Posted 10 July 2003 - 04:13 PM
The part of the report I was most shocked by was the description of the soldiers' M16s jamming from desert conditions and improper maintenance.
The unit's 18-vehicle convoy had broken into three clusters as the unit retraced its route. "Most soldiers" in the first group reported that their M-16s malfunctioned as they tried to "return fire while moving," the report said.
When Cpl. Damien Luten, sitting in the passenger seat of a 5-ton tractor trailer in the second group, attempted to fire the unit's only .50-caliber machine gun, it failed, the report said. Luten was wounded in the leg while reaching for his M-16. Spec. James Grubb, in the passenger seat of a 5-ton fuel truck, "returned fire with his M-16 until wounded in both arms, despite reported jamming of his weapon," it said.
The third group of vehicles, which included the Humvee in which Lynch was riding, also had weapons problems.
After Lynch's Humvee crashed, Sgt. James Riley ran with two other soldiers to see if the vehicle's occupants could be saved. His weapon jammed. Riley reached for 1st Sgt. Robert Dowdy's M-16 to use instead. Dowdy had been killed instantly in the crash. Riley ordered the two soldiers with him to take cover and then tried to use each of their M-16s against the Iraqis. "But both jammed," the report said.
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin