29th anniversary of the attack on Beirut Marine barracks

| October 23, 2012

Twenty-nine years ago today, 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers, were killed and sixty Americans were injured when a truck bomb disguised as a water truck penetrated superficial security at the Marine barracks in Beirut with about 12,000 pounds of explosives. Two minutes later, French barracks were struck resulting in in the deaths of 58 paratroopers from the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment and 15 others were injured. They were Multinational peacekeeping forces that had been in Beirut since the year before when Israeli forces drove Palestinians from it’s frontier with Lebanon.

On February 7, 1984, President Reagan ordered the withdrawal of US forces from Lebanon after some light shelling of suspected Shia positions and some brief French air attacks in the Bekkaa Valley. A raid on a camp where Iranian Revolutionary Guards were believed to be training Shia jhadists was called off by President Reagan because little evidence existed at the time that Iran was involved in the bombing.

The weak responses to the bombing by the US are believed to have emboldened jihadists around the world and contributed to the rise of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed extremists in Lebanon. Iran has since admitted it’s participation to the attack.

Michelle Malkin lists the casualties.

Category: Terror War

Comments (9)

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  1. Lucky says:

    My Father was the Watch Officer for FMF PAC, sitting in the S2 and taking the reports as they came in that day. I talked to him about it his morning, and he recalled, that his new wife, my Mom, was extremely calm, but he was very pissed and knew a few guys in 1/8, including the S2. I asked him what he thought and his response was “I’m glad Imad Mugnyia is fucking dead.”

  2. Hondo says:

    I remember that well. It happened just before I flew to St Louis to PCS to Korea – either the same day or the day before, as I recall.

    Grenada happened 2 days later – while I was still in St Louis waiting for a flight.

    The Beirut bombing happened 2 weeks to the day after the Rangoon bombing, where North Korea attempted to assassinate the South Korean president. They succeeded in killing a number of senior members of the South Korean government.

    Three weeks to the day after Beirut, President Reagan visited the Korean DMZ. I was on-duty in a facility about a mile away at the time.

    Interesting times, indeed. In both the Western and Oriental sense of the term.

    Rest in peace, my brothers in arms.

  3. Twist says:

    I was 8 years old when this happened. My teacher took us all into the auditoriam/reading area so we could all watch the news reports on it.

  4. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    I was standing watch on Pier #1, Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island in the early morning hours. A thick fog blanked the entire Narragansett Bay.

    As the sole sentry for COMNAVSURFGRU FOUR, I was listening to WCBS News Radio 880 out of NYC. The news came over and I new it was important. I woke up the CDO who was just a few yards away crashed out on the duty bunk.

    It was very sad news for many in Newport as two ships from Newport aided in the evacuation one year earlier. As we did onboard the USS Valdez (FF-1096), our small boats (Captain’s Gig and Motor Whale Boat) and along with our helo were used to evacuate America’s and allies from the beach in Beruit. Evacuted personnel were brought to Cyprus.

    MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) said in interview about Valdez: “I was onboard Valdez from 1980 to May 1983, we completed the famed 1980 North Atlantic Cruise, Teamwork 80, the Soviets bordered Poland and mobilize their fleet and the 1982 Med. 20 knots + from Persian Gulf through the Suez Canal to get back to Lebanon. Remember watching Beirut burn at night. Valdez was a good ship.”

    It was the unofficial beginning of a new fight!

  5. DefendUSA says:

    I was standing up and swearing in…One of my friends went to Granada on that day. I actually had a panicked moment and called Ft. Bragg and get the skinny…no dice, of course. 3 weeks later, said friend pulled rank on me as he drove in to Echo Company at Ft. Jackson while I was on KP…Parade rest, and my buddy, “Damn you lost weight (6 pounds)from 110 4’11 frame)holy shit, you look tired…” Gotta love it. We said a prayer after he at eased my trainee ass and off he went…

  6. 1stCavRVN11B says:

    Lafayette, Louisiana

    Councilman Don Bertrand is honoring the late Lex D. Trahan by having a street named after him at the 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8 City-Parish Council meeting.
    Lex D. Trahan is the late son of Shirley and Percy “Blackie” Trahan who was a young Marine killed in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.
    Lex was a Lafayette resident whose family home is on Beadle Road, right behind Fresh Pickins on Kaliste Saloom Road. There is an un-named street in between Beadle Road and Cobblestone that Councilman Bertrand had named for Lex. It will now be the Lex D. Trahan Lane.
    This is in very close proximity to Veterans Park.
    If you are ever in the vicinity of Fresh Pickins, look at the house directly behind it on S. Beadle Road, and there you will see a United States flag that flies everyday in front of the Trahan home in honor of their late son.

    Please join your comrades in honoring the late Lcpl Lex D. Trahan.

    Event info:
    In honor of Lcpl Lex D. Trahan
    Lafayette City-Parish Council meeting
    5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013
    City Hall at 705 W. University in the Auditorium

  7. BeirutGator1196 says:

    I was in my rack, just before reveille. The ship went to GQ immediately after the blast. 20 minutes later, I was on a 46 with 19 Shipmates, heading to the site. It was brutal.

    Worst two days of my life. Hearing shots and wondering if the next one had my name on it was the scariest part.