Wounded Contractor Escapes Terrorist Captors
civilian constructor Thomas Hamill,43, of Macon, Mississipi
waves to the media at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
in Landstuhl, western Germany, Tuesday May 4, 2004. Hamill
was kidnapped three weeks ago in an insurgent attack on
his convoy in Iraq and was found by US forces Sunday, May
2, 2004, south of Tikrit.
J. Knippertz / AP
Iraq, May 2, 2004 – At approximately 11:15 a.m. Sunday near
Balad, south of Tikrit, a patrol from Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion,
108th Infantry Regiment from the New York Army National Guard
was approached by a wounded man claiming to be an American.
The man identified himself as Thomas Hamill, the
American truck driver working for Kellogg Brown and Root (a subsidiary
of Halliburton Corp.) who had been taken hostage by anti-coalition
forces on April 9. Several other contractors and an American soldier
were also captured during the incident.
Hamill led the combat patrol to the house where
he had been held captive. And there the unit quickly secured the
area and conducted a search where they located two Iraqis with
an AK47 who had been holding Hamill captive. They were arrested
and are currently being detained.
A Medevac helicopter was called for Hamill, and
he was transported to a nearby military base and subsequently
to Baghdad where he is reportedly being treated for a bullet wound
infection, but is believed to be in stable condition.
U.S. General Kimmitt speaking on Hamill’s
condition said at a press conference in Baghdad that Hamill is
in "good health".
Hamill, a Macon,
Mississippi native, reportedly called home from the hospital and
spoke with his wife and family to tell of his escape and to comfort
Hamill’s escape from his Iraqi captors is still the topic
of conversation in shops around Macon and among leaders
in the small east Mississippi community, as evidenced by
the yellow ribbons, American flags and this photo tribute
to the former hostage, shown in this photograph taken Monday,
May 3, 2004, in downtown Macon, Miss. Town officials say
that they are pushing ahead with plans for a big parade
celebrating freedom for one of their own. Hamill, a contract
truck driver for a Halliburton subsidiary, escaped his captors
Sunday. He has been treated since Monday at a western Germany
facility for a wounded arm. His wife, Kellie, joined him
in Germany on Wednesday.
Solis / AP
was seized April 9th during a terrorist insurgent attack on a
supply convoy west of Baghdad.
Also during the weekend, contractors with the
Task Force Olympia security forces operating near Mosul found
several powerful explosives, which they referred to as a "daisy
chain" of munitions. The weapons cache included more than
10 live mortar and artillery rounds and numerous inert mortar
and artillery shells. The explosive ordnance detail took control
of the situation and called for the closure of Highway 1, (a main
route between Mosul and Baghdad) while the explosives were dealt
with to secure the safety of the area.
Sources: Gerry J. Gilmore, AFPS and CJTF