Operation Praying Mantis – 18 Years Ago

April 18th, 2006 by xformed

I received a comment on my A Journey into History – Part IX that discussed my participation in Operation El Dorado Canyon 20 years ago.

The author of an upcoming book about the mining of the USS SAMUEL B ROBERTS (FFG-58), Bradley Peniston, left me a note indicating that 18 years ago today, the retaliation for the attack on the ROBERTS was conducted. That was Operation Praying Mantis.

Brad’s book, No Higher Honor, tells the story of the crew of the ROBERTS, led by the Captain, CDR Paul X. Rinn, in their efforts that saved the ship from sinking, despite having a broken keel. The book is due out in June of this year.


At twenty-five knots, the sea came on quickly. Its surface, wrinkled and opaque, rushed toward the warship, split against the steel prow, and became a fleeting trail of foam pointing back toward Kuwait.

Four decks above the waterline, Seaman Bobby F. Gibson leaned over the forecastle rail and twisted the focus knob on his binoculars. His metal chair, bolted to the main deck just behind the bow, afforded a panoramic view of the central Persian Gulf. The 19-year-old from Walkertown, N.C., took in the scene one small circle at a time.

Looks like a pretty well written beginning…

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