March 24
2003



March 24

Lance Cpl. Eric J. Orlowski, USMC

The Department of Defense announced today the identity of a Marine killed by an accidental discharge of a .50 cal machine gun in Iraq. Killed was Lance Cpl. Eric J. Orlowski, 26, of Buffalo, N.Y. Orlowski was assigned to the 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was a reservist on his first deployment. He graduated in 1999 from Smithville High School, where he played basketball and track. He leaves behind a wife and three-year-old daughter.

March 24

Sgt. Nicolas M. Hodson, USMC

The Department of Defense announced today the identity of a Marine killed in a vehicle accident in Iraq. Killed was Sgt. Nicolas M. Hodson, 22, of Smithville, Mo. Hodson was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Hodson graduated in 1999 from Smithville High School, where he played basketball and track. Hodson's four-year stint was due to end in June, and he was trying to decide whether to go college and study engineering or make a career with the Marines. He leaves behind two baby sons, ages one and two.

March 24

The Department of Defense announced today (Mar 26) the identities of two Marines whose status has been listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN). They were among a group of Marines in the vicinity of the Saddam Canal in Iraq on March 24. They are: Cpl. Evan T. James and Sgt. Bradley S. Korthaus. Both Marines are assigned to Engineering Company C, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Force Service Support Group, based in Peoria, Ill. A search and rescue effort to locate the Marines is continuing.

Cpl. Evan T. James, USMC

Cpl. Evan T. James, 20, of La Harpe, Ill. The Depart of Defense announced on March 27 that it had changed the status of Marine Cpl. Evan T. James from DUSTWUN to killed in action. Cpl. James was declared DUSTWUN in the vicinity of the Saddam Canal on March 24. His remains were recovered on March 25.

On March 27, the following information about Evan James appeared in USA Today: James and two other Marines were securing a "water point" near the Euphrates River so that engineers could connect a pump and filtration system to provide drinking water to US forces. James drowned while crossing a canal. He was, in fact, a very strong swimmer who was training for a triathlon before his reserve unit was called to active duty in January, so his drowning is a puzzle to all who knew him. James was a sophomore at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville majoring in kinesiology when he was called up. At La Harpe High School he played as a football linebacker for four years.

Sgt. Brad Korthaus, USMC

On March 27, the following information about Sgt Korthaus appeared in a Davenport, Iowa newspaper: "Sgt. Brad Korthaus, 28, of Scott, was recovered Wednesday from a canal. Military officials said Korthaus and another Marine drowned Monday when they were swept underwater. Orville Korthaus, 80, a World War II veteran now living in Arizona, said his grandson and three other Marines were fired on while crossing the canal. Korthaus said his grandson made it across, but went back into the water to save one of his comrades. Korthaus was not seen alive again. He is the first Iowan killed in the war in Iraq. Marine 1st Sgt. Michael Berg said an investigation into the death is ongoing. He said it was a surprise because an Illinois Marine [Evan James] who also drowned in the canal was a lifeguard and Korthaus was considered a strong swimmer by Marine Corps standards."



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