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LCpl Todd Anthony Kraft - Fallen

LCpl Todd Anthony Kraft
Devils Lake, ND
County: Ramsey
Lebanon - Fallen
Date of Loss: December 4, 1983 / Age: 19
Branch of Service: Marines
Company/Division: G Company, 2/8 Battalion Landing Team, 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit

The evening of December 4th a reinforced squad of Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, led by Sgt Manuel A. Cox, came under attack while manning an observation post known as Checkpoint 7, south of Beirut International Airport (BIA), near the suburb known as Ash Shuwayfat. 2/8 had arrived in Beirut weeks earlier as part of the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) to relieve 1/8, having been delayed due to their participation in Operation Urgent Fury (invasion of Grenada).

The fighting positions at Checkpoint 7 were on top of two small 2 story buildings; the usable space of the rooftop locations measuring roughly 9'x12' each. The firefight lasted from approximately 1930 that evening until shortly after 2200. During the course of the action Sgt Cox controlled organic fires from 2/8's assets, including small arms, mortars, artillery, 105mm tank main guns, as well as TOW and Dragon ATGMs.

As the firefight progressed other Marines in Cox's squad rushed upstairs to assist their buddies and gain better fields of fire. Shortly after 2200 either a 120mm mortar round or a 122 rocket impacted on the position. Nine Marines were killed, and two others on the roof were wounded. 

~Courtesy of Cpl Karl Wittstruck

LCpl Kraft grew up at Devils Lake and graduated from Devils Lake High School in 1982. He joined the Marines after graduation. After basic training, he served at Camp Lejeune before going to Beirut. However, the group was diverted for a short time to Grenada where they took part in the rescue of American citizens from that island and to help restore democracy. Kraft's group was in Beirut two weeks and two days when the bombing occurred at the Beirut airport (on Dec. 4, 1983).

They were in Beirut on an international peacekeeping mission.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ramsey National Bank, both in Devils Lake, and Todd's parents established the Todd A Kraft Memorial Scholarship that is awarded annually based on financial need, with preference given to persons who have been honorably discharged from service in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Devils Lake Cemetery
Devils Lake
Ramsey County
North Dakota, USA