This page was last updated on 19 January 2016.
During Desert Shield and Desert Storm Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA" became their song as well as our countries so I decided to play the whole thing here to honor the women we lost during the war.
Killed in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm:
1991: 15 US Military women, 0 US Civilian women
Total a/o 1 Jan 09: 15 US Military women, 0 US Civilian women
15 US women killed during Desert Shield/Desert Storm
The following women died while serving our country during the 1990-1991 Gulf War which is mostly referred to as Operation Desert Shield-Desert Storm:
10 Jul 91:
USAR LT Lorraine Kerstin Lawton from West Lafayette, IN died in a traffic accident when the four-wheel truck she was driving struck a bus on the road between Dhahran and Khobar Towers. Lorraine was the only 123rd ARCOM fatality. A member of the 21st TAACOM (CA), and a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at Purdue University Lorraine was completing research for her dissertation at the University of Grenoble in France when she was activated. She served as the Assistant Secretary of the General Staff of the 22d SUPCOM and as Commander, Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 3rd Personnel Group (Prov). She was awarded the Bronze Star for her performance during Operation Desert Storm and buried with full military honors on July 19. Purdue University conferred a posthumous Ph.D. to her in May 1992 based on her published scholarly research written in English, French and Italian. Her family and friends have endowed THE LORRAINE K. LAWTON AWARD a yearly $1000 academic prize in her memory. This award ceased for awhile but is going to be restarted soon.
2 May 91:
FLARNG SGT Tracey Darlene Brogdon,
from Bartow, FL was killed in a traffic accident in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. She
was serving with the 325th Maintenance Company and the only one from the company
to die there.
USA PVT Candace Moriah Daniel, 20, from West Palm Beach, FL died when the truck she was driving swerved to avoid an artillery crater and overturned in Kuwait. She was a member of the Military Police. She is survived by her mother Vicky.
USN AG1 (AW) Shirley Marie (Mallon) Cross, 36, of Fountain, FL died in Masirah, Oman. Shirley, who preferred to be called Marie, was born in Greenville, SC, and raised in Lakeland, FL where she graduated from Kathleen Senior High School in 1973. She moved to Fountain where she met and married Navy Veteran, James Cross. They began their family before Marie joined the Navy in 1982. Marie was an avid reader, short story writer and horse enthusiast. Marie was very community minded and was involved with many projects during her military career including starting a “Big Brothers, Big Sisters” chapter, organizing base wide clean-ups, organizing Navy Birthday Balls and becoming involved with local orphanages in the Philippines. Marie was a Petty Officer First Class (E-6) Aerographer’s Mate, qualified as an Aviation Warfare Systems Operator. Her first involvement in Operation Desert Storm was during her deployment while serving for Naval Oceanography Command Facility (NOCF) Cubi Point Mobile Environmental Team, Subic Bay in the Philippines, aboard the USS Cimarron, a US Navy Auxiliary Oiler, where she was serving as a weather forecaster. The ship’s original tour positioned them to be in the Indian Ocean just as the Persian Gulf erupted into turmoil. The USS Cimarron was one of the first Naval ships to enter the Persian Gulf at the onset of Operation Desert Storm. The ship also spent time docked in Bahrain before returning to the Philippines in time for Marie to spend Christmas with her family. In February 1991, Marie was deployed to serve at a land base in Diego Garcia. She was sent from Diego Garcia to Masirah Island MPT (Dhuwwah, US Air Force base) in Oman to do mission weather analysis for the B-52s that were being sent from Diego Garcia into the Persian Gulf to bomb Iraq. After Marie died, she was cremated but her ashes were buried in Sandy Hills Cemetery in Fountain. The family still lives on property that Marie and James bought soon after they were married. Marie is survived by her husband of 16 years, James R. Cross who has never remarried; her son David Cross; two daughters Kira (Cross) Burdeshaw and Melissa (Cross) Anderson (who was adopted after Marie's death); her mother Dorothy Mallon; and two sisters Dorothy Jean (Mallon) Tillery and Mary Anne (Mallon) Stalk. This photo of Marie was taken on 4 April, the day before she died. The camera was among the belongings returned to her family and they are not sure who took the picture.
Kira (Cross) Burdeshaw, was 15 when her mother died. She stated that the cliché sentiment that “Time heals all wounds” is not always the case. She is thankful that I have given Marie “a place to live and breathe once again.” Kira wrote the following about her mom:
On April 5, 1991 my mother, AG1 (AW) Shirley Marie Cross, (she preferred to be called Marie) died while stationed in Masirah, Oman. While she was not on the front lines, she is considered a casualty of war. She was moved to Oman from Diego Garcia on February 6, 1991. Her death is still unexplained to this day. The JAG autopsy report that was done on her states that “Briefly, the cause of death in this case remains undetermined at this time.” The autopsy report was thorough; she did not die of a heart attack, stroke, drugs or suicide. Our family fails to believe that there is no way to figure out why she died and that she was indeed a casualty of war, that she would still be alive if she had not been there.
During her time involved in the Persian Gulf War, she stayed upbeat. She corresponded often with her family and schools in Lakeland, FL as their class pen pal. Learning of her death was upsetting to them and her home town community. She loved the Navy and her role within it. She was a patriotic and loyal individual with great pride in her role in keeping our country safe. Anyone that met her or knew her would say that she was a happy and charismatic person whose enthusiasm was contagious. So much so, that her own son enrolled in the Army at the start of the Iraq War and has served two tours there so far.
AZARNG PVT Dorothy Lee Fails, 25,
from Taylor, AZ was killed in a military traffic accident in
Saudi Arabia. She served with the Arizona National Guard’s 1404th Transportation
Company. On 3 Jun 12, I heard from one of the soldiers who served with
Dorothy and was at the Port of Dam Am for her memorial service.
USA PFC Cindy Deanna Jane Bridges, 20, from Trinity, AL was assigned to the 84th Transportation Company, 260th Quartermaster Battalion, 171st Support Group, 1st Support Command [Corps]. She was killed and a second soldier injured when their 5-ton truck had an accident on Main Supply Route MERCEDES between Camp TYBEE and GUARDIAN CITY (25 kilometers south of Main Supply Route DODGE) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Cindy was in a convoy heading out of Iraq into Saudi Arabia. Apparently the vehicle she was in tried to pass another vehicle, saw an oncoming vehicle, swerved to avoid it and overturned. Cindy was thrown from the truck and partially trapped under it. Her sister, Wendy Smith, would like to locate some of Cindy's colleagues to see what they recall of the accident. Cindy had graduated from West Morgan High where a memorial service was held. Her picture on a plaque was hung in the school. About ten years later it was found in the trash. The principle had thrown it out and wasn't going to rehang it. The community was outraged especially the Veterans who lived there including the principle's father. The plaque went back up! SPC John Martin served with Cindy and sent me the following info:
USA 2LT Kathleen Marie Sherry, 23, Tonawanda, NY died while serving as a new platoon leader in her Signal Corps company at the time. She was a 1989 graduate of West Point.
VAARNG PFC Pamela Yvette Gay, 19, from Surry, VA died as the result of an armored vehicle accident in Saudi Arabia while assigned to the 183rd Personnel Service Co. She had joined the National Guard when she was 17 and took her basic training in 1989. Pamela graduated from Surry High School in 1990 where she was a member of the track team. She was trained as a personnel records specialist when her unit was activated on 3 Jan. She had been working at Zoom's Convenience Store in Surry. Her body was placed in the Surry County High School where services were conducted by SGM Bernard Lloyd followed by burial with full military honors at the City Point National Cemetery in Hopewell. Pamela is survived by her parents, John H. Thornton and Estelle D. Gay; two sisters, Michelle Gay and Janice Thornton; three brothers, Jeffery Gay, John C. Thornton and Anthony Thornton; and her maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. William Gay.
1 Mar 91:
USA MAJ Marie Therese (Rossi) Cayton, 32, from Oradell, NJ was killed in northern Saudi Arabia. She was flying a CH-47D Chinook cargo helicopter, which had been delivering ammunition and other supplies to other units, when it hit an unlighted microwave tower in bad weather. She was the first female Aviation Commander to fly into combat with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, 18th Aviation Brigade, 24th Infantry Division. She had graduated from River Dell Regional High School near Oradell, NJ in 1976. From there she went to Dickinson College where she was an outstanding ROTC cadet graduating in 1980 as a Psychology major. She was buried in Arlington Cemetery. Her husband of nine months, CWO John Anderson Cayton, as well as her parents survives her. In 1992 the US Army remembered her sacrifice when it named its new small-arms development and testing facility at the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey the "Major Marie T. Rossi-Cayton Building Armament Technology Facility."
CTARNG SPC Cindy Marie Beaudoin, 19, from Plainfield, CT was killed by what is thought to be a landmine after her convoy came under fire while in Kuwait. They had stopped to pick up Iraqi POWs. Cindy went to the aid of a wounded soldier and there was an explosion. Cindy enlisted in the 142nd Medical Company of the CT National Guard and became a Medical Technician. She graduated in 1989 from Plainfield High School and attended the University of Connecticut before she was deployed. AMVET Post 47 in Plainfield is named in her honor! Cindy is buried in St John's Cemetery. She is survived by her parents Paul and Phyllis Beaudoin. There is a nice site honoring Cindy Marie Beaudoin and points out more about the incident that took her life.
27 Feb 91:
USA SGT Cheryl Lorraine (LaBeau) O’Brien, 24, from Racine, WI was a helicopter technician. She died in a helicopter crash. Her husband got notification of his wife’s death the day he returned home from the Gulf, where he had been serving with a different unit. She was originally from Long Beach, CA. Her aircraft was actually hauling the remains of the crew of another helicopter back to port and then jumping back into Kuwait when the crew became disoriented and shot down.
25 Feb 91:
Three women reservists were killed when a scud missile attack hit their barracks building in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Twenty-six others were killed and 89 were wounded in this incident as they were resting in the building.
USAR SPC Christine Lynn Mayes, 22, of Rochester Mills, PA was engaged to be married just before she left for the gulf but she left her ring with her fiancée to keep it safe. Chris was a member of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment, a water purification unit, out of Greensburg, PA. Her parents Franklin and Darlene Mayes as well as her sister Pam, and Christine’s fiancée survive her.
USAR SPC Beverly Sue Clark, 23, from Armagh, PA was also a member of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment out of Greensburg, PA. She had graduated in 1985 from United AreaHigh School. As a civilian she worked as a quality-control supervisor at Seasons-All Industries Inc in Indiana, PA a door & window plant. She is survived by her parents Robert & Connie; three sisters Sherry Lynn Hawk, Bobbie Lee and Michelle Clark; a brother Robby and several others.
USAR SPC Adrienne Lynette Mitchell, 20, Moreno Valley, CA had joined the Army Reserve to pay for her university education. She was housed in the same building as the 14th Quartermaster Detachment.
7 Jan 91:
USA SSG Tatiana Khaghani Dees, from Congers, NY in Rockland County but originally from Tehran, Iran drowned after stepping backwards off a pier in Dhahran while avoiding moving military cargo. She was unable to swim due to all the gear she was wearing. She was assigned to the 92nd Military Police Company, 93rd MP Battalion, 14th MP Brigade, V Corps based in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Tatiana leaves behind two children: Lena and Joseph. On 28 May 12, I received an email from Tatiana's son Joseph. He thanked me "for remembering the great women who served our country" and included this photo of his mother.
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