HERNANDEZ, EDGAR ADAN

Name: Edgar Adan Hernandez
Branch/Branch: Army/Spc
Unit: 507th Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, TX
Date of Birth/Age: 21
Home City of Record: Mission, Texas
Date of Loss: March 23, 2003
Country of Loss: Iraq
Original Status: Prisoner of War
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground


Other Personnel in Incident:

Killed in action:
Spc. Jamaal R. Addison, 22, of Roswell, Ga.,; Pfc. Howard Johnson II, 21, of Mobile, Ala.

Missing in action:
Master Sgt. Robert J. Dowdy, 38, of Cleveland, Ohio; Pvt. Ruben Estrella-Soto, 18, of El Paso; Spc. James M. Kiehl, 22, of Des Moines, Iowa; Pfc. Jessica D. Lynch, 19, of Palestine, W.Va.; Chief Warrant Officer Johnny Villareal Mata, 35, of El Paso; Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa, 23, of Tuba City, Ariz.; Pvt. Brandon Ulysses Sloan, 19, of Bedford, Ohio; and Sgt. Donald Ralph Walters, 33, of Salem, Ore. 

Prisoners of war:
Spc. Edgar Adan Hernandez, 21, of Mission, Texas; Spc. Joseph Neal Hudson, 23, of Alamogordo, N.M.; Spc. Shoshana Nyree Johnson, 30, of El Paso; Pfc. Patrick Wayne Miller, 23, of Walter, Kan.; and Sgt. James Joseph Riley, 31, of Pennsauken, N.J.

Four more members of the unit were wounded, but managed to hold off or evade enemy forces until a Marine unit arrived to help evacuate them.

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. April 2003.

Synopsis: A group of about 20 members of the 507th was ambushed near An Nasiriyah, Iraq on the fourth day of battle by civilian-clothed Iraqi forces. The soldiers were supplying the 3rd Infantry Division in its drive to Baghdad in central Iraq when they took a wrong turn. Broadcast pictures showed the convoy with a vehicle that appeared to have its tires shot out. Another was overturned and six more vehicles were destroyed according to media reports.

The 507th, which deployed with the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, is not considered a combat unit, Defense Department officials said. Made up mostly of mechanics, the 507th keeps the diesel tanker trucks rolling, fixes generators and keeps the mechanical parts in good shape. Hernandez, 21, joined the military after high school three years ago and was serving as a supply truck driver.

Edgar Hernandez, was one of five prisoners of war who appeared on Iraqi TV. He was pictured looking bruised and battered. He only had a few months left in the service and "was looking forward to coming home and making his career" according to CNN. Relatives said he hoped to leave military service, settle in El Paso, work for the border patrol and get married.

His mother, Maria De La Luz Hernandez, told local reporters "It's very hard," she said in Spanish. "He is strong because he has a lot of faith."

The family recounts loving memories of a clumsy guy with an infectious sense of humor who enjoyed jogging and playing basketball with his friends. He had a strong faith and had recently sent a letter home asking for prayers. Friends state he is likely offering religious comfort to those held with him.

Recent interview with Hernandez' mother say she accepted her son's decision to join the military, but she did not support it. "I knew that's what he wanted. He wanted to serve his country" she said.

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By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
 
WASHINGTON, April 13, 2003 DoD officials identified the seven American prisoners of war found in northern Iraq
today as five members of the 507th Maintenance Company and two Apache helicopter pilots.
 
Two of the seven have suffered gunshot wounds but are in good shape, said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
 
Officials woke up President Bush with the good news this morning. He held an impromptu press availability at the
White House. "Today is a great day for the families,  comrades, loved ones of the seven missing in action who are
free," he said.
 
The five soldiers from the 507th are Sgt. James J. Riley, 31, of Pennsauken, N.J.; Spc. Shoshana N. Johnson, 30, of
El Paso, Texas; Spc. Edgar A. Hernandez, 21, of Mission, Texas; Spc. Joseph N. Hudson, 23, of Alamogordo, N.M.; and
Pfc. Patrick W. Miller, 23, of Walter, Kan.
 
The two Apache pilots, Chief Warrant Officers David S. Williams and Ronald D. Young, are members of the 1st
Battalion, 227th Aviation at Fort Hood, Texas.
 
The 507th members had been captured when their convoy took a  wrong turn and was ambushed in Nasiriyah March 23. The
pilots had been captured near Karbala on March 23.
 
Marines moving up for an attack on Tikrit were tipped off to the presence of American POWs by Iraqis, said U.S.
Central Commander chief Army Gen. Tommy Franks on CNN's "Late Edition."
 
The Marines moved into the area and found the soldiers walking along a road near Samarra. They flew the former
POWs to an airfield in southern Iraq and transferred them to a C-130 transport plane. They were then moved to Kuwait
for medical treatment and an intelligence debriefing.
 
Rescued POW Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, now being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., is
also a member of the 507th, which is based in Fort Bliss, Texas. Lynch was rescued from an Iraqi hospital April 2.
 
The president said the United States will keep looking for American service members still missing in Iraq. "We pray
that they too will be safe and free one of these days," he said. But it's just a good way to start off the morning, to
have been notified that seven of our fellow Americans are going to be home here pretty soon in the arms of their
loved ones."