Soldier takes RPG to helmet, and lives...


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Drizzt
April 27, 2003, 11:00 AM
'It's The Best Day Of My Life, Having Him Home'

April 26, 2003

By Theron Zahn


SEA-TAC AIRPORT - 20-year-old Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Harnish came as close to death as you can get. That is why the reunion with his family and friends at Sea-Tac Airport Friday night was so emotional.

Harnish was one of the first Marines into Baghdad. While under enemy fire, he was hit in the head by a rocket propelled grenade.

"It hit me square on," said Harnish.

The grenade didn't explode, but left a hole in his kevlar helmet.

Harnish was knocked out for several minutes, but amazingly as soon as he came to, he grabbed his rifle and continued firing.

"It made me mad, I got mad." said Harnish.

He then fought for several more hours before he could get the medical attention he needed.

"He actually, he called me while he was on the stretcher," said girlfriend Jessica Drake. "I don't know how he ended up calling me, but I couldn't hear him. All I could hear was a bunch of yelling in the background,"

"I have a headache mostly, I've lost some hearing in my left ear," said Harnish.

The good news is he should recover.

To Harnish's family from Federal Way, he is a hero, and they are so thankful for another touch and hug, knowing they came very close to never enjoying these simple things again.

"There is a lot things he talked about that a lot of moms don't want to hear until their sons get back," said his mother Debbie Adams.

"It's the best day of my life, having him home," said stepfather Rob Adams. "Very proud of him, extremely proud."

http://www.komotv.com/stories/24507.htm

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Waitone
April 27, 2003, 11:06 AM
Kevlar--Good stuff

That hadda hurt!

Did his ears ring?

Please tell me he was able to keep his kevlar.

rick458
April 27, 2003, 01:03 PM
seems like they had more RPGs than bullets on the other side
I hope Our guys played a lot of Duke Nukem and Quake to get ready for it.;)

COHIBA
April 27, 2003, 01:47 PM
BONK!

Blackhawk
April 27, 2003, 02:05 PM
Wonderful outcome, but I'm skeptical about the weapon being an RPG. They're about 70-80mm in diameter, so if a dud fuzed one hit you square on, there would me more damage than a hole in your helmet. Not saying it wasn't an RPG -- just saying I'm skeptical.

coonan357
April 27, 2003, 02:46 PM
someone please pass the anacin I have a whopper of a headache .. :D somebody had a higher power watching out for him .

Feanaro
April 27, 2003, 02:52 PM
If that's true then he's pretty darn lucky. If it's like the British soldier and this helmet... :D

Ol' Badger
April 27, 2003, 03:07 PM
Can you say BS? I'm from Missouri and you have to show me!
But if it is total true, then I say that fellow can pick me Lotto numbers from now on!

Delmar
April 27, 2003, 04:11 PM
Now-THATS what I call a jar head!

freeride21a
April 27, 2003, 04:43 PM
I hope Our guys played a lot of Duke Nukem and Quake to get ready for it.

Does that mean that if you jump and simultaineously shoot your rocket into the ground below you, you can launch yourself up onto that 30 foot roof in front of you? :D

Azrael256
April 27, 2003, 08:27 PM
Does that mean that if you jump and simultaineously shoot your rocket into the ground below you, you can launch yourself up onto that 30 foot roof in front of you? Yes, it does! The problem is that you'll be a pile of chunky salsa when you land.

CWL
April 28, 2003, 06:40 PM
An unexploded RPG wouldn't hurt his kevlar-protected head as much as it would break his neck. The "r" in RPG stands for rocket.

I don't believe this since I've seen RPGs in action.

If anyone recalls, the experience in Mogadishu when a unexploded RPG punched a hole thru a 2-ton truck door and buried itself into the torso of a USGI.

Also, in case anybody didn't see the follow-up, that British soldier with the shot-up but intact helmet has since admitted that it was a hoax. His helmet was on the ground and accidentally shot by a squadmate. A guillible photographer believed the story.

(edited to add Mogadishu example.)

Faceplant
October 26, 2006, 04:58 AM
And I can assure you that he did indeed get hit with an RPG. If you are skeptical read the article about the 1/5 Marines trek through Iraq in the Orange County Register.

strambo
October 26, 2006, 07:53 AM
Um, a helmet is curved, the front of an RPG is curved...can you say ricochet? It didn't hit square obviously. Helmets are made to deflect suff.

Doug b
October 26, 2006, 11:15 AM
Hmmmmmmmmmmm rpg to the head and survived quick enough to return to the fight.I'm calling BS here.

knuckles
October 26, 2006, 11:23 AM
Yawn, why'd ya wake this one up? It was 3 1/2 years old. Let it go back to sleep....

El Tejon
October 26, 2006, 11:30 AM
Doug, if Chinee manufacture, then not uncommon. As well, the young marine could have been inside the arming zone of the weapon (approximately 12 yards, IIRC) when he was hit (happens in urban scraps).

XDKingslayer
October 26, 2006, 11:43 AM
Wonderful outcome, but I'm skeptical about the weapon being an RPG. They're about 70-80mm in diameter, so if a dud fuzed one hit you square on, there would me more damage than a hole in your helmet. Not saying it wasn't an RPG -- just saying I'm skeptical.

Be skeptical all you want, but he's the second documented Jarhead to take a dud RPG to the grape.

On the History channel they showed the march from Kuwait to Bagdad and they were interviewing a few Marines that were in the back of an Amtrak. He said he saw it fired and the next thing he knew he was on his back on the floor of the Amtrak. Once he realized he wasn't dead, he said the first thing that went through his mind was "How dare they shoot at me.". He got up and started firing back.

Owen
October 26, 2006, 11:50 AM
I think you are all picturing a square on hit, which would be the most unlikely occurrance, as the elmet is nearly a shper, and the rocket is a cone, at leat of the front. It wouldn't take much of a glancing hit to knock someone out cold.

quatin
October 26, 2006, 11:50 AM
Perhaps the "square on" part was a tad exaggerated. Maybe it just glanced off his helmet.

Doug b
October 26, 2006, 12:06 PM
El Tejon if the young Marine was within 12 yrds. of an rpg do you honestly think he would survive a head shot?Does anybody here know the weight / velocity of an rpg.

El Tejon
October 26, 2006, 12:37 PM
Doug, I think it is certainly possible, yes. ArPayGay-Cem' matchstick head weighs 5 to 10 pounds (depending on the load).

I do not know the initial velocity (max velocity is around 850 fps, IIRC). However, there is an article in the latest issue of Small Arms Review. I'll look and see if it has any numbers for you.:)

*I'm doing numbers on memory. May not be exact*

the naked prophet
October 26, 2006, 02:38 PM
If he was hit within the arming distance, he may also have been hit before it had accelerated to the full speed. I obviously don't know what model he was hit with, but I'm sure there are some which are launched with an initial charge (like a regular firearm) but then are accelerated with a rocket.

Roccobro
October 26, 2006, 09:54 PM
There was a report in the Shot Gun News a few months back about RPG's and their application. Some were designed to hit armor, expel it's load through the nozzle nose, and the resulting damage was done inside vehicle. No dead stop impact, no molten metal spewing forth. Many different Mfgr's, many different application of rockets too. IIRC, initial launch was ~200fps before rocket part kicked in.

I'd be pissed too!

Justin

Big Papi Q
October 15, 2012, 02:28 AM
I know this is an old topic, but I came acrossed it looking up old stories about my buddy in the USMC. I actually know the guy this thread is about and I have seen his Kevlar. When I looked at his Kevlar, I could definitely tell that it hit him square on. The story is true so you can put your doubts to rest.

12131
October 15, 2012, 02:46 AM
I know this is an old topic, but I came acrossed it looking up old stories about my buddy in the USMC. I actually know the guy this thread is about and I have seen his Kevlar. When I looked at his Kevlar, I could definitely tell that it hit him square on. The story is true so you can put your doubts to rest.
Man, did you just join to resurrect an almost 10 year old thread?:eek:

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