Skip to comments.Marines find bodies of four American soldiers
Posted on 03/28/2003 11:04:35 PM PST by SlickWillard
March 29, 2003, 12:21AM
WITH V CORPS HEADQUARTERS NEAR THE KUWAIT BORDER -- The bodies of four American soldiers were found by Marines on Friday in a shallow grave in the battle-worn town of Nasiriyah, near the Euphrates River.
U.S. Military officials said they believe the four were executed by Iraqi paramilitary forces after being seized in an ambush on Sunday.
Military officials declined to speculate as to whether the four were among those who were shown alive by the Arab television network last weekend. The military had heard reports that the soldiers were executed after they were shown on the Arab network, but there was no confirmation.
On Friday, a Marine unit found the four bodies in a freshly dug grave near a house in the northeast corner of the town of al-Jazeera. An Army official said the four bodies were clothed in U.S. military uniforms.
Today, the military were flying in a forensic team, military investigators and a member of the V Corps Staff Judge Advocate's office to the site. Officers said that the military was tentatively treating the deaths as a war crime.
The soldiers seized in the ambush have been listed as missing in action. The 507th Maintenance Co. is attached to the 3rd Infantry Division.
Officers of V Corps said the names of the dead would be released after their families were notified.
The ambush occurred in Nasiriyah, in southeastern Iraq.
According to Army officers, soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Unit were traveling on Highway 1, a main north-south artery, in darkness in a convoy of six vehicles. The unit was en route to supply an antiaircraft battery.
The convoy made a wrong turn, mistakenly leaving Highway 1. Officials said they believed that as the Americans realized their mistake, they turned around and quickly encountered two Iraqi T-55 tanks and an advancing Iraqi military unit. The soldiers came under rocket and small-arms fire.
In the fight that followed, the first of the two cars, a Humvee, the standard Army vehicle and a tool truck, were separated from the other four. An Army captain in the Humvee -- the senior officer -- drove the vehicle carrying wounded soldiers through the gunfire. According to one account, the officer drove nearly four miles before being forced to stop because his tires had been crippled by gunshots.
The officer sought to change the tires of the Humvee, when an American Marine unit on patrol saw him and the soldiers in his vehicle, officers said. The Marines called in a helicopter, which evacuated the officer and his wounded soldiers. Some were seriously wounded, one of them shot in the jaw.
The Marines resumed their patrol in search of the Fedayeen, the paramilitary force. Within minutes, they came upon two American vehicles, damaged by bullets. Two other vehicles were burning. No Americans were in sight.
Hours later, grim photos of American soldiers were shown on the Arab network al-Jazeera. Some appeared to have been executed, with bullet wounds to the head. The uniforms of others were stained with blood.
Within 24 hours, the Army was hearing reports that some of the soldiers had been executed.
Actually, there is a long history of women participating in combat, whether disguised as men, in siege situations, or taking on a male role, while carrying out a female role on the battlefield. There was apparently nothing unusual about Molly Pitcher bring water to soldiers under fire, even before she took her husbands spot on the cannon, after he collapsed.
Night all...you know where I stand, on dealing
with these freaks...they know one type of speech.
Eye for an eye...
Well, the British in the 1770's weren't the Saddam Fedayeen.
They didn't commit the kind of atrocities these people are committing; in fact, they probably directed fire AWAY from Molly Pitcher,
Doubtful that the British knew they she was there. I note that Margaret Corbin, another woman who took over at a cannon for her fallen husband, was wounded at the Battle of Fort Washington.
In any case, in 1720, the British would have hung pirates Mary Read and Anne Bonney, except they were pregnant. I doubt the British had any compunction about killing woman, who happened to be in combat.
Indeed, doing a little research just now, I found that a number of woman fought the British and were killed by them in the Wexford Rising of 1798.
Bracketing a willingness by the British to kill woman in 1720 and 1798, I doubt that they would have had any compunction against killing Molly Pitcher.
NBC: Bloodied female military uniforms discovered
March 28 -- U.S. Marines now control a hospital where they say they found bloodied U.S. uniforms. NBC's Kerry Sanders reports.
NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES
AN NASIRIYAH, March 28 U.S. Marines who secured a hospital that had been used by Iraqi forces later found several bloodied U.S. uniforms worn by female soldiers, NBCs Kerry Sanders reported Friday from the hospital. The find suggested that Iraq had held several POWs at the hospital, which is in An Nasiriyah, a town where at least five Americans were taken prisoner in an attack that killed two other soldiers and left eight missing.
SANDERS WAS shown where the uniforms were found inside the bathroom of a larger room that had been padlocked. It was the same room where 3,000 nuclear, biological and chemical suits were found when the Marines moved in.
The uniforms, which had had their American flag patches and names ripped off, were found inside a bag.
In another room, Marines found a large battery next to a bed leading them to suspect it was used as a torture device, Sanders reported.
The hospital was taken by the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, after a fierce battle with Iraqi forces there. Sanders, who has been traveling with the battalion, was shown the room by a Marine who identified the uniforms as those worn by servicewomen. It was not clear what distinguished them from those worn by men.
One female U.S. soldier is listed as a prisoner of war and two as missing in action. They were part of an Army maintenance convoy attacked by Iraqis after making a wrong turn in An Nasiriyah on Sunday. In that incident, two U.S. soldiers were killed, five are known to have been taken prisoner and eight are listed as missing in action.
The known female POW is Spc. Shoshawna Johnson, 30, of Fort Bliss, Texas. The female soldiers listed as missing are: Pfc. Jessica Lynch, 19, of Palestine, W.Va.; and Pfc. Lori Piestewa, 22, of Tuba City, Ariz.
All told, U.S. military officials believe Iraq has captured at least seven U.S. service members. Army Chief Warrant Officer Ron Young, 27, of Lithia Springs, Ga., and Chief Warrant Officer David Williams, 30, from Orlando, Fla., were taken prisoner after their AH-64 Apache helicopter went down later Sunday near the central Iraqi city of Karbala amid heavy fighting. Both were attached to the Fourth Brigade 227th regiment of the First Cavalry, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.
On Wednesday, the Pentagons No. 2 general accused Iraq of executing some prisoners of war. Iraq later denied the allegation.
Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, apparently was referring to some of the maintenance troops taken prisoner. Iraqi state television showed video footage of five POWs who were alive and the bodies of at least five U.S. soldiers.
Defense officials who have viewed the tape have said privately that several of the bodies had execution-style gunshot wounds to their heads.
On Thursday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that other Iraqi TV footage appeared to show two British soldiers who had been executed. It is an act of cruelty beyond all human comprehension, the prime minister said at a news conference with President Bush after their summit at Camp David.
U.S. intelligence officials have received one uncorroborated report indicating that at least some of the dead soldiers had been captured alive and executed in public, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The information was of undetermined reliability, the official said.
Pace, interviewed on CNNs Larry King Live, said Iraqis had engaged in many atrocities since the war began.
They have executed prisoners of war. ... They have used women and children as human shields, and they have pretended to surrender and then opened fire, Pace said. Ive never seen anything like this. Its disgusting.
RED CROSS SEEKS ACCESS
The International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday said it was still trying to obtain access to all POWs held by Iraq.
All seven U.S. POWs were questioned in front of Iraqi video cameras, and the tapes were later played on Iraqi television which U.S. officials say violated Geneva Convention prohibitions on subjecting POWs to public humiliation.
The other maintenance soldiers listed as POWs are:
Spc. Joseph Hudson, 23, of Alamogordo, N.M.;
Pfc. Patrick Miller, 23, of Park City, Kan.;
Edgar Hernandez, 21, supply truck driver, of Mission, Texas, rank unknown; and
Sgt. James Riley, 31, of Pennsauken, N.J.
The soldiers are part of the 507th Maintenance Company at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Soviet Army, WW2, which perhaps is not a society to emulate. Israeli Army 1948-Present, though more so, in the earlier days, which perhaps is a society to emulate. Both of those societies were desperately trying to survive, which may be why women were allowed in combat. Apparently, though, it worked, considering both survived.
I don't expect there to ever be equal numbers of women and men in combat. However, those who are capable of living up to the necessary standards of ability should allowed to.
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