100/442 suffers Iraq
war fatality

WASHINGTON » A fourth member of the 29th Brigade Combat Team was killed Saturday in Iraq, becoming the first combat casualty of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry -- one of three battalions assigned to Hawaii's 29th Brigade Combat Team from Fort Ruger.

Maj. Gen. Bob Lee, who heads Hawaii's nearly 6,000-member Hawaii Army and Air National Guard, confirmed the death last night, saying the soldier was from American Samoa.

Army officials said the soldier was killed by a homemade bomb Saturday while on patrol. His name will be released after his family has been notified.

He was a member of Charlie Company of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, which is located in American Samoa. The 100th Battalion has earned at least 28 Purple Hearts in the latest Iraq conflict, stemming from combat wounds its soldiers received while patrolling towns near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

So far, 23 soldiers, two sailors, 42 Marines and one civilian with Hawaii ties have been killed in Iraq since the war started on March 19, 2003.

The 29th Brigade has 3,500 soldiers, including nearly 1,500 soldiers from California, Minnesota, American Samoa, Guam and Oregon. The brigade has been in Iraq since March.

It suffered the deaths of 20 of its soldiers when it was last pressed into service in 1968 during the Vietnam War.

Balad is near Logistic Support Area Anaconda -- about 50 miles north of Baghdad -- where soldiers of the 29th Brigade's 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, and the unit's 29th Support Battalion are deployed.

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