March 26-28, 1991: On the Coast and More Weapons

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Tues 26 Mar

We spent the day checking schools in Farwaniyah. This is a heavily Palestinian area, so the Iraqis were on their good behavior here. Only one school was slightly trashed. We took Salem down to his home in Sabahiya, then got back to camp about 1500. I got in four games of volleyball for PT. Supper tonight was steak and lots of fresh fruit - very good. Mail brought two more items from Roth's Space Committee.

Wed 27 Mar

We spent the day posting warning notices along the beach SE of the Kuwait Towers. Our contact was an amiable Hispanic SF captain who went with us because he said he needed something to do. It was a gorgeous sunny day, but a bit hot: at least 80. We got back about 1430. I did a 2-mile run and some volleyball for PT.

Gulf War Image This nifty logo is on the roadside leading to and from Kuwait Airport. The crud on this and other images is on the vehicle window.
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Gulf War Image I liked this modernistic mosque. Can you tell?
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Dhow at dockside. Gulf War Image
Gulf War Image These are my only views of the Kuwait Towers. My good closeups came out horribly underexposed, either because my light meter malfunctioned or because I set the film speed wrong. The mission here is to post warnings about mines.
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Gulf War Image Above: another modernistic mosque.

Left: Oil fires lighting the night sky, March 27, 1991

Thurs 28 Mar

Holy Thursday. We posted warning notices on the beach from Ras Al-'Ardh south to 6th Ring Road. SPC Demerath and I posted one stretch that was loaded with mines and unexploded grenade rounds. At one point we met three Kuwaiti teenagers. I showed them a picture of a mine and pointed to a pile of the real thing on the beach, while repeating "Khatar" (Danger). They asked for my hat, and seemed annoyed when I refused to give it to them. As we left I turned back and saw them throwing rocks at the pile of mines! We stepped out at a brisk pace, all the while expecting to hear a very loud noise behind us, but it never happened.

It was quite hot today, at least 85 degrees. I didn't get a sunburn because I used sunscreen; the stuff really works! We got back about 1500, and I went to practice for the Good Friday service. Wally Coyle arranged with the bishop for some of us to sing at the cathedral on Good Friday and Easter. One of the Good Friday hymns was - I should have guessed - O Sacred Head Surrounded, my nominee for the Worst Hymn of All Time. Gag!

After "choir practice" I went outside the compound to photograph captured Iraqi weapons. One was a small winged missile that everyone assumed was a Chinese Silkworm, but it had Russian writing on it. I later found out it was a Russian cruise missile called a Styx. While photographing the weapons I met some interesting people.

I met an American woman and her Kuwaiti husband. He has ties to the royal family, she was one of a handful (I heard two dozen) Americans to stay in Kuwait throughout the occupation. They spent the entire time in hiding, using false documents, and had to move six times. To top it off, she had twins the day of the invasion! The Kuwaitis told her the twins would bring good luck, and evidently they did.

Another man came up to me and asked if the pilots got back OK. He had been in the Resistance, was caught and kept in the same prison as our POW's, and had only gotten back the day before. All but one of his family were arrested, and his brother was executed. The Iraqis told him accurately what he'd done in the Resistance, but he didn't know how they found out. He said the pilots were beaten, and he himself was beaten and electrically shocked. The Iraqis would tell him "We're going to kill you, but first we'll have some fun". Then they'd get drunk and beat and shock him. He had a broken rib from it. They also cut his back and rubbed salt in. He said he gave himself "about a .5 per cent chance of getting out alive".

Colatition flags at Camp Freedom. From rear: Kuwait, U.S., Canada, France, Britain Gulf War Image
Gulf War Image Our staff headquarters. Note the Green Bay flag hanging from the ceiling.
Captured weapons inside our command building. Gulf War Image
Gulf War Image Volleyball game in action, with oil smoke in the background.

Captured Weapons, March 28, 1991

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This item aroused a lot of interest, with most people thinking it was a Chinese Silkworm cruise missile. I had doubts since the writing on it was all Cyrillic. We later found it was a Russian missile called a Styx.

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Created January 10, 2000; Last Update 11 June 2020

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