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23 October, 1983. Some people you should remember.

Yesterday my son got married.  So I'm a little behind on posting. I've got two Medal of Honor posts to finish up.   

But I'm enough behind that I got a note from a reader named Steve:
I am kind of surprised to see that not one of the blogs I frequent took
note of the fact that 26 years ago today 241 of my fellow Marines and
Sailors were killed in their sleep by terrorists in Beirut. Several of the
were men I knew and had served with.

Could you kindly hook them up? They deserve to be remembered too.
 

This kind of note to me is *always* in order, by the way. Don't be shy. 


26 years ago today - arguably the first mass casualty event in the Long War was the suicide bombing that killed and wounded the Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers at the Marine Barracks in Beirut.

Smoke and dust rise from the bombed Marine Barracks at the Beirut International Airport, October 23, 1983.  The mushroom cloud probably still makes Ahmadinejad all funny in his pants and fires his dreams. 


Abbott, Terry W
Alexander, Clemon S
Allman, John R
Arnold, Moses J Jr
Bailey, Charles K
Baker, Nicholas
Banks, Johansen
Barrett, Richard E
Bates, Ronny K
Battle, David L
Baynard, James R
Beamon, Jesse W
Belmer, Alvin
Bland, Stephen
Blankenship, Richard L
Blocker, John W
Boccia, Joseph J Jr
Bohannon, Leon Jr
Bohnet, John R Jr
Bonk, John J Jr
Boulos, Jeffrey L
Bousum, David R
Boyett, John N
Brown, Anthony
Brown, David W
Buchanan, Bobby S Jr
Buckmaster, John B
Burley, William F
Cain, Jimmy R
Callahan, Paul L
Camara, Mecot E
Campus, Bradley J
Ceasar, Johnnie D
Cole, Marc L
Coleman, Marcus A
Comas, Juan M
Conley, Robert A
Cook, Charles D
Cooper, Curtis J
Copeland, Johnny L
Corcoran, Bert D
Cosner, David L
Coulman, Kevin P
Croft, Brett A
Crudale, Rick R
Custard, Kevin P
Cyzick, Russell E
Davis, Andrew L
Decker, Sidney James
Devlin, Michael J
Dibenedetto, Thomas A
Dorsey, Nathaniel G
Douglass, Frederick B
Dunnigan, Timothy J
Earle, Bryan L
Edwards, Roy L
Elliot, William D Jr
Ellison, Jesse
Estes, Danny R
Estler, Sean F
Faulk, James E
Fluegel, Richard A
Forrester, Steven M
Foster, William B Jr
Fulcher, Michael D
Fuller, Benjamin E
Fulton, Michael S
Gaines, William Jr
Gallagher, Sean R
Gander, David B
Gangur, George M
Gann, Leland E
Garcia, Randall J
Garcia, Ronald J
Gay, David D
Ghumm, Harold D
Gibbs, Warner Jr
Giblin, Timothy R
Gorchinski, Michael W
Gordon, Richard J
Gratton, Harold F
Greaser, Robert B
Green, Davin M
Hairston, Thomas A
Haltiwanger, Freddie Jr
Hamilton, Virgil D
Hanton, Gilbert
Hart, William
Haskell, Michael S
Hastings, Michael A
Hein, Paul A
Held, Douglas E
Helms, Mark A
Henderson, Ferrandy D
Hernandez, Matilde Jr
Hester, Stanley G
Hildreth, Donald W
Holberton, Richard H
Holland, Robert S
Hollingshead, Bruce A
Holmes, Melvin D
Howard, Bruce L
Hudson, John R
Hudson, Terry L
Hue, Lyndon J
Hukill, Maurice E
Iacovino, Edward F Jr
Ingalls, John J
Innocenzi, Paul G III
Jackowski, James J
James, Jeffrey W
Jenkins, Nathaniel W
Johnson, Michael H
Johnston, Edward A
Jones, Steven
Julian, Thomas A
Kees, Marion E
Keown, Thomas C
Kimm, Edward E
Kingsley, Walter V
Kluck, Daniel S
Knipple, James C
Kreischer, Freas H III
Laise, Keith J
Lamb, Thomas G
Langon, James J IV
Lariviere, Michael S
Lariviere, Steven B
Lemnah, Richard L
Lewis, David A
Lewis, Val S
Livingston, Joseph R
Lyon, Paul D Jr
Macroglou, John W
Maitland, Samuel
Martin, Charlie R
Martin, Jack L
Massa, David S
Massman, Michael R
Mattacchione, Joseph J
McCall, John
McDonough, James E
McMahon, Timothy R
McNeely, Timothy D
McVicker, George N II
Melendez, Louis
Menkins, Richard H II
Mercer, Michael D
Meurer, Ronald W
Milano, Joseph P
Moore, Joseph P
Morrow, Richard A
Muffler, John F
Munoz, Alex
Myers, Harry D
Nairn, David J
Nava, Luis A
Olson, John A
Olson, Robert P
Ortiz, Richard C
Owen, Jeffrey B
Owens, Joseph A
Page, Connie Ray
Parker, Ulysses
Payne, Mark W
Pearson, John L
Perron, Thomas S
Phillips, John A Jr
Piercy, George W
Plymel, Clyde W
Pollard, William H
Pomalestorres, Rafael I
Prevatt, Victor M
Price, James C
Prindeville, Patrick K
Pulliam, Eric A
Quirante, Diomedes J
Randolph, David M
Ray, Charles R
Relvas, Rui A
Rich, Terrence L
Richardson, Warren
Rodriguez, Juan C
Rotondo, Louis J
Sanpedro, Guillermo Jr
Sauls, Michael C
Schnorf, Charles J
Schultz, Scott L
Scialabba, Peter J
Scott, Gary R
Shallo, Ronald L
Shipp, Thomas A
Shropshire, Jerryl D
Silvia, James F
Sliwinski, Stanley J
Smith, Kirk H
Smith, Thomas G
Smith, Vincent L
Soares, Edward
Sommerhof, William S
Spaulding, Michael C
Spearing, John W
Spencer, Stephen E
Stelpflug, Bill J
Stephens, Horace R
Stockton, Craig S
Stokes, Jeffrey G
Stowe, Thomas D
Sturghill, Eric D
Sundar, Devon L
Surch, James F Jr
Thompson, Dennis A
Thorstad, Thomas P
Tingley, Stephen D
Tishmack, John J
Trahan, Lex D
Vallone, Donald H Jr
Walker, Eric R
Walker, Leonard W
Washington, Eric G
Weekes, Obrian
Wells, Tandy W
Wentworth, Steven B
Wesley, Allen D
West, Lloyd D
Weyl, John R
Wherland, Burton D Jr
Wigglesworth, Dwayne W
Williams, Rodney J
Williams, Scipio Jr
Williamson, Johnny A
Wint, Walter E Jr
Winter, William E
Wolfe, John E
Woollett, Donald E
Worley, David E
Wyche, Craig L
Yarber, James G
Young, Jeffrey D
Zimmerman, William A
 
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I would be remiss to forget to mention that 58 French soldiers died that day, too.


Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.
 
Photo by Ron Williams.

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23 Oct 83 from This ain't Hell, but you can see it from here on October 23, 2009 2:00 PM

The Armorer reminds us of the date and the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut. He also lists the casualties from that day. Their webpage at Arlington Cemetary. MaryAnn at Soldiers’ Angels Germany blog reminds us that They Came in Peace. Camp... Read More

13 Comments

I remember the sergeant marching us to class that day told us to stand a little taller, because over 200 good men died for us, and we needed to do right by them.  Thanks, for the post, John.  And thanks for the reminder, Steve.  It starts to all run together over the years, but it's important to remember.
 

I was on Mid-watch that night, when all the alarms, bells and whistles started sounding all over the Embassy.  I called in the alert team and after a few minutes, one of the commo techs came downstairs and told me what had happened.

Using my initiative as a young Marine NCO, I promptly marched up to the Ambassadors balcony and raised our Flag to half-mast.  Yeah, I jumped the gun, but I made a command decision to do it.

What really irks me about this murder of my fellow Marines, was that NO ONE was ever held accountable.  Not one of the State Dept weenies and/or military officers  whose idiotic ROE and failure to complete security barriers ever suffered a whit as far as I can tell.

Foolish as the policy on being in Lebanon was in the first place, IMHO, it was criminal negligence that directly resulted in the deaths of my fellow Marines and our Corpsmen.

Where was and is the accountability?

And yes, the same can be said for what is currently happening in Afghanistan.
 
Steve,

Don't miss UltimaRatioReg's post at the US Naval Institute blog

"23 October 1983; A Blast that Still Echoes"

http://blog.usni.org/?p=4819
 
I was only 13 at the time.  I remember seeing it on the news.  I remember the beginning of this Long War.  The bombing of the Marine Barracks, the kidnappings of people like Terry Anderson with them disappearing into the Middle East, the American Embassy in Tehran being overrun.  I hope I live long enough to see the end of it, with us - The Good Guys - as the victor...
 
As far as I remember, there was no gloating on the Soviet news... the regular folks were upset... one of the reasons for such upset, though, was the speculation that the States were going to pound hard on whoever did this and we would have to send our boys to help some arab country in the region...
 
I was in Japan when this happened. We were gearing up for a deployment to Korea because the Norks were acting up. There was much "traffic" generated that tended to point to some synchronization between the two.

I remember the rage that went through us all when word came down. There was much motivation to do exactly what Olga and her people feared, either at the direct cause or at their buddies in Norkland. 
 
Just damn, I forgot this year. I completely forgot. It's mortifying because Jesse Beamon is from my home town. Went to my church even though I can't say that I really knew him. I was just 16 and the attack made a huge impression on me. It didn't just affect me at the time, it forever influenced my view of the Middle East.

Forgetting this day has never happened before and I'll make damned sure it never happens again. Thanks for the keeping their memories alive.
 

Thank you for the reminder, John.

And congrats on the new official daughter-in-law!

 
 afsis - thanks for the congrats - Ashley, or Ashes, as her friends call her, is a wonderful young woman, full of humour and life and an amazing mother.  She makes our son, Andy, very happy, and he loves her deeply enough that he showers kisses and hugs on her in public.

I approve!
 
Oh, forgot!

Happy Congratulations on the marriage to everyone involved!
 
:'( RIP to those lost
 
I seem to recall learning about this while reading my morning Stars and Stripes in the cafeteria at Pinder, having just returned from an October Graf, but I could be mistaken.

The thing that angers me the most is that Iran and Syria have NEVER really been held to account for their part in the bombing, and we continue to let Iran kill Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan while letting them divert our attention from their WMD program with their hudnal circle jerk of "negotiations".
 
I've stood in front of the Beruit Memorial at the gate to Camp Johnson many times.  I try to make a point to pay my respects every time I go out to visit the son (now son and dil) at Camp Lejeune.

Sleep well, brave ones.   Semper Fi.