Thomas P. Thorstad, Beirut Bombing CasualtyCasualty of the Beirut, Lebanon, Marine barracks bombing . . . .
In the Beirut Marine barracks bombing on October 23, 1983, in Beirut, Lebanon, which took place during the Lebanese Civil War, two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces. These forces were members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon. A total of 299 servicemen were killed in the bombing, including 220 United States Marines. The organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing, but that organization is thought to have been a nom de guerre for Hezbollah, which is believed to have received assistance from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Suicide bombers detonated each of the truck bombs. The explosives used at the Marine barracks were equivalent to 12,000 pounds of TNT. Two minutes later, a similar attack leveled the eight-story Drakkar building, killing 58 French paratroopers from Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes. In the attack on the American barracks, the death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 Navy personnel, and three Army soldiers, along with sixty Americans injured, representing the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II, the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States military since the first day of the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, and the deadliest single attack on Americans overseas since World War II. In the attack on the French barracks, 58 paratroopers were killed and 15 injured, in the single worst military loss for France since the end of the Algerian War. The elderly Lebanese custodian of the Marines' building also perished in the first blast. The bombings led to the withdrawal of the international peacekeeping force from Lebanon, where they had been stationed since the withdrawal of the Palestine Liberation Organization following the Israeli 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
Thomas Paul Thorstad
Staff Sergeant, United States Marine Corps
Date of Birth: July 18, 1956
Date of Death: October 23, 1983
Burial: Chesterton Cemetery
Information prepared by Steven R. Shook