Butler fired at the first suicide bomber driving the dump truck where he shot 20 or 30 rounds before it detonated. The blast knocked him down. He regained he composure under the falling debris and sandbags only to find a large diesel fire truck roaring down the road toward him. Butler said that both the suicide bombers, driver and passenger, were wearing black turbans and robes, often worn by religious martyrs.
Amid the chaos of that first bomb blast, supported by gunfire from an estimated 30 dismounted insurgents, the fire engine passed largely undetected on a small road that leads from town directly past the camp wall, according a Marine report.
"I couldn't see him at first because of the smoke. It was extremely thick from the first explosion," Butler says. When the fire engine cleared the smoke, it was much closer than the dump truck had been. As the driver accelerated past the "Welcome to Iraq" sign inside the camp's perimeter, Butler says he fired 100 rounds into the vehicle. The Marines later discovered the vehicle was equipped with 3-inch, blast proof glass and the passengers were wearing Kevlar vests under their robes.
Pfc. Charles Young, 21, also of Altoona, Pa., hit the fire engine with a grenade launcher, slowing its progress and giving Butler time to recover. Without breaching the camp wall, the driver detonated the fire engine, sending debris flying up to 400 yards and knocking Marines from their bunks several hundred yards away. Butler, less than 50 yards away, again was knocked down by the blast, which partially destroyed the tower in which he was perched. After he crawled for cover, a third suicide bomber detonated outside the camp. That blast caused no damage or injuries. Sporadic fighting continued for several hours.
Amazing that no Marines were killed or even seriously injured. Semper Fi! This is stuff for movies.