PFC Michael A. Noline

PFC Michael A. Noline

PFC. MICHAEL A. NOLINE

Hometown / City: Phoenix, AZ
Date of Death: Saturday, January 26, 1991
Conflict: Operation Desert Storm (Gulf War)
Branch: U.S. Marine Corps

Marines near the border on Saturday fired the heaviest artillery barrage of the war with Iraq, shelling Iraqi positions six miles inside occupied Kuwait. The Pentagon reported three Marines killed and seven injured in a two-vehicle accident related to the operation.Commanders at the 1st Marine Division headquarters said three batteries of 155mm howitzers fired on Iraqi positions near the L-shaped section of Kuwait's border with Saudi Arabia. The Marines have moved up to the border and fired howitzers twice before, but a news-pool report from the scene said officers described Saturday's barrage as the biggest yet. In the previous attacks, only one battery was fired. A battery normally consists of eight guns. An Iraqi vehicle was reported destroyed in a brief firefight along the border during the Saturday operation. In Washington, the Pentagon said late Saturday that the three Marines were killed when two light armored vehicles collided. The Pentagon said seven soldiers were injured, and four of them evacuated by helicopter. The three dead were identified as Pfc. Michael A. Noline, 20, of Phoenix, Ariz.; Staff Sgt. Michael R. Conner, 32, of Fremont, Calif.; and Lance Cpl. Arthur O. Garza, 20, of Kingsville, Texas. This is an article I found online. Pfc. Noline, and Lcpl Garza were my best friends. they were the only ones who kept my vehicle commander of my back. They died on the morning of Saturday, January 26, 1991. That was the day I feel like I died inside. The mission started on Friday night at about 10 PM we staged our vehicles for the artillery assault. We had been practicing the movements all day and we had very little sleep. Garza, and Noline were excited because they would be leading the forward observer, and a combat engineer across the boarder. They were about to be the first Marines to step foot on the field of battle. They would be the first American fighting men to enter the combat zone. They would also be the first Americans to be killed while in combat. The previous day we sat and talked about the mission. We ate dinner and Noline, and Garza talked about getting to be the first Marines to step foot into enemy territory. They were so excited to be chosen. All Garza could talk about was his daughter, and the stories he would tell her about the war. He would tell us how he couldn't wait to get home to his wife Jennifer, and his brand new daughter. Noline was kind of quiet about the whole situation. I could tell he was excited but he didn't let on how he felt. To him he was just doing his job, and there was no need to brag about it. On the night of the 25th we moved to our forward positions without being noticed. We staged our vehicles on line at the boarder to prepare for the assault. Garza and Noline dismounted their vehicle to set up security for the forward team. their job was to keep the spotters safe while they called in the positions of enemy artillery. They started their forward movement, and just made it about 100 meters across the boarder when an enemy vehicle poped over the horizon. Thats when the fire fight started. the gunner on their vehicle started firing his main gun and the forward team started firing on the enemy. Our intelligence was just a little off. We were told that we were just going to engage couple of artillery guns, and they would be easy to kill. Thats when the entire desert started to move. Little did we know we just stirred a hornets nest. We were now engaged with the entire 1st, and 3rd mechanized divisions of the Iraqi army and all their artillery. There was artillery and multi rocket launchers pounding our positions and they were dialing us in fast. The command vehicle called the forward team back, because we had to get out of dodge. The observers came running back to their vehicle, and Noline and Garza brought up the rear. By this time there were shells falling all around us. Our commander gave the order to fall back to the rally point. All of the vehicles headed out to the south east at about forty five miles an hour. We hadn't gotten very far when the calls came across the radio. One of our vehicles had been hit. My vehicle commander told me to turn around and go back to help out. We got the call over the radio that it was the forward teams vehicle. We arrived at the vehicle and it looked like the back of the LAV had been blown apart. I stopped and jumped out of the hatch of my drivers seat. I ran to the back of the vehicle and thats when I saw Noline laying on the ground behind the destroyed LAV. I looked inside and couldn't see Garza. I told them to find Garza, and I helped carry noline to the clear. The corpsmen had shown up and started working on Noline. I started running back down the trail and found Garzas helmet behind another vehicle. This is when I lost it. My vehicle commander told me to get back to my vehicle, and call in the details to command. I was told to report Conner deceased, Noline bad condition, and Garza not found. About five minutes had passed and I was given the note that would change my life. Conner dead, Jenkins dead, Linderman dead, Garza dead, and Noline bad condition. We were told the medivac helicopter couldn't land because the zone was considered hot. The next note I received stated Noline had passed.