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.


Recently I heard from Ben Lawton. It was several emails before I learned that Ben had been Lorraine's husband. He was among the first to arrive at the accident scene as they were in-country together with their Army Reserve unit. Needless to say that was traumatic for him. He remembered some things about her though such as how she found out her gas mask wouldn't seal properly and that her boots didn't fit. He was surprised to read Rita Hawkins paragraph below to find out how Lorraine took care of her boot problem! Lorraine had several opportunities to leave the country when the war ended but refused to leave until all her soldiers were out of there. She was also interested in women's military issues and had been interviewing some of the female soldiers who were there while she was. Ben thinks he still might have her interviews--wouldn't that be something to find?


I heard from USAR COL Pete Ciolfi (Ret) about Lorraine. She had borrowed his jeep one day. He showed me where to find the photo of her as well as telling me that LTG Gus Pagonis wrote a book about their time in the Gulf and it might contain more info about Lorraine since she worked in G1 with him.


I received some additional information about LT Lawton from Rita Hawkins and thought I'd share that here: Lorrie was often called "Bubbles" behind her back. The nickname reflected her effervescent personality. She died wearing boots I traded with her in the HQS, 22d SUPCOM parking lot. She was wearing 2 pairs of socks with her desert boots, as they were too wide and a size too big. I had gotten a pair of boots in her size, I'd hoped to trade with someone.  When she heard about it, she cornered me in the parking lot. She was all apologetic about the boots having been worn. I was grateful, as they were already broken in for me. She had the honor of being the first military woman to ever enter the gym at King Abdul Aziz Air Force Base and was responsible for having the Saudi's allow women to use the facilities for limited hours. Though, we had to enter the gym through the back door. Being there meant taking a shower...INDOORS. It was heavenly!


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.

30 Apr 91:

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.


According to SSG Bill Hancock: Candace was my gunner assigned to 1st Squad, 4th platoon, 92nd MP Co, 93rd MP Bn, 18th MP Brigade, from Baumholder, Germany. Candace Daniel was “Eagle Eye” as I used to call her. After the initial attack into Iraq, she became my gunner when my previous gunner fell ill. We would be driving across the desert and she’d yell down to me “There is a tank 1000 yards away”. We’d stop and I’d get out with my binoculars and scan the area. Sure as hell there would be a tank out there but it would be closer to 3 or 4 clicks away and I wouldn’t be able to see it without the binoculars. Candace spotted it with her naked eye. She did that on several occasions. For some reason I never was able to teach her how to judge distance correctly but one thing I knew for sure that no matter how far away an enemy vehicle was, Candace was damn sure going to spot it before it spotted us and you know how comforting and reassuring that can be in battle. She was a top notch soldier and the only female in our platoon. She always worked harder than the other troops because she felt like she had something to prove. She was coming back from the PX with 2 other soldiers and a female airman when she hit the shell crater on the “Basra highway”. The hummer did more of a flip than a roll. She hit it with the front right tire as she swerved so it flipped forward at an angle. It was at night and with those goddamned oil well fires you couldn’t see anything even with headlights on at night.

5 Apr 91:

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.

19 Mar 91:

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.

14 Mar 91:

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:

I was a rig driver for 84th Trans (Make-N-Money) – My story and what I saw of that accident--I had passed Bridges not soon before I turned into Camp Tybee , I was coming from the Dammon express way headed south she was headed north, our camp was named for Tybee Island in Savannah, GA where our unit was from. After parking my tractor and about to lay down, someone came running into the tent saying a rig just wrecked down the road. Myself and SSgt Brown left at once stopping only to pass message to the truck master that we are taking my rig bobtailed to the accident! We arrived onsite I believe around 3 am and stayed until past sunup, we were the first ones from 84th onsite with Top and her Plt Sgt showing up soon after with the Company commander. Her shotgun was a new recruit I had never met, he was just out of boot camp and sent straight to our unit. He had a broken arm from catching it in the rail in front of his seat, he was shaken up but okay. Bridges was not okay, she was not thrown from the vehicle as it would be hard to be thrown anywhere with 5000 gallons of gas pinned behind the seat that jumped off the 5th wheel when the tractor hit the sand berm that stopped her. She was wedged between the steering wheel and the seat with the tanker pushing against it. She was in little pain and her boyfriend (SPC Rodrequez) also from 2nd Plt showed up and sat in the vehicle with her until it was time to remove the steering wheel. She was given a satellite phone and called her parents before morning. It took about an hour for the military police to show up then they pushed everyone back. Took the fire department much longer. She died that morning after the fire department removed the pressure off of the steering wheel. This accident should never had happened! SOP is E-4/SPC or higher as primary operator of a tractor trailer. It took the company commander to authorize sending her on this mission as the truck master nor the Chief has the authorization for troops only equipment as she did not meet regulations for a primary driver of that vehicle. They should have found a qualified person to drive! Why she was driving we might never know! There were more qualified drivers in the company that could have taken that mission! BTW her boyfriend was licensed as he drove rigs in his last transportation unit in Panama just not in the 84th. That part about leaving Iraq I don’t think is right. (As she was headed north on Msr Mercedes and you have to go south to Msr Dodge then turn west for 3-4 more hrs then south again off Dodge into the desert by KKMC was a long way with a unlicensed shotgun (for any vehicle) SF-71 military Drivers License, who could not rest her if she got sleepy. 6 or 7 hrs in convoy) We had no fuel carriers only cargo/flatbeds in our company as we had another company that handled fuel for the 260th QM BN, but there was a supply BN just south of us only a few k’s away which had fuel bags and fuel carriers. She did have one of our trucks but as I was coming back from a mission I don’t know how she was picked or where she was coming or going. Only know the mission failed and that is what Army truckers concerns most about (esp supervisors such as truck master or chief, it makes them look bad) as all missions are logged as are all miles which is how you get company ranking per driver. They say safety first but it didn’t happen that way this time! Low mission success rate means you don’t drive! Means more details like sandbags, KP, or burning s**t! Sorry bout rant at the end, but it still pisses me off that she is gone. RIP Bridges I will never forget!

12 Mar 91:

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.





10 Mar 91:

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."



28 Feb 91:

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.




According to SSG Bill Hancock: I wanted to clear up the events that lead up to Tatiana’s death. It is reported incorrectly on your site. Tatiana had immigrated from Iran to the United States and was assigned to 2nd platoon (squad leader) 92nd MP Co, 93rd MP Bn, 18th MP Brigade, (not the 14th MP Bde) from Baumholder, Germany. Tatiana and 2 soldiers in her squad were pulling guard duty at the port. They saw a man taking pictures from atop one of those large cranes. Tatiana sent her 2 soldiers up to investigate. Both soldiers handed Tatiana their M-16s so she was holding 3 M-16’s and wearing full gear including Kevlar and flak vest. She stepped back from the base of the crane to get a better view of her soldiers as they climbed when she fell into the water. She was found an hour or so later and still had all her gear on and the 3 M-16’s. I think she was found in 50’ of water around 11 p.m. She was a great squad leader and person. Her troops held her in high regard.


Stefan Maciech wrote me an email saying "Hancock's story is about the closest story I have read yet anywhere.  I was with SSG Dees that night.  I was the soldier who went into the crane."


Gil Charette was a fellow MP with Tatiana and they were promoted at the same time. His wife would babysit Lena. Gil hopes to get back in touch with Lena, Joe and their father.


Brett Jones was also there and sent me this email in May 12:

I would like to add that that is not quite right. I was working that pier that night. When we saw someone taking pictures of us working. I went over to her humvee. I asked her and the SPC that went up into the crane. What we should do? He took off his gear except his 9mm and went up. He was gone about 10 minutes and came back down with someone. The man taking pictures came off the ladder first and then the specialist. She (Tatiana) backed up to get out of the way and fell in the water with all of her gear and his. And the sad part of the whole thing is that the first thing out of anyone’s mouth when we got interviewed by CID was “ do you think she committed suicide.” This is the first I have talked about this openly. Because after 21 years I’m going to get a tattoo in her name. I’ve lived with it long enough. I feel that I should have tried to save her from drowning that night. But, working around the ships all the time, the bilge pump is probably what sucked her under. It was a tough decision I made and has sucked to live with. So, to her family I send my condolences because you probably never got the flowers that me and two other soldiers sent with her. And to Stefan Maciech I apologize for walking up to your humvee that night.



Steven Hass was there and sent me the following on 4 May 13:


I was a Sergeant with the unit that was headquartered at the port when SSG Tatiana Khaghani Dees drowned, and I remember that night very well. SSG Bill Hancock's account is exactly the way I remember that night. A group of us helped search along the pier for any sign of her, right after she fell into the water. With our flashlights, we looked for anything - a piece of gear, a piece of clothing, anything that may have gotten caught on the pier as she went into the water, to give an idea of exactly where she went in, but we couldn't find any sign of her. Divers had to be called to look for her, and they found her pretty quickly. I vividly remember the divers bringing her up and lifting her body up onto the pier, because I was surprised that she was so fully loaded with gear. A helicopter picked her up, and that was the end of it. She really had no chance at all, with all the equipment she had on her.

Deepest condolences to her family.



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