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Special Forces soldiers were inside our embassy when it blew
and are the unsung heroes from that tragedy.
        A perspective on the Kenya bombing from a source with the 5th
SF Group HQ,Ft. Campbell.
        "The Kenya bombing hit pretty close to home. We had a 12-man
ODA working on a project in the Embassy. The 7th was their last day. They
were in anassigned work space, on the ground floor, at the opposite side
and end of the building from the blast, doing last minute work. They had
out-briefed the Ambassador at 0900 (hours). Less than 2 minutes prior to the
blast, 2men had been in the cashier line, but it was too slow so they
returned to the office to go to the cafeteria for lunch. All 9 (of 12, 3
were at the hotel) had stood up to go to lunch, when they heard the grenade
go off and looked out the window.
About 6-10 seconds later the bomb went off.
It turned the heavy door to their room into a platter charge which blew across
the room and out the wall into the street. They were stunned and disoriented.
All in the cashier line and cage were killed. All in the hall and elevator were
killed. All in rooms to their right and left and above them were killed. All in
the AMB/DCM and admin offices were killed. The Attache and Security
Assistance offices were wiped out except for those out of the building. The
Ambassador and her key staff survived because they were out of the building
at a conference two buildings away. 50 persons were killed in the
blast (12US/38KE). 20 persons were able to walk out of the Embassy
under their own power, 9 of them were SF.
Cannot attribute their survival to
training, readiness or anything other than luck and divine intervention.
        Reference the "Marine Hooah!"  I have seen that message in
numerous places. I have debriefed our guys who are back and they tell
a story in marked contrast to the Marine version.  After the SF persons
exited theEmbassy they saw the Kenyans start to filter in. They thought
to assist, but then realized they were looting the bodies and "stuff".
The SF persons brokeinto Post 1 and got weapons and ammo. The guard
had survived but was unconscious. They established a perimeter around
the Embassy and organized recovery/rescue operations.
        There were only 4 Marines capable of duty, and they did not do
much the first 24 hours. They were in shock and pretty junior. SF took
charge and made the best of a horrible situation. Any pictures you see of
armed Americans around the Embassy on the 7th were 5th Group (relaxed
        Our Special Forces aren't too slick when it comes to self-promotion, but
they're always there standing tall when the crap hits the fan...
Well done.
Note: The above is an e-mail received from
Col. David H. Hackworth,
Editor: Defending America Newsletter, dated September 10, 1998.

David H. Hackworth (website)

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