals for their role?

  27. 27
    William Fuzi says:

    On Feb 24 at 1500hrs. I was attached to task force shepherd. We had just exited al wafra oil field, and were about to enter al Burquan oil field from the south west corner. We started recieving artillary from al jabber airfield. I witnessed 3 shells detonate about 100 meters above our heads. The shells didn't explode. They poped like smoke, and rained down liquid. One of the shells was a yellow smoke, and the other two were clear or white liquid. Shortly after the entire area smelled like cut hay or straw. There were dead animals all over Cammels, sheep, and goats. But there were no flies or bugs at all. Bloated dead bodies with no flies. shortly after the shells poped the alarms started screaming and gas was called. I think the enemy had ben contaminating the area for weeks before we arived. Many of the pow's were wearing their gas masks when we came upon them, and didn't want to remove them. I just thought some one should know.

    • 27.1
      Jason Blackwood says:

      Thanks for sharing. I served with PLRS plt FCP under Gen Myatt during the attack at the Al Wafra oil field forest assault. Afterwards we pressed forward on our own towards the Kuwait Int. Airport. Wow, what a fight. I remember everything you descrided now. Before, I didn't have much memory to go off of.

      Cpl Jason T. Blackwood
      1 MEF PLRS Plt.

  28. 28
    John Bennett says:

    I was a driver of a hummer with a mk19 top mounted, 3rd Plt AT Co 1st Tank Bn, Task Force Taro. We were put into combined arms teams of 4 or 5 hummers, 2 with tow missles and 2 or 3 with mk19's and 50 cals. We were used to screen movements and provide local recon. At one point my team was at the farthest right hand position of the entire Marine assault into Kuwait. To our right was blank desert. To our left was 2 bn 3rd Marines, on foot and spread out across the desert disappearing into the horizon. Behind us was blue sky, but to our front was black burning desert. Columns of flame from the oil wells, rivers of oil snaking across the desert floor, our uncertain future awaited. I remember thinking what an awesome sight, how much a honor it was to have earned the right to go into battle with such a fine and dedicated group of men, Marines. Thank You Marines.

  29. 29
    C.DeLucia says:

    I was a TOW section leader, with 1st tank Bn. My section was attached to 1/5. Our mission was to cover the right flank of 1/5, and served as "head lights" for them. I joined 1st Tanks in the Triangle during December. The tankers, and TOW criters I joined were, lean, and tough. All the weak sisters had long since been sent back to the Stumps. These men were trained, fit, and ready to "Go North". North was the watch word. Thats how we all were going home. By way of Bagdad. It was like a family reunion for me. I'd served with this Bn a few years earlier, ad the Bn was full of familier faces. What impressed me the most about these young Marines was their resolve, and their attitude. They wanted to get this thing done, no matter what. It all played out pritty much as described in the narritive. From my perspective I'd like to add a couple of antidotes. I recall our approach to the first obstacle belt, it was pitch black. All around me I could hear the muffled roar of tank and tractor engines. I recall vehicles hitting mines, and thinking that the Iraqis have got to know were coming. I recall the second night, just passed Al Jaber, the whole task force was moving in formation at about 1500 or 1600, when suddenly the whole world went black. The black oily clouds caused by the oil well fires completley blocked out the sun, plunging the task force into pitch blackness. We stopped all movement, and stayed in place. In this blackness I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. For a moment I was scared, but then realized, if I couldn't find my own nose, how the hell were the Iraqis going to find me. I then fell asleep for the first time in about 48 hours. Gun fire, and radio traffic woke me up, but the action wasn't close by. The last day we pressed on and on, until we entered the southern part of Kuwaitt City. We set in along a highway, and at day break we got a glimps of the devestation caused by our air, on the retreating Iraqis. Our last contact with the enemy was some probing of our lines during the night. Imagine a few stray Iraqi soldiers on foot probing a tank battalion. In the morning all we found were a few piles of bloody rags, and buried them where they lay. When ever any one asks me what it was like, I tell them it was the biggest drive by shooting in history.

    • 29.1
      Danny D says:

      I remember you Gunny. I was one of the TOW gunners at the highway when some of that probing your talking about happend. As I recall we were out in front of A co. 1st tanks. On the front side of the berm that was between the highway and that portion of the taskforce. I remember seeing muzzle flashes from the other side of the highway and returning fire. I belive we had 1 50cal that was you, 1 SAW, and 4 M16s. ( of course TOWs were useless in that situation). After a few seconds into the exchange one HOT DOG tanker came flying over the berm (what a sight) and engaged with his co axial then main gun. It all ended with that. For some reason I remember that happening in daylight hours though.

      • 29.1.1
        C.DeLucia says:

        DANNY D ??? FROM NJ ??? SGT FLETCHERS SQUAD ??? I HOPE THE PAST 20 HAVE BEEN GOOD TO YOU. SEMPER FI.

      • 29.1.2
        Danny D says:

        Thats me, all's well here thanks. Hope the same for you as well.

      • 29.1.3
        Steven T. Tolliver says:

        Danny,

        I was the TC of Alpha 2-5 tank with the First Tank battalion that day, and the tank that engaged that Iraqi probe was SGT Young from my 2nd platoon. He got a Bronz star out of that engagement, and a promotion to SSgt. He was also my friend too and a mentor. We both were tank commanders with 2nd platoon, and ended up the assault right above the Nestle chocolate factory off the sixth ring road in Kuwait. I have visited that site several times while working as a contractor over the years, and that very site has been left undeveloped, all except for a radio tower having been put up. The Kuwaitis, especially the ones that were around during the occupation of their country, really appreciate what we did in freeing their country. So Take GREAT pride in your accomplishments Marines, and let noone tell you different that you did less! We are the liberators of a very proud free people who are reliable allies, and who are strongly fierce of their freedom.

      • 29.1.4
        Danny D. says:

        Steven,

        Thank you for your kind words, and thanks to SGT Young as well……..(I've been meaning to tell him that for quite some time now)……. It would be something to return to that site. I hope the last 20 have been good and best of luck in the future as well.

        SemperFi, Brother

  30. 30
    R gilbert-murrain says:

    I was in 3/7 as a wireman and did a lot of running at nite to hookup the lineto the humvee that was in the front i my name i was call was the brown hornet and i answer the switchborad at nite with M.Hill and A.D, john keith and we kept the comm on for the co and the xo.

    lcpl Porter and I was good friend we some wound go to eat lunch or
    list to music he love house music i tell every body what 3/7 did in the gulf war.

    if you like to cotact me my email is gilbertmurrain1@aol.com

  31. 31
    John Boyd says:

    I was with 3rd Platoon, from Alpha Co., 1/7, attached to 3rd Tank Battalion. We were the lead element for Task Force Ripper and tip of the "spearhead". We were responsible for the assault breaches through both obstacle belts and securing lanes through the minefields. We conducted the first assault over the "burm" into the Emir's farm and orchard, clearing enemy bunkers and capturing over 200 EPW's. We were involved in several fire-fights and enemy engagements which are described in detail in the 1/7 Maneuver Synopsis available at; http://www.military.com/HomePage/UnitPageHistory/1,13506,500031%7C768700,00.html.

    Semper Fi, Lcpl. John Boyd

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Tiffany O'Dell says:

    my dad was a marine, and a damn good one, ; ) his name is murray O'Dell he fought in the gulf war, and am trying to figher out what happend there, i did not get the chance to ask hem everything i wanted to know, he past in 2005. can you guys help me?

    • 33.1
      Will says:

      I will try to help answer your questions Tiffany. Very sorry to hear about your dad passing. Ask away

  34. 34
    Tiffany O'Dell says:

    simper fi! god bless you all my friends.

  35. 35
    Larry Jackson says:

    I am Sgt now SSG Jackson with the Nebraska Army National Guard I missed it so much. I want to here from anyone from Task Force Ripper

  36. 36
    Greg Stallman says:

    Larry, i was with Ripper CEB C Co.

  37. 37
    STEVE SQUARE says:

    1st/5th mar 2nd plt charlie"

    I served under Capt Coia on the left flank of Task Force Ripper.

    I'd serve with my brothers again, if I had to do it all over.

    "Sempler Fi"

    • 37.1
      Sgt. Willy Johnson says:

      Steve Square, you were in 1/5 2nd PLT Charlie …were you involved on the flank to protect Myatts forward command element? We got caught off-guard as the Iraqis had their T–62's move across during their counterattack. Lt. Pellegrino rushed our recon platoon in and we cut them off as the LAV-25's were brought up which drove in and destroyed them. I remember the mass confusion on that second day. Third day all we were worried aobut was Navy ordnance dropping on us as we advanced to airport. Our recon platoon made up part of assault teams. When we finally broke through and into KIA I remember Fulford was mad as hell as our platoon did not have authorization to advance the day before

      Semper Fi

      Willy Johnson

  38. 38
    Dinorider says:

    The history incorrect. Bco 2nd tanks trained at the M1A1nett school at 29 stumps before any reserve units were activated.I was aboard the very first crew in 1st plt Bravo,co. I had a hard time driving the M1A1 and shiped over to the nett team.I served as the nett commanders driver.Maj Thalor was was in charge of this school.Maj Thalor,SSGT Spurlock,and burger 7 put me in charge pmcs ,movement,and fire spotting during live fire.Before I deployed Iknew that tank in and out.I served with 2ndCEB Tank plt,and lost an M60 plowing the minefield. Long live 'THT ROLLIN DEAD' OORAH!!!

  39. 39
    Dinorider says:

    2nd comment.Sorry to keep correcting.The breech team of tanks attached to 2ndCEB were composit of tankers from all the tnk bns .The actual tanks were from Lejuene Most of tankers were ponied up by thier units,some stop lose,some off emgcy leave.Here's some of my bros ,JACOBS,WARDLAW ,RO,BLUTE,GUNNER JACOBS,BLACKSONE,FISCHER,DOBSON,JC BROWN,ENOCH,METHENIE and a couple bros from recon BROWN and DESTEPHANIE .Unfortanatly these marines efforts at the tipe of the spear were swept under the rug .The parent units did not recognize these MARINES endevor,and was never spoken of.The bn yearbook for gulf war reflects this. When combat operation ceased the unit was instantly disbanded. No kia a couple wia. It took alot of guts to execute that insanity, and thier contribution should not be overlooked anymore. OORAH!!! ' ROLLIN DEAD; DEVIL DOGS!!!

    • 39.1
      Jones says:

      Tank crews attached to 2nd CEB came from 8th Tank Bn. 4th Mar. Div. from Florida, Kentucky, New York and one other unit that I cant remember. Not rag-tags at all. In fact, they were all squared away crews. Had to be because the entire 2nd Division was counting on them to punch through the minefields.

      True that on being disbanded quickly. We got absorbed back into our tank companies right away. After the breaching operation, I never saw or heard from those CEB's again. Hope they came out okay. It took a long time to figure out who we were even attached to, mostly because we didnt pay attention to any of that once we were told what our mission was and our SRB's dont make any mention of the TDY. I still dont know what company or platoon I was part of. About the only guys I can remember from the 2nd CEB are Lt Elseth, Ssgt Miller (he was in the Beirut barracks when it got bombed), Sgt Smith who I think went on to be a DI, and our CEB loader on the tank who was responsible for the line charge, Cpl Rob Holman. All great guys and true professionals who treated us tankers real good and with a lot of respect.

      • 39.1.1
        Renna says:

        Jones You are correct I was with Bravo Co. 8 th tanks attached to the. 2 nd Mar. Div. For the war. We were a reserve unit out of Syracuse N.Y. I recall we gave one of our platoons tanks, and it's crew, to be fitted with a mine plow to clear the mine fields.I don't recall the T.C.'s name maybe Brown, but I know the driver was Jimmy Grant, great guy! We did get them back shortly after the breach.

      • 39.1.2
        Jim Grant says:

        Jimmy, its Jimmy Grant! My e-mail is jjg1775@yahoo.com. I see your post was a couple of years ago, but reach out if you see this.

  40. 40
    SR Smith says:

    If I read this article correctly, it is in error in some of it's units. Task Force Ripper had a Tank Bn, not two companies of tanks. 3rd Tank Bn was attached to Task Force Ripper. 3rd Tank Bn was commanded by LtCol Buster Diggs. It deployed from 29 Palms with three line companies (A,B,C) and HQco. DAABco deployed from Camp Fuij Japan, joined 3rd Tank Bn in the desert. It was attached to 3rd Tank Bn and was Dco. It was commanded by Capt S Hickey. I was a section leader in 2nd PLT. I am not wishing to cause a stir, just wish to suggest a correction

  41. 41
    cpl lawless 1stbtn25th attached to task force taro from mass. says:

    looking for fellow marines that were in my humevee. i will never forget when the friendly fire rocket hit the radar vehicle is was about 1000 yrds away from my positon that sucked!

  42. 42
    David Lee says:

    im 17 i just enlisted in the army ima be a ranger! :)

  43. 43
    emily says:

    My father was a sniper I love him

  44. 44
    Larry Jackson says:

    Would that have been CPL Stallman at the time. I think I remember you. Drop me a line. larrysled@aol.com

  45. 45
    Greg Stallman says:

    It is. I picked up the Sgt. right before the war.

  46. 46
    corporal looney says:

    I was in 1st CEB MT Task Force Ripper, I was on a wrecker manning a 50 cal, me and my partner Sgt Call had to load the C4 on the line charge trailers to send the rockets to clear the lanes.

  47. 47
    Lcpl. Chavez says:

    I was with HQ Co 7th. During the breach I was in the Tail Gunner Vehicle along with Gysgt. Raider, Sgt. Essig, and Lcpl Edwards. We provided security for the command echelon of Task Force Ripper. I will never forget the "false" chemical attack alarms. Would like to hear from any of these guys I just mentioned.

    • 47.1
      daniel bowles says:

      i was with tack force papa bear and i rember well abot the false chemical alarm and although i fill we maynot been hit direckly with chemical i do beleave the aera was contanated i was with Dco 1st tank Bn id like to here from anyone that was in our aera of operation wether it was with ripper or papa bear that migh had been in our units i work for the VA hospitel in ohio and i would like to here any or as meany reports as i can to us gulf war veterns i fill that theres alot of issiues that need to be address from our eara semper Fi marines Cpl Bowles D.M. Dco 1st tanks

      • 47.1.1
        Chris Chavez says:

        .i was with the Tail-gunner vehicle which was providing security for the Ripper command element (Col. Fulford)…i have also been suffering from the "fake" (i do not believe they were fake) gas alerts……..after almost 16 years of pain and suffering i was finally diagnosed with "Ankylosing Spondilitis" which according to my research it's correlated with the untested anthrax vaccine and exposure to "unknown" elements….i live almost symptom free today but i have to take some serious Medications ($1,500 a month) which in-turn suppress my immune system…it really sucks, because though i'm living without pain, i will probably die of an infection or cancer soon….i've submitted a claim to the VA but i was turned down…the VA is not there to help us BUT to discredit us…..Cpl Bowles, you are welcome to check my file out….thank you…

  48. 48
    HM3 W. KELLY VINSON AKA DOC WINGNUTT says:

    whats up MARINES! I was a doc with 3/7 H&S CO. I was also a good friend with porter. Hey was always smiling and always talking shit. I remember telling him before he got killed not to worry cause God protected and looked after the retarted. I was also friends with lane. I was lanes doc in India CO. I think of them and those days often. To all of 3/7's Docs and Marines I have never been prouder to serve with anyone more.

  49. 49
    Lcpl. Chavez (chris chavez) says:

    I was with HQ Co 7th/task force ripper….i want you to listen to the link of the song below. This was the theme song for Armed Forces Radio's news hour….

    for more than 20 years I searched for this song…. I would hear bits and pieces of it but no one could ever tell me the name of it…. today, I finally found it… listen to it…. it will take you back…. here it is:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKcGCObEb28

    i want to hear your comments if it has an effect on you….Semper Fi

  50. 50
    Randy Gray says:

    Served with 1/3 C Co, Task Force Taro and Task Force XRAY. Would like to hear from anybody about there time in the GULF WAR.

  51. 51
    gunz says:

    Hey who was with Hawaii Marines? 2/3 Bn CO Col Gaines SgtMaj Seamore

  52. 52
    Steven Tolliver says:

    I want to wish all of my former marine comrades a very Happy Easter today, and Im wishing you all many more years to celebrate the freedom that we who have earned the right to enjoy it. It is truly amazing to still be here on this earth 21 years and 2 months later after we all went thru our baptisms of fire, and still be here to recount our stories to our fellow brothers in arms. I have been out of the Corps since July 91, but I will never be able to forget my years in First Tank Battalion, Alpha company when it was at Camp Las Flores
    Camp Pendleton. We tankers enjoyed our lives, we enjoyed being in our vehicles, and most of us enjoyed the fact that we got to serve the Greatest nation on Earth. I will never forget when we deployed to Saudi Arabia, picked up our tanks in Al Jubail, and rolled out into that steamy sauna of a desert in what would turn out to be the opening moves in a combat deployment. Little did we know at that time that we would be the lead mine clearing detachment for Task Force Ripper that following February 1991.
    Ive become sort of an historian now in collecting things from our era, our time, our war; and I would like to hear from any Former devil doggs who are still affected by our deployment in any manner. Im writing my personal memoirs down for my children, so that when its my time to answer the bugle call; they will know that their dad served proudly in the fight against evil.
    Anyone from first Tank Battalion back at that time, I would love to hear from you. Especially from my old company, Alpha Company.

    Semper Fi Marines, and Happy Easter 2012

    • 52.1
      Samuel Pappalardo says:

      email me at rudeboypappy@hotmail.com or drop me a line at
      4226 SW 69th TER Gainesville, FL 32608

      • 52.1.1
        Samuel Pappalardo says:

        sorry bro forgot to add apt.B after the street address.

    • 52.2
      Eric Siaca says:

      I remember your name but cannot place the face, but I was Alpha 43 and was there with you guys in the breach, when Paul Young helped those other Marines and Troy Roles was on my crew ( comm guy) along with Doc Ivan Wright. Does any of that ring a bell?

      • 52.2.1
        Steven Tolliver says:

        Hey Eric!

        You were a SSG when I got out in July 91, its good to hear from you and Sammy. I have been trying for well over 15 years to get in touch with someone from the old Alpha Company, but very hard to do, no re-union sites, nothing. I have met some of the people in the new Alpha Company in Twentynine Palms back in 2008, but not the same. Those marines look like young teens now a days, Im wondering if we looked the same in our time.
        Did you retire? Its good to hear from you, and feel free if you would like to stay in contact by emailing me at :Steven.T.Tolliver@hotmail.com.

    • 52.3
      daniel bowles says:

      i wasnt with Aco 1st tanks but you all use to udp to camp swhab in okanawa japan on 6 Mo rotations but i was sent with Dco 1st tanks to the gulf from okanawa japan and became task forse papa bear i myself have been trying to locate some marines from our Bn and from delta Co. and i just happend to run across this websight doing research on the war and ite the closest i have came to finding anyone from our Bn or eara of i would love to here from you even though you was from Aco we still ate some of the same sand my E maile address is farmerdan29@yahoo.com and this is for any other marine from 1st tanks i also work for the VA hospitel in ohio and thats why im doing research on the gulf war Semper Fi Cpl bowles D.M

  53. 53
    Cpl Clark says:

    I was Maint. Chief for Cco 4th Plt, 3rdAABN. We carried Weapons Co. 3/9 into the battle. My Amtrac was disabled after another in my formation ran into a tank revetment (ditch). The Crew Chief/Section Leader that was in the first trapped vehicle pulled me out of the drivers seat (recovery & extraction was my specialty) told me to man the UpGun Turret and then put my track into a hard steer and threw track. Great job SSgt. now we have 2 Amtracs disabled. Not to mention we were seperated from our column. When a couple of Amtracs were sent back we had so little room inside that the other Marines from my vehicle and the first disabled Amtrac had to ride on the outsides of the tracs… In fact as we were getting out of Dodge, we heard banging on the sides of the Amtracs and realized that the Amtracs had pulled out without out perimeter guard. At that moment, I was in the back of Lcpl Pike's Amtrac and couldn't see a damn thing. We went back to the sight and recovered both vehicles. Amazingly nothing had been touched, mined, ravaged, etc… I manned the R7's M60E while senior maintenance Marines from Cco performed the recovery. Is there anyone out there that was part of this?

  54. 54
    Cpl Clark says:

    I was involved with Task Force Papa Bear.

  55. 55
    Cpl Cuelho says:

    I was with the AAV unit, vehicle commander of "wild thing" carrying part of the Mortar section. As I recall it was the 1st btn 8th marines attatched to the Sixth marine regiment. Night of the Reville engagement we ended up behind and to the right of Predator, the M1A1's call sign. I remember being woken up by my driver and when I stuck my head out of the turret hatch I recall seeing a enemy tank turret blowing up into the air, glowing red in the dark. Now as I heard it the next day when Predator was asked for ammo needs and vehicled killed he responded by "32 T-72's destroyed" and when asked how many round expended he said "32". So you tankers was it true?

    • 55.1
      lee fowble says:

      I can confirm that. My tank the Crusader, went 6 for 6 to start of the morning. Semper Fi

    • 55.2
      Carter Nelson says:

      I was the task force mine clearing asset. In the center of the coil. I remember seeing that enemy tank blown up. What happened right before it blew up is that the T72 shot it and the round bounced of the reactive armor. M1 then turned around and blew it to hell.

    • 55.3
      LCPL Nichols says:

      yes absolutely this was true. I was with 1st Bn 8th Marines Heavy Weapons ( Task Force Ripper) . Captain Michael " The Evil One" Etore . and we were in CAAT teams Gladiator and our sister Scrap Metal . LT Gailiai was just a boot then but he proved to be an awesome leader. SKI , Sgt Ward , PFC Tampoco , Cpl Davis the armor , Cpl Willie L Young my dawg , and the whole 1/8 crew , you know what we did . No question !!! Ripper .

  56. 56
    JR Pellegrino says:

    Helll, my father fought in the Gulf War he was in Task Force Ripper. His name is Jerry Pellegrino if anybody knows that name send me an email or reply to me please.

    • 56.1
      Martin Thomas says:

      I remember Lt. Pellegrino, Recon Platoon Leader, right? He was in 1st recon battalion (1/5) re-attached to Task Force Ripper….from Texas or Oklahoma?
      He was under Fulford at Company HQ. Saw heavy action at Al-Jaber

      I was SAT COMM operator at Division HQ, he was a great guy to deal with and always looking out for his men as was Lt. Stroble and double-bar Hughes. Hope he is doing well. I have had numerous health issues since due to all the "fake" gas alerts

      • 56.1.1
        Chris Chavez says:

        Just read your thread….i was with the Tail-gunner vehicle which was providing security for the Ripper command element (Col. Fulford)…i have also been suffering from the "fake" gas alerts……..after almost 16 years of pain and suffering i was finally diagnosed with "Ankylosing Spondilitis" which according to my research it's correlated with the untested anthrax vaccine and exposure to "unknown" elements….i live almost symptom free today but i have to take some serious Medications which in-turn suppress my immune system…it really sucks, because though i'm living without pain, i will probably die of an infection or cancer soon….i've submitted a claim to the VA but i was turned down…the VA is not there to help us BUT to dicredit us…

        Anyway, I would like to hear what kind of symptoms you have…if you would like to share -of course…

        Cpl. Chavez (HQ Co 7th Marines)

        ________________________________________

      • 56.1.2
        Sgt. Willy Johnson says:

        Excuse me for correction Martin Thomas, Lt. Pellegrino was not at Al-Jaber. Our recon platoon was in on assault on Kuwaiti International Airport. There we saw the heavy action but the day before the assault on KIA, the 25th, doing our end run to cut off the Iraqi armored counterattack and right before our counterattack. We cut off their advance and bought time As I mentioned Fulford was mad as Hell for us moving out and charging in the way we did. He went right to Boomer and complained about Lt. Pellegrino, thought we were tryin to "steal his thunder". If we didn't cut them off and delayed them it could have been much worse, who knows?

        Semper Fi

        Willy Johnson

      • 56.1.3
        Stuart Purcell says:

        Martin,

        You don't know me and this may seem like a strange email…I am trying to locate someone named Marty Thomas that served as a Marine in the Gulf War. I heard a strory yesterday from one of the senior leadership team at my place of work regarding a Marty Thomas. The story involved a tooth and a fighter pilot, the tooth being given to the pilot to ensure the pilot came back to the base safely. Does this story mean anything to you? Could you be the Marty he was referring to? If so, can you share more with me about this expereince?

        Thanks,

        Stuart Purcell

      • 56.1.4
        Stuart Purcell says:

        Hi Martin,

        Did you know a John Marion from the Gulf War?

    • 56.2
      Ben Gonzalez says:

      Just saw your thread. I remember your father, Lt. Jerry Pellegrino. I was an Intelligence Specialist connected to TF Ripper command element. We used to call him "Rangefinder" as he was able to do ascertain calculations in his head without tools and would reply without hesitation. Very competent Weapons Platoon leader. He was from Texas and New York if I remember right. Lt. Hughes was from Oklahoma I think

      He is OK I hope??!! –He was younger than most of the other officers.

      —Cpl, Chavez, I have had various breathing problems, teeth decaying rapidly, sensitivity to light…VA says it is "un-related to miltary service" NO surprise there

      MSGT. Gonzalez (MCIC 5th Marines)

  57. 57
    JR Pellegrino says:

    Yes my father is doing well, and if he did can you guys tell me if we received any medals for valor or something or a purple heart I've never seen his medals I just know he was there cause I asked. So I'd like to know if we was ever wounded, any medals or anything much appreciated.

    • 57.1
      Ben Gonzalez says:

      JR, that whole day was a clusterf*ck..with the mass surrenders of iraqis, NO ONE expected the armored counterattack. I know there were various scrapes and bruises, think Lt. Pellegrino caught shrapnel in the knee, as did many others with some deep scratches. Delayed them long enough for us to bring our LAV-25's up and then the gunships to finish them off. Whole skirmish was under much scrutiny and criticism, and alot of good men got sh*t on for not being "part of the plan". I was part of S-2, so I was privy to the rubbish and in-fighting that went on. If there were no medal conferred, they DAMN well SHOULD HAVE
      Willy Johnson, I remember the Recon Platoon's (the "bastard platoon's)razor run, and how Fulford, Myatt and a few exploded. I always, to this day defend what you guys did. Rather than "put lives in danger through recklessness" you guys made a field call and could very well have turned out to be the right one. As I told JR, it is so political, especially back then, as so many people wanted to get their credit in before hostilities were . With some it is so easy to forget we were all on same team

      Semper Fi.,

      MSGT. Gonzalez (MCIC 5th Marines)

      • 57.1.1
        Chris Chavez says:

        Hey Sgt. Gonzalez, I'm sorry for the late reply…but your condition sounds like an auto-immune disease issue…good luck getting treatment…currently i'm taking a medication called "embrel" ($1,500 a month)…but im able to live a somewhat normal life…

        Semper Fi

      • 57.1.2
        Chris Chavez says:

        *Msgt Gonzalez

  58. 58
    JR Pellegrino says:

    Thank you for the information, I'm just trying to find out stuff about him so if any of you can tell me anything about him that wasn't already mentioned such as medals, actions wounds or valor that would be great.

  59. 59
    JR Pellegrino says:

    Thank you guys for the info, if anybody knows anything else, like how he was during combat, confirmed enemy kills, or medals that would be great.

    • 59.1
      Ben Gonzalez says:

      Any officer out there was competent and as a United Marine Corps Officer your training dictates your actions. I do know Lt Pellegrino, Lt. Stroble, and Captain Hughes all had the safety of their men and the integrity of their mission as their priority concerns.
      DOD debriefing obligations, (especially for O-1 and above) prevent discussion on a variety of subjects, especially in regard to combat operations. As I said above, it was a mess out there, and heroic actions perhaps might have been looked upon unfavorably by simply not following military protocol. Don't you think this is asking too many sensitive questions about honorable men, who performed honorably, on a public forum thread?

    • 59.2
      Sgt. Willy Johnson says:

      Thanks for the accolades Ben Gonzalez, events do not always turn out the way we want them to. Being MCIC, I guess you do have a clearer picture. Whole thing afterwards in my opinion, was a crock, we did what we had to do, as NO ONE expected the Iraqi counterattack. I know, I was THERE. I could say more but will not on this public thread —-he showed conspicuous bravery under fire kid, and all of us would have followed him anywhere. He was first one in and last one out. You should be proud of, a decent man who in all the time I served under him, tried to always do the right thing and took care of ALL of us. Not to mention one tough SOB with a heart of gold. MCIC Gonzalez is correct though, a public forum is NOT the place to discuss these sensitive points

      Semper Fi,

      Willy Johnson

  60. 60
    Former Sgt E-5 Russell A. Rulau says:

    I served under Major General John H. Admire when he was a Colonel at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and at Camp Geiger during the early 70s. I am not surprised to find that he was an important part of the operation. He was always an impressive officer and a good man during the time I served under him. Semper Fidelis to all Marines.

  61. 61
    Andra Britt says:

    I meant 5 ton truck. He I believe was the 2nd marine killed from 1st CEB in the gulf. Thomas Jenkins was the 1st killed by friendly fire from an A10. RIP brothers and thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice. I remember you. Semper fi fellow task force ripper marines and sailors.

  62. 62
    Jason Blackwood says:

    Are there any Marines here that might remember being outside of the airport on a slight hill with PLRS plt when the call for gas was given and we all took shelter in one of our master stations? I don't remember much about that day only that something exploded, the ground buckled prior to the call for gas.

  63. 63
    cpl lawless 1stbtn25thmaines taskforce taro says:

    how many marines did not use mop gear and are having effects to this day ?

  64. 64
    LCPL Kopel James L says:

    1/7 Marines Weapons Co. Heavey Guns CAAT 1.. Task Force Ripper.

    My team was the best. jimkopel@yahoo.com

  65. 65
    James Ross says:

    Doc, I was an augmentee with 3/7 Lima then Weapons Co. In Oki for 2 weeks before the Bn left for Saudi. Do you remember the Doc that tried to say he used his morphine but they ended up finding them in his MRE's after searching his things. That was my first time serving with my Marine brothers and retired in 08 after many more tours with my brothers in 2 MarDiv. I wish I remembered guys names. I remember Lcpl Lowrey.

  66. 66
    Rob Cromack says:

    I was on gun 5 alpha 1/11 section chief I believe was sgt. Mallory. I remember gun 1 direct firing into an area that was tree lined or covered, a bit fuzzy on that. I remember smith \smitty\ was a-gunner. I think he received a meritorious citation. I got out in 94'.

    Cpl Cromack, Robert 90-94

  67. 67
    Rob Cromack says:

    I was on gun 5 and remember the cobras firing overhead. Weren't they firing mortars at us. It's been a long time a little hazy on that. I have some pictures of that day. My section chief was sgt Mallory. I also got out in 94'

    Cpl Robert Cromack 90-94

  68. 68
    Cpl Myovich says:

    I was with 1/5 Bravo Co \Task Force Ripper\
    after many months of not doing much from August 1990 we rolled through the dreaded Mine Fields and thanks to the combat engineers it was realitively easy. except for one day not sure if it was the first day or not we encountered incoming artellery, it appeared to me that it was just the three squads from 1st platoon in three amracks. many of the Marines did not realize we were actually under attack. i remember hearing on the radio inside the track before we jumped out that T-72's were approaching. Our Lieutenant (cant beleive i cant remember his name) Yelled \HEY Y'ALL THATS REAL FU$#@ING ARTELLERY YOU BETTER START DIGGING WE ARE ALONE.\ about the time he said that i saw the most awesome sight in the world, i believe it was 6 Cobra gunships on line coming up on our ass and as they flew past our position, all hell literally broke loose and hellfire missles began blazing away. im assuming they took care of business no more artellery. and i later heard about 30 T-72 tanks were destroyed with the help of M1A1 tanks ofcourse.
    i later read from the TF Ripper Command Chronology
    The U.S. Marines from Task Force Ripper had driven about one hundred miles in one hundred hours, defeated seven Iraqi divisions, destroyed 1,040 tanks, 608 armored vehicles, and 432 artillery pieces, and taken 22,308 prisoners — at the cost of five killed and forty-eight wounded. At a February 27 press briefing in Riyadh, Schwarzkopf praised the marines: 'It was a classic, absolutely classic\

  69. 69
    Paul says:

    I was an Assault Gunner with C. Co. 1/6 Semper Fi Brothers!
    Cpl. Paul G. Markel

  70. 70
    Carlos Madrid says:

    Remembering the fallen from 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division during Task Force Ripper & Papa Bear this Memorial Day. Semper Fi my Brothers, and thank you to all who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their Country.

  71. 71
    Rob Jackson says:

    A dedicated website is being built to honor the 109 Marines from Bravo Company 4th Tank Battalion – 1991. By all research the \Reveille Engagement\ is the biggest and fastest tank battle in Marine Corps history.

    • 71.1
      Lee Fowble says:

      About time. The Corps has always been getting the short end. Let me know if I can help out.

  72. 72
    Steve Mangan says:

    G Men – 2nd Batt / 3rd Mar Div – Semper Fi Marines. Steven.mangan@yahoo.com / in TX.

  73. 73
    Doug Miller says:

    I was with 7th Marine TOW Platoon. Our Lt. had us formed in a pattern he called \77\ if I remember correctly. We spent a lot of our time at the tip of Task Force Ripper and were some of the first to shoot through the mine fields after they had been breached. I remember sitting still at one point as the Iraqi's artillery fire was landing uselessly around us thinking that war was a bit surreal. I also remember that first day getting to our 4 day objective in about 4 hours. Our 3 sections of TOWs along with the Heavy Gunner's that were assigned to us were some of the first if not the first to reach Kuwait city. Our Lt. looked like Howard the Duck and received the Silver Star for his tactics and our part in the war… but I can't remember his name…

    Life long friends Upshaw, Korpella, Rodenbaugh, Jones… Semper Fi Gentlemen – 7th Marines Tow Platoon

    • 73.1
      Cpl Myovich says:

      I was with 1/5 bravo Co. Cpl Myovich, I too was with Task Force Ripper. I remember the Artilery coming very close. I can't remember my Lt name either but his quote "that's real f-ing Artilery Marines you better start digging in".
      I thought it was cool that the Lt you refer to got the silver star but wondered why, it's was the grunts that did the work. Wish I could help with the name. Maybe it's "gulf war syndrome" that took my memory ha

  74. 74
    cpl lawless 1stbtn25th taskforce taro says:

    Looking for any vets from 1 from new england also gunny ward ? call me any time (508)520-4818, where are you?

  75. 75
    Gabriel Ramirez says:

    I was wifh 3/7 k co when you was there sir. I was with 3rd plt as a saw gunner. I remember the crazy hike from saudi to kuwauit. I was one of the 14 who got injured when we reached Al jaber airport and bwe got hit with endirect mortar rounds. My fellow grunts called me Lifer cause I loved the Corps so much. I still remember when our 2 Marines Lane and Porter. I think I had met Porter at one moment back then. BUT WE will never forget them. SEMPER FI Never forget those left behind..fight.fight.fight..God blesss you Sir and thank you for serving along side with our war dogs of 3rd Bn 7th Marines.,Ssgt.Ramirez..Lifer USMC 0311

  76. 76
    Jeff Fry says:

    I (Sgt Fry ) was with C co 3rd CEB attached to 6th Marines Task Force Alpha, we lost a tank due to a mine, We first received incoming sporadic mortars just right before we went into our breach. It was kind of funny to see alot of Brass running around a HMMV to get the hell out of there before they got hit. , We breached around the disable tank.
    Afterwards inbetween mine belts myself and Cpl Bowers laught our heads off everytime incoming rounds came in. Our 1st Sgt ( 1st Sgt Lee) always yelling at us to knock it off.

  77. 77
    Erik Lund says:

    I (Lcpl Lund) was with 3rd CEB H.E. attached to 1st CEB H.E, I was on the marking team for the mine field and saw that tank when it got hit (I was about 200 yards away), a Hummer came by with packs on its sides, dude was to close to me, knocked me into the burm where the mines had been plowed into, at that same time a line charge went off, B O O M, thought I was done. One of those mortars came within 15 yards of our Hummer (I was up on top on an M-60), short whistle and big BOOM, 5 other Marines inside, I ducked under and started laughing, and said we could have been that 10 foot hole in the ground. When the rounds were comming intowards us, it was like they were shooting without aiming (thank God).



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