AP wire copy recreates first night of Gulf war

Posted at: 11/12/2012 10:34 PM
By: Joe Vigil, KOB Eyewitness News

KOB Eyewitness News 4 reporter Joe Vigil came across Associated Press wire copy that was printed in Dubuque, Iowa on January 16, 1991. This was the night the United States went to war with Iraq after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

The wire copy is a play-by-play description of the war, just moments after it broke out.

Vigil showed the wire copy to New Mexico Civil Air Patrol Wing Commander Mark Smith, who was flying in the gulf that night. The copy mentions Dhahran, where Smith was stationed.

"The Iraqis would shoot the SCUD missiles down into Saudi Arabia and one of the popular targets was around the Dhahran area," Smith said.

"We had army Patriot missiles right outside the wire at Dhahran that would engage these SCUD missiles. Brings back a  lot of memories."

Lt. Jason Fleming with the U.S. Navy Reserve in Albuquerque was just 18 and at boot camp in San Diego when he was told that this was where he was going.

"Get ready, this the real deal. Of course we hadn't been in any war since Vietnam. So, this was scary," Fleming said.

Flemimg remembered the president talking about how Saddam Hussein "raped and pillaged Kuwait."

Both service members remember a ferocious air campaign.

The Col. later found out the extremes the Iraqis went to hide their airplanes from the U.S. led coalition.

"We found out after the war they buried a lot of airplanes in the sand to try to keep them safe," Smith said.