After the war, daily casualties

SUN JOURNAL

October 26, 2003

Attacks against American soldiers in Iraq have been on the rise in the past three weeks, going from a daily average of 20 up to 25. One day, 35 attacks were reported.

"The enemy has evolved, a little bit more lethal, a little bit more complex, a little bit more sophisticated," Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, said last week. "As long as we are here, the coalition needs to be prepared to take casualties."

Since March, 345 U.S. troops have died in Iraq, 223 of them from hostile fire. Of those, 207 have died since May 1, when President Bush declared major combat operations over. About 1,620 have been wounded since March as a result of hostile engagements, and 338 others have been injured in accidents.

The British military has reported 50 deaths; Denmark, one; and Ukraine, one.

Iraq has become dangerous for Iraqi civilians, too, including those working for Americans. Iraqi deaths have not been counted as carefully. The Associated Press has reported an estimated 3,240 civilian Iraqi deaths between March 20 and April 20, basing that on records from only half of Iraq's hospitals. The real toll probably is much higher.

Following is a list of Americans killed over the past month as the number of attacks have increased.

Army Pvt. Jason M. Ward, 25, of Tulsa, Okla.; died Tuesday in Baghdad of noncombat causes; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

Army Spc. John P. Johnson, 24, of Houston; died Tuesday in Baghdad of noncombat causes; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.

Army Pfc. Paul J. Bueche, 19, of Daphne, Ala.; died Tuesday in Balad, when a helicopter tire he was changing exploded; assigned to the 131st Aviation Regiment, Army National Guard, Birmingham, Ala.

Army Staff Sgt. Paul J. Johnson, 29, of Calumet, Mich.; killed Oct. 20 when he came under attack while on patrol in Fallujah; assigned to 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Army 1st Lt. David R. Bernstein, 24, of Phoenixville, Pa.; killed Oct. 18 in Taza when his patrol came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire; assigned to 1st Battalion (Airborne), 508th Infantry Battalion, 173rd Infantry Brigade, Camp Ederle, Italy.

Army Pfc. John D. Hart, 20, of Bedford, Mass.; killed Oct. 18 in Taza when his patrol came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire; assigned to 1st Battalion (Airborne), 508th Infantry Battalion, 173rd Infantry Brigade, Camp Ederle, Italy.

Army Staff Sgt. Joseph P. Bellavia, 28, of Wakefield, Mass.; killed Oct. 16 by hostile fire in Karbala; assigned to the 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based in Fort Campbell, Ky.

Army Cpl. Sean R. Grilley, 24, of San Bernardino, Calif.; killed Oct. 16 by hostile fire in Karbala; assigned to the 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based in Fort Campbell, Ky.

Army Lt. Col. Kim S. Orlando, 43, of Tennessee; killed Oct. 16 by hostile fire in Karbala; commanding officer of the 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based in Fort Campbell, Ky.

Spc. Michael Williams, 46, of Buffalo, N.Y.; killed Oct. 16 near Baghdad, when his vehicle hit an explosive device; assigned to the 105th Military Police Co.

Army Specialist Douglas J. Weismantle, 28, of Pittsburgh; killed Oct. 13 in Baghdad when an Iraqi dump truck swerved and rolled over on top of his vehicle. Assigned to First Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Army Private Benjamin L. Freeman, 19, of Valdosta, Ga.; on Oct. 13 near Asad. Soldiers from his unit discovered him floating on the surface of the water near Haditha dam. K Troop, Third Squadron, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.

Army Private First Class Jose Casanova, 23, of El Monte, Calif.; on Oct. 13 in Baghdad when an Iraqi dump truck swerved and rolled on top of his vehicle. First Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Army Spc. Donald L. Wheeler, 22, of Concord, Mich.; killed Oct. 13 when his unit came under attack from a rocket-propelled grenade in Tikrit; assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Army Pfc. Stephen E. Wyatt, 19, of Kilgore, Texas; killed Oct. 13 when his convoy was ambushed in Balad; assigned to C Battery, 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla.

Army Spc. James E. Powell, 26, of Radcliff, Ky.; killed Oct. 12 when his Bradley armored vehicle struck an enemy anti-tank mine in Baji; assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas.

Army Spc. Joseph C. Norquist, 26, of San Antonio; killed Oct. 9 in Baqubah, by hostile fire; assigned to the 588th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.

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