Pensacola Archives - StoryCorps

‘We Don’t Talk About it Much’: Remembering the 241 U.S. Service Members Lost During the Beirut Bombing of 1983

James Edward Brown is one of the survivors of the Beirut Bombing.

On October 23, 1983, 241 U.S. service members were killed in the terrorist attack on Marine barracks in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War. It was the largest single-day loss of life for the Marines since World War II, and the deadliest terror attack on American citizens prior to September 11, 2001.

Navy hospital corpsman Brown was 200 yards away from the barracks when the bomb detonated.

He came to StoryCorps in Pensacola with his friend and fellow Beirut veteran, Mike Cline, to remember the day of the attack.


In 2018, on the 35th anniversary of the bombing, Ed Brown walked 24.1 miles per day for a month to remember the 241 service members lost in the bombing.


Top photo: Rescuers probe the wreckage of the U.S. Marine command, Monday, Oct. 24, 1983 in a Beirut building that was destroyed by a terrorist bomb. AP Photo/Zouki.
Middle photo: Mike Cline and James Edward Brown pose at their StoryCorps interview on April 30, 2019 in Pensacola, FL. By Joseph Vincenza/WUWF.
Bottom photo: James Edward Brown is photographed during his 540-mile trek from Jacksonville, FL to Jacksonville, NC in October 2018. On his march, Ed walked 24.1 miles per day to honor the 241 soldiers killed in the bombing. Courtesy James Edward Brown.

Originally aired May 24, 2019, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Aimee Gerold and her father Bob

Bob Gerold came to StoryCorps with his daughter, Aimee, who was adopted from China when she was a baby.

As Bob found out, Aimee had a lot of questions about how their family began.

Tom Davis with his parents Connie and Bob

Tom Davis talks with his parents, Connie and Robert, about a surfing accident when he was 21 years old that left him paralyzed from the neck down.

To see a photo of Tom before his accident, click here.

Richard Coleman, Derek Connell and Claudia Coleman

54-year-old Boy Scout Derek Connell (C) talks with his Scoutmasters Richard (L) and Claudia Coleman (R) about Troop 409, a troop for scouts with special needs.


Originally aired February 5, 2010, on NPR’s Morning Edition.