Exclusive cover story: A Medal of Honor-worthy story of courage and sacrifice in Samarra (Excerpt #5)
The following is the fourth excerpt from the November issue of The American Spectator magazine's cover story. More excerpts will follow, leading up to the magazine release of this exclusive recounting of a chilling tale of heroism, courage, and loss one morning six weeks ago in Samarra, as a small US sniper team was set upon by dozens of al Qaeda terrorists who had but one goal in mind: to humiliate America in front of the world, only days before General Petraeus's internationally televised testimony before Congress, by kidnapping and slaughtering these American soldiers.
Four U.S. paratroopers faced impossible odds, against dozens of dedicated enemy fighters.
Not all would survive -- but all would become heroes.
Moser didn’t have time to dwell on Morley’s death. Knowing that what had just become a three-man team could not long withstand the concerted effort by what was clearly a large enemy force to move up the stairs to his location, he took the same chance that Morley had, and crossed the roof to the radio while Willis continued to fire his .240 machine gun into the stairwell, killing at least two enemy fighters with well-placed bursts as grenades continued to be tossed up the stairs and out onto the roof. As he moved to the radio (which he found to have been disabled by a grenade), Moser was able to get a look down into the northern stair. Inside, he saw a number of armed men, both black and Arab rushing up the steps toward the roof – none of whom were the individuals whom he had seen get out of the car moments before on the street. Apparently there had been fighters stationed in the building before the white car’s arrival.
ON THE OTHER side of the roof’s dividing wall, Corriveau had been watching the area to the southwest when the gunfire began at his back. Spinning around at the edge of the roof, he saw a man with a PKC machine gun emerging from the southern stairwell, and immediately moved toward him, raising his M24 sniper rifle, only to find that is wasn’t loaded. Continuing to advance on the man at the top of the stairs, who was firing across the roof, Corriveau quickly loaded a five-round magazine into his rifle and fired a perfectly aimed shot into the assailant’s head. Continuing to close on the man, who was now on the ground, Corriveau fired again and again, working the bolt each time, until he had emptied his remaining rounds into the body. Following up with a swift kick to the fighter’s head to make sure that he was dead, he then tossed his empty sniper rifle aside, picked up the man’s PKC, and stepped into the stairwell, looking down over the railing. Seeing at least one more armed man charging up from the landing below, Corriveau reached the PKC over the ledge and, firing blind, let go with a burst. A scream from below let him know that at least one of his rounds had hit home. He repeated this action three or four more times until he was unable to see any more movement in the stairwell.
Having neutralized the threat at his back (at least temporarily), Corriveau took his newly acquired PKC and sprinted back to the western edge of the roof to check the road again. As he peered over the edge, he saw several men running toward the entrance to the building from the south. Just to Corriveau’s right, over the dividing wall, Willis, who had left the northern stairwell to Moser, was looking at the same scene. Looking to his left and catching Corriveau’s eye, Willis, who had stepped up and taken charge after Morley had gone down, pointed at the men, pulled a grenade from his vest, and yelled “We’re going to frag them!” Corriveau retrieved a grenade of his own, pulled the firing pin, and let it fly, hitting the last man in the group running toward the building. Seconds behind him, Willis pulled the pin from his own grenade, and prepared to throw it down into the street as well.
Suddenly, the morning exploded into gunfire, and bullets began flying at the rooftop from seemingly every direction.
Jeff's front-line embed mission is 100% funded by reader donations. If you would like to help continue to make this reporting possible, please consider going to JeffEmanuel.com, clicking the PayPal link on the right sidebar, and making a contribution. You can email Jeff at InsideTheSurge@Gmail.com.