Forty years ago, on October 25, 1983, U.S. forces, with a coalition of Caribbean nations, launched Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada, an island nation at the southern tip of the Lesser Antilles, about 500 miles from the Venezuelan coast. It was a key moment in a volatile year that saw the Cold War heat up more than it had since Vietnam.

Leading out discussion are a group of remarkable Marine Corps veterans who served in Grenada. Tim Howard was a AH-1 Cobra pilot who was shot down and lost his arm in the invasion. Going in to rescue Tim on the beach was helicopter crew members Mel DeMars, Doug Gore, Doug Doerr, Kelley Neidigh, and Larry King.

Gold Star Mother Vivian Scharver talks about her son, Cobra pilot First Lieutenant Jeffrey R. Scharver, who was killed in the rescue attempt.

Journalist Phil Kukielski, author of The U.S. Invasion of Grenada: Legacy of a Flawed Victory, will give us the background of the story and also tell us why so much of the war has been shrouded in secrecy.

Larry Burke and Doug Doerr from the National Museum of the Marine Corps will also show us a stunning new artifact installed from Operation Urgent Fury. It’s the tail boom of a US Marine AH-1 Cobra helicopter from Operation Urgent Fury, one of two shot down by anti-aircraft fire.

Behind that artifact is a story of rescue and survival. Five Marines involved in that story will be on our program giving their first-hand accounts.