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In Frankfurt a long time ago. USAF Photo

USAF Photo

USAF Photo


The story below is from CNN. I have posted the text here in case their link dies in the future. The direct link to the story on CNN is here. This link has additional information regarding the individuals and some video.


This is from CNN:

Wednesday, April 16, 2003 Posted: 2302 GMT ( 7:02 AM HKT)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (CNN) -- Seven U.S. soldiers held as Iraqi prisoners of war left the Middle East and arrived in Germany late Wednesday for treatment at a U.S. military hospital.

A U.S. Air Force C-141 cargo plane, specially adapted to carry injured passengers, landed around 10:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. EDT) with 48 people aboard, 19 of whom suffer combat injuries. They were expected to be taken to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for treatment and counseling.

Six of the seven former prisoners walked swiftly off the plane, dressed in desert fatigues, and shook the hand of the air base commander, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Erv Lessel. They waved to news media cameras, then boarded a bus.

The seventh former POW, Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson, 30, was carried off the plane in a stretcher and lifted into the back of the bus. Lessel said a few words to her, inaudible to the media, and she flashed a broad smile.

Watching Johnson's arrival on television was her friend Theresa Rowland, who said they had spoken by phone Tuesday night. "She told me she could hardly wait to see me," Rowland said. "She wants me to come see her as soon as I can."

Officials also loaded an acoustic guitar onto the bus; Chief Warrant Officer Ronald Young Jr.'s mom said it belonged to her son. "I just bet they're too excited to play," Kaye Young said with a laugh.

She added that -- in her most recent conversation with her son, 26, on Sunday night -- he sounded good and was joking on the phone. "He told us that he had lost 20 pounds and he just was very friendly, very affectionate, that he couldn't wait to see us, that he loves us, he misses us," Young said.

Pfc. Patrick Miller, 23, also a former POW, flashed a "V" sign with his hand as the bus drove away.

Officials at Landstuhl said they are particularly concerned about Johnson, who suffered bullet wounds in both feet. Officials said she may require further surgery.

The seven former POWs had been resting and undergoing medical checks at an undisclosed facility in Kuwait since arriving Sunday, shortly after their rescue.

The POWs were accidentally discovered that day by a group of U.S. Marines sent to Samarra, 75 miles north of Baghdad, to prevent traffic from interfering with U.S. tanks headed to battle in Tikrit. An Iraqi policeman asked the Marines if they had come for the prisoners, then led them to a nearby building where they found the POWs guarded by at least one Iraqi soldier.

In addition to Miller and Johnson, five of those rescued were members of the Army's 507th Maintenance Company: Sgt. James Riley, 31, Spc. Joseph Hudson, 23, and Spc. Edgar Hernandez, 21. Their convoy took a wrong turn and drove into an ambush near Nasiriya on March 23.

Young and Chief Warrant Officer David Williams, 30, were captured March 24 when their Apache helicopter was forced to make a hard landing in an area held by Iraqi fighters.

>

This photo was submitted by Bob Pirolli. He got it from one of the crew members. The tail number was 66-7950.

In January of 2006, I got the following email from Col. Steven Doss, at Scott AFB

The bird that brought the PWs out of Iraq in was 66-7950. The photo above is of six of the seven PWs standing in front of the Troop Oxygen Service Panel shortly after they signed it.

At the time, I was the deployed commander of the 744th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron (EAS), RAF Mildenhall, UK. The squadron was assigned to the 491 st Air Expeditionary Group (AEG), same location. Also attached to the 491 AEG was the 791st Expeditionary Aeromedical Airlift Squadron (EAES), now located at Ramstein AB, Germany.

In the Spring of 2003, nearly 800 personnel were assigned to the 491 AEG, staging Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) and Air National Guard (ANG) C-141Cs and their aircrew and aeromedical crews from RAF Mildenhall, UK, Rhein-Main and Ramstein AB, Germany, NAS Sigonella, Sicily, and NAS Rota, Spain. At any given time, 23 C-141Cs were in the European or Southwest Asian Theaters and at one point, 18 C-141Cs were on the ground at RAF Mildenhall at the same time.

The 491 AEG group commander was Col James K. (Jim) Moran, then the 4th Air Force Chief of Stan Eval. His deputy was Lt Col Kevin V. Lacy, then the commander of the 729 th Airlift Squadron at March ARB, CA.

Immediately after 950 delivered the PWs to Ramstein, it de-positioned to Mildenhall. By coincidence, the Hanoi Taxi (177) was also at Mildenhall, and both aircraft were parked on the same spot. Parking was so tight at Mildenhall that we parked two aircraft on each spot and towed them in and out for every launch and recovery. The 171 st Air Refueling Wing (ARW), PA ANG, was also at Mildenhall with 1,000 personnel, so space everywhere on base was at a premium. It did not take us long to realize the historical significance of the parking coincidence, so we ran out after sunrise and took pictures.


#169 Steven Doss

This shows 177 and 950 nose-to-nose and very close, with Col Moran, myself, and Lt Col Lacy.


© Steven Doss

This is inside 950 in front of the O2 Service Panel, with the same suspects.

After the initial invasion of Iraq, AFRC C-141Cs became dedicated aeromedical airlift platforms from Southwest Asia to Germany and the US from June 2003 to September 2005. Crews and maintainers moved nearly 18,000 patients, more than 4,000 of them combat, 'urgent' evacuations. Aircraft dispatch reliability soared to historically high levels, and the mission completion rate, using spares and alert crews, was an unprecedented 99.2%.

STEVEN K. DOSS, Col, USAF




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