Fire Across the GalaxySeason 1, Episode 13
The Ghost crew makes a final desperate attempt to rescue Kanan from the Empire. Who will fall?
Rebels Recon: Inside "Fire Across the Galaxy"
Star Wars Rebels: "Fear of the Past"
Fire Across the Galaxy finds Kanan still in the hands of the Empire. Despite a grim warning from the mysterious Fulcrum, the Ghost crew finalizes their plan to rescue Kanan. Using a slightly modified TIE fighter that was captured earlier in the series, they are able to enter Tarkin’s Star Destroyer where Kanan is being held and tortured by the Inquisitor.
The plan becomes complicated when their route to Kanan is cut off, forcing Ezra to locate his Master without the aid of his friends. Eventually locating Kanan, the two face off against the Inquisitor, culminating in the latter’s death. The crew escapes the Star Destroyer just as Rebel reinforcements led by Bail Organa arrive.
For most soldiers, few things are worse than being captured and tortured by a hostile enemy. Leaving a man behind is also tough on their comrades. Such soldiers are often left with a sense of guilt and constantly relive in their mind the events that led to their friend’s capture. This feeling of guilt eventually turns into a desperate desire to help and rescue the captured soldier.
Prisoner rescue is one of the most challenging missions that any group of soldiers can undertake. This is because prisoners of war or POW’s are often held deep inside enemy territory and are under heavy guard. Prisoner rescue takes much planning and precise execution. Before taking the risk, intelligence must be gathered that clearly indicates where the prisoner is being held. There is also the danger that if the element of surprise is lost, the prisoner could be killed in retaliation. Advancing forces must move quickly to rescue their comrade.
One of the more recent and best executed prisoner rescues occurred on April 1, 2003. A week earlier, a convoy of American support vehicles from the 507th Maintenance Company and 3rd Combat Support Battalion was supposed to bypass the hostile Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. Instead, the convoy mistakenly turned and headed directly into the enemy held city. Private First Class Jessica Lynch was riding in a Humvee with five others when her group came under attack. Her driver, Lori Piestewa, sped up and evaded much of the enemy fire until a Rocket-propelled grenade or RPG struck the Humvee and they crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer. Lynch was severely injured in the crash.
Initially, three members were killed instantly while Lynch, Piestewa (who later died of her injuries), Shoshana Johnson and three others were taken prisoner. Lynch was subsequently taken to a nearby hospital in Nasiriyah. By most accounts including Lynch’s, she was treated well during her hospital stay. In the following days, Iraqi informants worked with the US military reporting on where Lynch was held and providing valuable maps of the hospital’s layout.
On April 1, 2003 a diversionary attack was launched near Nasiriyah to draw soldiers and guards away from the hospital. As the diversion played out, members of the Joint Special Operations Task Force 121 infiltrated the hospital and successfully extracted PFC Lynch and the bodies of eight Americans soldiers. Two weeks later, on April 13, 2003 the remaining captives were found and rescued by members of 3rd Light Armored Recon Marines.
First posted on: March 31, 2015