May 11
2005



Staff Sgt. Kendall H. Ivy II, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on May 13 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

       Staff Sgt. Kendall H. Ivy II, 28, of Crawford, Ohio, was killed May 11 from an explosion while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Karabilah, Iraq. He was assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Lance Cpl. Wesley G. Davids, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on May 12 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

           Lance Cpl. Wesley G. Davids, 20, of Dublin, Ohio, died May 11 from an explosion while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Karabilah, Iraq.  He was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, 4th Marine Division, Columbus, Ohio. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, his reserve unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Lance Cpl. John T. Schmidt III, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on May 13 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

       Lance Cpl. John T. Schmidt III, 21, of Brookfield, Conn., died May 11 from wounds received as a result of an explosion while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, on Jan. 30. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Schmidt’s unit was attached to 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

HARTFORD, CT. -- Associated Press - A U.S. Marine from Connecticut died this week from wounds he received in combat in Iraq earlier this year, the military confirmed Friday. Lance Cpl. John T. Schmidt III, 21, of Brookfield, Conn., was injured Jan. 30 in an explosion during combat in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He died Wednesday. It was immediately unclear where he died, but Schmidt had spent the last several months in the burn unit of the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Schmidt was with fellow platoon members in an agricultural building near Fallujah when they came under attack, family members said at the time of his injuries. He suffered severe burns to his face and lungs when a mortar shell ruptured a tank of ammonia. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Schmidt's unit was attached to 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force. Judith Heise, a Brookfield selectman, said town officials and others tried to honor Schmidt when they learned he was injured in January. A sign over a railroad bridge quoted the Marines' motto, Semper Fi, and a photo of the bridge was posted in town hall and signed by municipal employees. "We have all followed his progress," Heise said. "I'm extremely sorry." Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who also lives in Brookfield, said in a statement that "brave men and women from our state continue to make sacrifices for our nation in the cause of freedom." "I ask everyone in Connecticut to keep our servicemen and servicewomen in their thoughts and prayers," she said. "I also ask everyone in the state to join with me in letting Cpl. Schmidt's family know that we share their grief."

Pfc. Christopher R. Dixon, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on May 16 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pfc. Christopher R. Dixon, 18, of Columbus, Ohio was killed May 11 when his amphibious assault vehicle struck an explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Karabilah, Iraq. Dixon was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Columbus, Ohio. For Operation Iraqi Freedom, this unit was attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Lance Cpl. Jonathan W. Grant, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on May 16 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Jonathan W. Grant, 23, of Santa Fe, New Mexico was killed May 11 when his amphibious assault vehicle struck an explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Karabilah, Iraq. Grant was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Albuquerque, New Mexico. For Operation Iraqi Freedom, this unit was attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Lance Cpl. Jourdan L. Grez, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on May 16 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Jourdan L. Grez, 24, of Harrisonburg, Virginia was killed May 11 when his amphibious assault vehicle struck an explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Karabilah, Iraq. Grez was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Roanoke, Virginia. For Operation Iraqi Freedom, this unit was attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

WVEC.com -- ROANOKE, Virginia -- A Harrisonburg Marine is among nine killed in Operation Matador in Iraq. Lance Cpl. Jourdan L. Grez, 24, of Harrisonburg, was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, 4th Marine Division in Roanoke. He attended James Madison University. LCpl. Grez, Pfc. Christopher R. Dixon, 18, of Columbus, Ohio, Lance Cpl. Nicholas B. Erdy, 21, of Williamsburg, Ohio and Lance Cpl. Jonathan W. Grant, 23, of Santa Fe, N.M. were killed May 11 when their amphibious assault vehicle struck an explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Karabilah, Iraq, along the Syrian border, the Pentagon said Monday. Dixon and Erdy were assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Columbus, Ohio. Grant was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Albuquerque, N.M. A total of nine Marines were killed in that operation, which, according to DoD, was designed to eliminate terrorists and foreign fighters in the area. Operation Matador began on May 7 and was focused near the Euphrates north and west of Al Qa’im with no combat missions conducted in the city of Al Qa’im. Marine commanders estimated they killed more than 100 insurgents and foreign fighters during the operation, which is aimed at allies of Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Lance Cpl. Nick Erdy, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on May 16 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Nicholas B. Erdy, 21, of Williamsburg, Ohio was killed May 11 when his amphibious assault vehicle struck an explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Karabilah, Iraq. Erdy was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Columbus, Ohio. For Operation Iraqi Freedom, this unit was attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

ChannelCincinnati.com ~~ OWENSVILLE, Ohio ~~ May 14, 2005 ~~ For the second time this week, family and friends are mourning a Tri-state Marine killed in Iraq, News 5's Ken Stinson reported. Lance Cpl. Nick Erdy of Clermont County died Wednesday. Erdy's family said they didn't want to say how he died, but they did say their grief is deep. Erdy, 21, graduated from McNicholas High School in 2002 and played defensive back on the football team. Before he went overseas in February, Erdy asked his girlfriend Ashley to marry him. He thought of becoming a firefighter when he left the military. "All of his friends are in a state of shock," said Nick Schmidt. "We don't know what to do for everyone. It's a great loss, not only for his family and friends but also for the McNicholas community." Erdy joined the Marines two years ago.


Despite heavy resistance, U.S. officials say Operation Matador was a success
164 insurgents captured or killed in offensive near Syrian border

Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Monday, May 16, 2005

A weeklong offensive targeting suspected insurgents in Iraq near the Syrian border wrapped up Sunday with military officials calling it a success despite heavy resistance. Operation Matador, which saw some 1,000 Marines and soldiers sweep through towns along the Euphrates River, resulted in more than 125 suspected insurgents killed and 39 captured, the military said. But it also cost the lives of nine Marines, with 40 more wounded. Six of the Marines were killed when their amphibious assault vehicle hit a mine. The large-scale operation was aimed at smuggling routes and safe houses for foreign fighters arriving in Iraq through the western desert border area, U.S. military officials said. The cities of Karabilah, Ramana and Ubaydi have been “used as a staging area where terrorists receive weapons and equipment and organize for attacks against the key cities of Ramadi, Fallujah, Baghdad and Mosul,” read a Multi-National Force-Iraq statement issued Sunday. “Regimental Combat Team-2 started and ended this operation as planned, accomplished its mission and secured all objectives. Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces will return again to this area in the future,” Maj. Gen. R.A. Huck, 2nd Marine Division commander, was quoted as saying in the release. The offensive included armored ground troops, attack helicopters, and Harrier and Hornet fighter bombers. Marines reported encountering some insurgents fighting in organized units and with advanced equipment including body armor. The operation kicked off May 7, when Marine-led U.S. forces crossed the Euphrates River to clear a series of caves suspected of being used as supply points or safe havens. More than 70 suspected insurgents were killed in the first 24 hours of the battle, according to the U.S. military. On Saturday, a long convoy of U.S. military vehicles left the area and headed back toward their bases. But, according to the Associated Press, the insurgents returned just as quickly. In Qaim, near where the operation kicked off, masked insurgents armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades “remained in plain sight,” set up checkpoints and vowed to “defend the town if U.S. forces return,” the AP reported. In an article published in Sunday’s Washington Post, an embedded reporter from the newspaper quoted Marine ground commanders as claiming success but being somewhat frustrated by the enemy after the first few days of the campaign. “That was the frustrating piece: coming up here for a fight and not finding anyone,” Marine Maj. Steve Lawson, of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, was quoted as saying. Another commander, Lt. Col. Tim Mundy, said many of the fighters fled the area instead of standing to fight. “The mission was to put on the pressure and show they did not have a safe haven from us. They ran from us,” he said. While the offensive in western Iraq was under way, a wave of suicide attacks struck central and northern Iraq, killing more than 400 people, including security forces and civilians, in one of the worst outbreaks of violence since the 2003 invasion. U.S. military and political leaders attribute the surge in attacks to attempts to destabilize the recently seated Iraqi cabinet.

Information obtained by The Associated Press and The Washington Post was used in this report.


~ H O M E ~