Sun, Oct 27, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Grenada thanks US, celebrates 1983 invasion

AP, ST GEORGE’S

“I thought it was some sort of exercise,” he said. “It’s like being in a very large 3D theater ... I watched a Cobra helicopter get shot down. That’s when I realized this was really real.”

Jordan and about 30 students took cover in the two-bedroom apartment of Assistant Dean C.V. Rao and placed mattresses around the sliding doors as the fighting continued.

“There was apprehension... You don’t know what was happening,” Jordan said. “We also made it into a small party. We had some rum left. It was like a hurricane party.”

He and Rao convinced a school worker to find a bus and take students to the university, where they awaited US forces.

“Everyone was lying on the floor, face down. Then the helicopters arrived with US Marines,” Rao said. “They opened the doors and said: ‘We are the rescue mission.”’

Breasseale said the highlight of the invasion for him was watching students board the helicopters.

“I saw how happy they were and the hugs they were giving each other,” he said. “I felt so much pride.”

The worst for Breasseale came on the third day of the invasion: He was in one of four helicopters leading the pack, and three crashed behind him as they landed, killing everyone.

“We flew into a very harsh situation,” he said. “There was some enemy fire, some pilot error, some tactical decisions that were probably not the best ... It’s something I’m going to carry for the rest of my life.”

Breasseale said he planned to visit the place where the fatal crashes occurred.

It was his first time back in Grenada since the invasion, and he wanted to pay tribute to those who died.

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