James E. Suh was part of a dedicated Naval Special Warfare team fighting the Taliban, a fundamentalist regime that a U.S.-led coalition knocked from power in Afghanistan in 2001, but has continued to conduct guerilla operations, particularly along the Pakistan border. Suh worked to help ensure al Qaeda terrorists could not train in, nor launch strikes from Afghanistan since their lethal attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.James Suh was a U.S.-born citizen of Korean immigrants. He excelled in math at the University of Florida but decided to join the Navy when he graduated. He was concerned about telling his father that he wanted to be a Navy SEAL rather than pursue a more secure future in business. A friend recounted that Suh wanted to defend a country he loved so much, and that his father took the decision better than James had expected.
Suh was one of 16 troops killed when a MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan on June 28, on a daring daylight mission to reinforce an outnumbered four-man SEAL reconnaissance squad in 8,000-foot mountainous terrain.
Suh, seven other SEALs, and eight Army commandos died in their heroic attempt to rescue their fellow SEALs. LT Michael Murphy, Matthew Axelson, and Danny Dietz fought on courageously and were killed in the firefight against overwhelming Taliban forces.
A total of 11 SEALs died that day in the War against Terror, in the biggest single loss of life for Naval Special Warfare forces since World War II. To a man, they embodied the Navy’s core Honor, Courage and Commitment, and took care of their teammates to the end.
James Suh is remembered with the greatest respect and gratitude by his fellow SEALs, the Navy, and our nation.
For more info on QM2 (SEAL) James E. Suh:
Interview with James Sister Claudia: