|Nathan B. Bruckenthal|
July 17, 1979|
Stony Brook, New York, U.S.
|Died||April 24, 2004
Near Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal, Northern Persian Gulf
|Buried at||Section 60, Site 7978, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Coast Guard|
|Years of service||January 1999 – April 2004|
|Rank||Damage Controlman Third Class|
|Unit||TACLET South, LEDET 403, assigned to the USS Firebolt|
|Awards|| Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device
Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
|Spouse(s)||Pattie Bruckenthal (wife)|
|Relations||Ric Bruckenthal (father)
Laurie Bullock (mother)
Harper Natalie Bruckenthal (daughter)
Nathan B. "Nate" Bruckenthal (July 17, 1979 – April 24, 2004) was a United States Coast Guardsman who was killed in the Iraq War, becoming the first to die in wartime action since the Vietnam War. Bruckenthal and two U.S. Navy sailors were killed while intercepting a waterborne suicide attack on an offshore oil terminal off the coast of Iraq in the northern Persian Gulf in 2004.
Early life and education
Bruckenthal was born in Stony Brook, New York, the son of Ric Bruckenthal of Northport, New York, and Laurie Bullock of Ashburn, Virginia. While growing up he had also lived in Hawaii, Virginia, and Connecticut. Bruckenthal and his family lived in Ridgefield, Connecticut from 1992 to 1995, where he was a volunteer firefighter from 1997 to 1998. Bruckenthal was a graduate of Ridgefield High School and intended to follow his service in the U.S. Coast Guard by subsequently going to college and becoming a policeman or a fireman.
United States Coast Guard
Bruckenthal joined the U.S. Coast Guard on January 5, 1999. He served on USCGC Point Wells, based out of Montauk, New York, prior to attending Damage Controlman "A" School. After his schooling, he was assigned to Station Neah Bay in the northwest corner of Washington on the Makah Indian Reservation.
His next assignment was to Tactical Law Enforcement (TACLET) Team South, at Coast Guard Air Station Miami. Bruckenthal's first tour to the Persian Gulf region was from April to June 2003. He departed home for his second deployment in February 2004 and was due to return that June. During both tours his detachment, LEDET 403, was assigned to the USS Firebolt.
Attack in the Persian Gulf
On April 24, 2004, Bruckenthal and two U.S. Navy sailors were killed while intercepting a waterborne suicide attack on the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal off the coast of Iraq in the northern Persian Gulf.
An account of the attack was included the May 2004 issue of U.S. Coast Guard Reservist magazine:
|“||In the early evening hours of April 24, a dhow (a lateen-rigged Arabian vessel) approached an oil terminal in the Persian Gulf. Bruckenthal, trained as both a boarding team member and boarding officer, was accompanied by one other Coast Guardsman and five sailors from the United States Navy. The group boarded a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB), taking off in pursuit. As the crew was poised to board the dhow, an explosion was detonated. Two Navy petty officers also died as a result of the waterborne attack: PO1 Michael J. Pernaselli, 27, of Monroe, N.Y., and PO2 Christopher E. Watts, 28, of Knoxville, Tenn. Injured were three Navy sailors and BM3 Joseph T. Ruggiero, USCG, 23, from Revere, Mass., who received the Purple Heart.||”|
Bruckenthal was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and the Purple Heart, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. He was buried at Section 60, Site 7978 of Arlington National Cemetery on May 7, 2004, where he is currently interred.
Awards and decorations
In 2001, Bruckenthal met his future wife, Pattie, while serving at U.S. Coast Guard Station Neah Bay. Pattie was a university student studying the Makah Indian tribe when Bruckenthal gave the students a tour of the station. Bruckenthal is survived by his wife, Pattie, and his daughter, Harper Natalie Bruckenthal, who was born after his death.
Bruckenthal is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He is the first U.S. Coast Guardsman to be killed in action in military conflict since the Vietnam War. Bruckenthal's death is noted in an article listing Jewish U.S. service members killed in Iraq.
The Unaccompanied Personnel Housing building at Coast Guard Station Montauk and Training Center Cape May, is named in honor of Bruckenthal. He served as a fireman on the USCGC Point Wells, which was homeported in Montauk, New York.
- "Nathan Bruckenthal: Petty Officer Third Class, United States Coast Guard". Arlington National Cemetery Website: Where Valor Proudly Sleeps. Michael Robert Patterson. July 8, 2011. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- "Pattie Bruckenthal". Coast Guard Foundation. Stonington, Connecticut.
- O'Donnell, Michelle (May 8, 2004). "Long Island Native, Killed in Iraq, Is Buried in Arlington". The New York Times.
- "Nathan Bruckenthal", Our Military Heroes, U.S. Department of Defense
- PAC Peter Capelotti, USCGR (April 25, 2003). "Operation Iraqi Freedom Documentation Project / U.S. Coast Guard Oral History Program". U.S. Coast Guard. Retrieved 2010-02-12.
- Silverstein, Judy L., "A Coast Guard Hero is Laid to Rest...", U.S. Coast Guard Reservist Magazine, U.S. Coast Guard
- NBC News (April 26, 2004). "Jordanian claims suicide attacks on Iraqi terminal: Statement issued in al-Zarqawi's name". MSNBC News. Microsoft Corporation. Archived from the original on April 28, 2004. Retrieved April 28, 2004.
- Bloom, Nate (June 4, 2004). "More Tears by the Rivers of Babylon". JWR: Light of a Life. Jewish World Review. Archived from the original on June 4, 2004. Retrieved June 4, 2004.
- Lagan, Christopher, "Coast Guard to name cutter for DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal", Coast Guard Compass: Official Blog of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard
- References cited
- Lagan, Christopher (24 April 2014). "Coast Guard to name cutter for DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal". Coast Guard Compass: Official Blog of the U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Coast Guard. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- O'Donnell, Michelle (May 8, 2004). "Long Island Native, Killed in Iraq, Is Buried in Arlington". Archives. The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-12.
- Silverstein, Judy L. "A Coast Guard Hero is Laid to Rest..." (PDF). U.S. Coast Guard Reservist Magazine. Vol. 51, Issue 5: U.S. Coast Guard. pp. 14–16. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- "Nathan Bruckenthal". Our Military Heroes. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nathan Bruckenthal.|
- Nathan B. Bruckenthal at TogetherWeServed