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Saddam Hussein Bronze Bust from 2003 Baghdad International Airport- To Benefit American Soldiers – COA Provenance LOAGo Back
Historic Bronze Bust of Saddam Hussein will now benefit America Soldiers. A portion of the proceeds of this sale will be donated and benefit the VTRC (Veteran Transition Resource Center) and the American Soldier and his family who obtained the bronze bust.
On the morning of 3 April 2003, US forces advanced on Saddam International Airport. This location turned out to be the best defended Iraqi position of the entire war and two US soldiers were killed by mortar fire early in the fighting. After several hours of combat, the First Brigade, Third Infantry Division succeeded in taking control of Baghdad International Airport, which would become the hub of American logistics in Iraq for the next seven years. Before sunrise on 4 April, the Americans were subjected to a fierce counter-attack by Iraqi troops. The First Brigades Tactical Operations Center (TOC) began receiving small arms and mortar fire. Under the cover of darkness, a number of T-72 tanks managed to get within several hundred meters of their position. According to one source: “It was not until a chemical reconnaissance vehicle was fired on, and a Bradley actually was hit by a T-72 main gun round, that the battalion became aware of its peril.”
Fortunately for the crew, the hit was only a glancing one, and they were able to drive their vehicle to safety. A fireteam with a Javelin ATGM destroyed two of the Iraqi tanks, while the rest were destroyed by a passing M1 Abrams. As dawn approached, the attack on the TOC intensified, and Iraqi infantry flooded into the position on foot. During the fighting, Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith was killed by enemy fire while fighting off an Iraqi attack on his team in an action that resulted in the posthumous awarding of division’s first Medal of Honor since World War II. During the softening up bombardment of Baghdad Airport on 3 April 2003, an Air Force F-15E fighter mistakenly attacked Battery C, First Battalion, 3-13th Field Artillery (supporting Third Infantry Division), destroying two Humvees and killing Sergeant 1st Class Randy Rehn and Sergeants Donald Oaks and Todd Robins. Five other soldiers from the unit were injured in the air attack. Sergeant 1st Class Wilbert Davis is also reported to have been killed along with American journalist Michael Kelly on 3 April after coming under fire, during operations to secure Baghdad Airport.
From the debris of that airport battle, this bronze bust of Saddam Hussein was recovered. It was spotted by former US Army soldier, Mr. T who is from Las Vegas as he was clearing the airport. It is approximately 17″ tall solidly from bronze and was originally was part of a 15′ statue of Saddam Hussein. Torres brought it back to the US after his 13-month tour of duty was over.
Mr. T relayed importantly about the statue, “It was in pieces so I was able to take the head and get documentation to take it through customs. I decided to wait a while before trying to sell it so my children could grow up and see it. I believe it is the only one of it’s kind in the USA and it means a lot to me. I served my country and served it well and to be able to bring something home to show my family, show my friends, show them what was taking place was important.”
Authentication: Provenance Letter
Shipping fees will be determined upon sale- all appropriate oversize and weight freight charges will apply.