EVENTS OF ATTACKS ON U. S.
EMBASSY - ISLAMABAD
21 November 1979
following events are arranged chronologically to present a clear
picture of the events in Pakistan on 21
Nov 1979. They are compiled from a number of sources (i.e.
statements and eyewitness reports) but primarily from a direct phone
link with Islamabad which
was manned continuously during most of the
-Post #1 notified that (2) busloads of
students were approaching the Embassy.
-NCOIC notified and proceeded to Post #1.
gates at Embassy entrance shut.
recalled: Cpl Epply in hospital; Cpl Sima
people in Embassy driveway.
Crowley and Sgt Segobiano positioned on the
-Initial 50-75 attackers leave.
-More attackers arrive and overpower 15-20
returns to Post #1 manned by Sgt Sirois.
outside the Embassy along with other small arms fire.
-NCOIC goes to check posts.
#2 Sgt Purry
and LCpl Bledscoe OK with all emergency
gear laid out.
S/A ##### and
#### arrive at Post #1 armed with DEA weapons. -
ADMIN 0. and POLCOUNS directing employees into the vault area.
checks roof and finds Cpl Crowley shot
through the head.
Segobiano tries to find a stretcher.
radios available for MSGs on the roof.
Mr. ##### and Sgt Segobiano help the NCOIC carry Cpl Crowley to Mr.
Garden's office. . :
nurse left with Cpl Crowley.
-Cpl Sima arrives
outside compound and cannot enter. He proceeds to Mr. Furgeson's
house at the Canadian Housing compound and observes U.S. Embassy
compound from the roof
-Pandemonium inside the
agents ask RSO
and Admin 0. whether deadly force is authorized. Both respond, "No."
agents ##### and ##### offer services to RSO.
-Cpl Sima observes club on
fire; theater on fire; and motor pool on
-Post n reports that it
is on firs.
break through main gates across Chancery.
break into cafeteria.
agents again ask RSO
for permission to use deadly force. RSO told them to ask Admin
0. who said, "No."
-Post #2 evacuated to Post
gas still being dispensed
MSGs on second floor.
Sirois's arms burned by bursting
gas cannister that bounced back inside Post
-Small arms fire heard
throughout the compound.
being started in the
throws gas into lobby to discourage attackers.
-All employees in the vault.
the second floor.
and gas filling entire Chancery.
-NCOIC directs DEA agents to set up a defensive position on third floor
to await MSGs1 retreat.
Sima observes demonstrators climbing
flag taken down and antenna being destroyed.
agents requested to secure the
roof. RSO and Admin 0. said not to do so.
-All Marines retreat to Third Floor vault
area dispensing gas along the way.
-All employees in inner vault.
RSO, MSGs and DEA agents in outer vault.
hatch being attacked by people on the roof.
being fired in air vents by attackers.
approximately 1515 radio
communications were gained with those inside the vault by RSS Mr. Ron
Kelly, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Trippett and
Mrs. Elizabeth Bowen who were at Mrs. Bowen's house a few blocks from
compound. They opened a telephone line to the Consulate in Karachi and
the next 5 hours. The following are direct quotes from Mrs. Bowen and
company over the phone relayed from the vault
and other sources.
-"Gen Akhtar, head of Pakistan Intelligence arrived at the scene
and is doing nothing."
demonstrators on the roof firing weapons."
observes third floor smoking - calls Hr. Handly and asks
him to do something
because people in the vault will suffocate.
-"Nothing being done by PAK
helicopters circling compound."
Crowley pronounced dead.
-"Pak troops in the area but doing nothing."
- British Ambassador awaiting word from
President Zia for the troops to move in.
-"Troops are still doing nothing."
- Cpl Sima leaves balcony of Mr. Furgesons
house because he is seen.
-"Ambassador expecting call from Pres.
-"Helo moving over to Mrs. Bowen's house."
-"Vault asking whether there is any hope
-"Ambassador cannot get in touch with
Tactical Commander of Pak troops."
-"Attackers within a few minutes of
getting in roof hatch."
-"Troops still doing nothing."
-"American children at the school will
be allowed to go home with British and Canadian
getting better - people in the vault wondering what's going
they break inside the vault the
Marines will open fire."
-"Vault cannot raise
-"Still trying to raise the Ambassador."
-"Urgently-need to talk to the
-"School will not answer the vault."
under our feet - fire under our feet."
below us,we need to get to the roof."
communications with the
to get out! Need to get out! Need to get out NOW!"
still calling Ambassador."
school is being attacked."
radio room...American school needs help."
-"Its getting hot inside."
-"Its getting very hot!"
-"Destroying all crypto."
-"We want out now its very very
-"Ambassador is on the phone to President
-"Ambassador trying to raise the
-"Gen Arif has given orders to clear the
-"Trying to get out on the roof - can't
get out through the
vault because of fire.
-"Ambassador cannot advise the vault when to open but said to
use their own judgment."
-"President Zia is making a statement about the Pakistan
-"Students have left the school
-"Vault can't get the Ambassador."
-"No comm with the vault."
- NCOIC receives permission to open vault door and try to clear an
escape route on the third floor.
- MSGT Miner, Sgt Sirois, S/A Powers and S/A Sayles leave vault. •
Third floor on fire.
turned back by attackers in stairwell by Ambassador's office.
-"Ambassador can't be heard in the
-"Vault wants to know if there is any way
to help them out NOW."
Assault team returns to vault.
-"Are firefighters outside vault?"
out on roof we want Pak military to
know we are Americans."
- MSGT Miller, Sgt Purry and Sgt Segobiano left vault again
-"Ambassador says stay put."
-"Ambassador says stand fast so they can
double check the roof."
- Mr. Schoen and Mr. Lessard working on the
hatch from inside -it was still
- MSGT Miller, Sgt Purry, Sgt Segobiano and S/A Sayles secure roof.
going out to recon roof."
-"Only exit is roof."
-"Think Marines are on the roof."
-"Ambassador talking to Americans in the
says Pak troops are on the roof - expect them"
-"Ambassador says the troops on the roof have been instructed ~ to
be very careful."
-"No contact with troops on the roof." 1809 -"Trouble getting the
-"Ambassador says don't worry about
troops, they know you're there."
wants to know just before you open
-"Everything quiet at the American
says they can hold but only a few minutes
- Lost comm with Mrs. Bowen:
-"All children out safely from the
- Hatch opened LCpl Bledscoe, LTCol. Williams, Sgt Sirois and S/A #####
exit and set up a defense on the roof.
-"Everyone get on the roof."
-"Get out faster we are burning"
is going up in flames, get us off the roof."
Sgt Segobiano finds a ladder down to auditorium
-"Ladder on auditorium but
the roof is on fire. We think we can make it."
-"Radio man coming up from vault." (Mr. #####).
-"Going to cross auditorium roof and try to get down ladders...
everything is burning."
-"Ambassador at MFA with no transportation."
people left in C&R - still people
in the vault."
is on the roof, its very very hot."
-"Instructed to go to auditorium roof."
on both sides and under feet."
brigade showed up-...breathing first fresh air in 4
Sgt Sirois and Mr. Tim McLaskey still in
vault with Cpl Crowley's body.
MSGT Miller went back down inside the vault and carried the body out.
-"Fire Brigade arrived."
-"There were no Pak military on the roof and no attackers."
is a total loss - completely engulfed in flames... at least one maybe
Americans left on the roof."
-"Trying to find out if any Americans are left on the compound."
back and now they can't find him."
-"Linda Trippett and Mrs. Bowen are at
the Haggerty residence relaying all messages.
-"Looking for one person...Get out
(Mr. ##### ) standing in compound awaiting word from Pak military."
-"Pak military tries to disarm Marines - Marines refuse to give up
a head count."
-"All Americans off the building.
Pak army is evacuating all to British Embassy under guard."
- No one took a head count in the vault.
- First units have left the compound on the
way to the British Embassy.
-"One American is being escorted back to the compound to look for other
Americans believed to be on the
-"A couple of search parties are looking over the compound for missing
although they do not know for sure that any are
-"Someone in Gen. Zia's office told the British Ambassador
in the day that a Battalion of Army was being sent to the American
Embassy. They never showed."
-"The two MSGs who were missing were found safe - information from the
American Center." (Cpl Epply in
the hospital; Cpl Sima observing from Furgeson's house.)
- Ambassador closed phone link from Haggerty house to Karachi.