Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL


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Deuce Four is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Amazon edition – Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL




Copyright © 2013 Alan Nafzger

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 9781071242087



Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL

Written by Alan Nafzger

Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL
Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL


Deuce Four


Deuce Four

SUPERIMPOSE: Mozul, Iraq (2004)



Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL

Insurgents prepare for a night battle with the American Army. They are intermittently praying and arming themselves.

Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL

There is one especially solemn character, RAHEEM BAHRI.

Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL


Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL

About three miles south of Mosul…

Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL

The 24th Army Infantry prepare for a night battle with the Muslim insurgents. We see a private alone and clearly new to the unit. There is an especially timid and nervous soldier, HUNTER McCALL.

Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL


My life with the 24th Infantry was amazing.  They were really free spirits in the hell-hole of Mozul Iraq.


With all the shit falling around us in 2004, I would in time learn a few things about human existence.


The soldiers turn on some loud music and begin dancing and also arming themselves to the hilt. Many soldiers have a M4 rifle, tons of ammo, grenades and some have two or three pistols. They are over prepared for battle, if that is possible.


There is one especially solemn Lt. Colonel, George Prescott Miles. He isn’t overly concerned with equipment. He has the bare minimum and simply waits.


We hardly notice but the Colonel has two 19th century Kodachi swords in the scabbards strapped across his back. Ninja style. A CORPORAL nods to the Colonel that he is ready.



(to the soldiers)

If our intelligence is correct. Then there’s one hell of a big group of rag-heads out there. And they sure as hell ain’t gonna welcome us with a smile. The element of surprise is crucial. We hit them the American way — hard and fast!


A confident smile crosses their faces.


McCall keeps glancing over at the colonel. Finally, it becomes a hypnotic stare. A corporal notices and feels McCall should be packing.



Hey new guy. McCall, dude. What is the matter? You’ve done this before, right?



Yeah. Of course. With my other unit.



Well you are with us now the “Deuce Four” and we don’t fuck up. We fuck other people up.  You are with THE fuckers now! Understand?


But, McCall can’t keep his eyes off the COLONEL.



So what is the problem?



No problem.


McCall stares again at the COLONEL.



What’s the matter? You never saw a fighting Colonel before?



Yes. Sure.



Bull Shit! You haven’t; he is the only one in the entire Army.



No one else goes out with their men?

Deuce Four - Battle of MOZUL
Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL


No one. That’s what they say. And I’ve asked everyone since I got here.

– Battle of MOZUL


Weird, man. Weird.



But good.


He is a brave mother fucker.


And invincible.



What do you mean invincible?



Luckiest son of a bitch you ever saw. Crazy shit, man.




The insurgents load up into an old beat to hell SUV and two pickup trucks. There are two motorcycles in use as well. They leave the compound and make their way toward Mozul ready to do some damage.



The Deuce Four load up in vehicles and head out.


EXT. Yarmuk traffic circle, western Mosul – NIGHT


The two forces meet at the traffic circle. They fire at each other but then close the distance. McCall is firing his weapon out the passenger side window. It is mass confusion. Some insurgent vehicles are traveling the correct (counter-clock) direction and the US Army vehicles are not.


Each force is circling the traffic circle. They fire at each other constantly and especially as they pass nearly head on. A great deal of damage to the vehicles is being done, but it there are no casualties. Yet.


The Colonel stands up in his vehicle and then climbs on the roof. Suddenly without any hesitation or warning, he jumps out of the vehicle. He is fling through the air in slow motion. We resume regular motion as he crashes though the windshield of the oncoming SUV.




Inside the SUV are four/five insurgents. The colonel flies through the windshield and between the two front seats. He lands upside down between the two terrorists in the back seat. They pull their rifles in from the windows but they are too long to quickly point at the Colonel. He punches one and then the other.




The Corporal is driving erratically. Trying to dodge oncoming vehicles and the bullets.


McCall is in awe at what he has seen. He has stopped firing and it trying to see what is happening with the Colonel.



See I told you. Crazy shit. Every single time.


There is automatic weapon fire from inside the SUV.



Yeah. I see.


He’s gonna be dead.



That is what I keep telling myself. But it never happens.




The insurgent in the front passenger seat turns with a pistol and fires three times at the Colonel. He twists left and right and the bullets don’t hit him square. So the insurgent keeps firing.


The Colonel pulls one insurgent between him and the firing pistol. The Colonel manages to takes his pistol out and fire two into the chest of the insurgent between the two seats and then the other get two slugs.


The Colonel pulls the dead insurgent aside and aims at the passenger but the driver hits every curb and ditch in the circle. The pistol lurches out of aim with every bump and jar.


Suddenly from the cargo area there is automatic fire. An insurgent in the back is firing at the Colonel and missing at point blank range. The Colonel has a bullet enter his back and exit shattering his collar bone. The SUV hits some potholes and with the kick of the weapon it is unmanageable. The insurgent sprays the back seat and floor of the SUV with bullets.


One bullet enters the left knee of the Colonel and exits his the front of his calf. A second then one hits the seat between his legs and then to the right of his thigh.


The Colonel, who is dodging bullets, fires his pistol into the dashboard, floor, door and what remains of the windshield of the SUV. He misses the passenger insurgent.


The Colonel does however shot the insurgent in the back who shot him in the knee. The bullet enters under the insurgent’s jaw and exits the top of his head.


The colonel is out of bullets. He throws the weapon at the passenger side insurgent, who then shoots the Colonel square in the chest.


But the Colonel pulls his knife and dives into the front. He wrestles with the occupant of the passenger seat. The pistol discharges again we don’t know if the Colonel is hit again. The Colonel plunges his knife seven times into the insurgent’s chest in rapid succession. The insurgent fires the pistol into the floorboard. The insurgent stops firing, dies and drops the pistol. The Colonel drops the knife onto the floorboard.


There is a slight pause. The driver might be the only survivor. No?

Deuce Four – Battle of MOZUL

The Colonel’s energy returns and he leaps on the driver. We now learn the Colonel’s true nature. He has huge fangs and he bites the driver in the neck. Compared with what just happened, there is a very slight struggle; the SUV is bounced around and swerves erratically. Finally, the life is drained from the driver. His foot leaves the accelerator. The SUV coasts to a stop.


Deuce Four – Battle of Mozul

By November 8, 2004, insurgents were conducting coordinated attacks and ambushes in an attempt to take over the city. That same day, units from the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, known as “Deuce Four”, fought against the insurgents in the vicinity of the Yarmuk traffic circle, in the heart of western Mosul. The battle lasted throughout the day and the insurgents proved to be both determined and coordinated. The 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, known as “Gimlets” to the north was hammered with mortars while insurgents attacked from the west, east, and south with small arms fire, RPGs, and machine gun fire. As a testament to the intensity of combat that day, a 30-man Platoon (2nd PLT) from Bravo Co. 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment sustained 9 casualties and 2 out of their 4 Stryker vehicles were rendered useless as RPGs and machine gun fire had taken out their weapon systems. Kiowa Warrior attack helicopters had also taken out several technical vehicles that day.

On November 9, 2004, an Army Major and an Air Force Master Sergeant died as a result of an RPG attack and mortar attack on Forward Operating Base Courage in Mosul. On November 10, 2004, hundreds of insurgents flooded the streets of the city. They started attacking Iraqi security forces and by the next day had taken the initiative. On November 11, the insurgents had captured one police station and destroyed two more. They broke into the stations’ armories and distributed the weapons and flak jackets they could find. The Iraqi police force was overrun in a matter of hours, scattering and deserting from the street fighting. Security in the city almost completely broke down. Once again, the soldiers from Deuce Four on the west side of the city and the Gimlets on the east side of the city took the fight to the enemy. Notably, this time Bravo Co., Deuce-Four was set up to the west of the Yarmuk traffic circle as Alpha Co. and other elements from Deuce Four to the east, pushed west. The hammer against the anvil plan worked and once again the units were involved in intense urban combat. Jets flew overhead dropping JDAM bombs while the infantrymen below fought house to house and held their ground against insurgent assaults and mortar attacks. Spec. Thomas K. Doerflinger from Bravo Co. 1-24th was among the casualties that day when he was shot in the head and killed by a sniper as he provided covering fire for his fellow soldiers. He was awarded the Bronze Star posthumously.

Before the end of the night, insurgent forces had managed to take one of the five bridges over the Tigris river before the Americans took control of the other four.[citation needed] Further insurgent reinforcements arrived at the city on November 12 in technicals and other vehicles. Nine more police stations were attacked – one was destroyed and the others were taken. The headquarters of the Kurdish Democratic Party was also attacked and burned to the ground. The insurgents proceeded then to the party buildings of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Alarmed by the attacks, the Peshmerga installed a heavy machinegun on the roof and 12 peshmerga fought off dozens, if not hundreds of insurgents, until 600 other Peshmerga reached the scene and managed to deny insurgents control over the Kurdish populated east side of Mosul. Nevertheless, the insurgents managed to control the whole western Arab part of the City.[10] The Peshmerga sent another 2000 fighters into Mosul in response to a request by the Iraqi Defense Ministry in an effort to stop the insurgent advance. The United States Air Force began a bombing campaign on rebel positions in the city which continued into the next day. One of the targets hit was a cemetery.

By November 13, the insurgents had assumed control of two-thirds of the city.[citation needed] They began to hunt down members of the new Iraqi security forces and publicly execute them, usually by beheading.[citation needed] 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. 25th Infantry Division was diverted from the attack on Fallujah to help in retaking the city. Also, 300 members of the Iraqi National Guard from the Syrian border, an Iraqi special forces battalion from Baghdad and a number of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were called in to assist.[citation needed] All established U.S. Forward Operating Bases in Mosul held. Two more police stations were taken by the insurgents on November 14, though their forces withdrew from one, and the Ninewah Provincial Governor’s house was burned down. However, thanks to Colonel James H. Coffman and the Iraqi Special Police Commandos, the police station known as Four West was spared. For his actions that day, Colonel Coffman was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.[citation needed]

At approximately 1030 hours on November 14, Colonel Coffman moved with a Commando Quick Reaction Force (QRF) to reinforce a Commando platoon under attack at the Four West Police Station in Mosul.[citation needed] As the QRF neared the besieged platoon, it came under intense rocket-propelled grenade, mortar, machinegun, and AK-47 fire by a large insurgent force. Over the next four hours, the enemy repeatedly assaulted the Commandos’ position, at times culminating their attacks twenty meters from Colonel Coffman’s location. With all but one of the commando officers killed or seriously wounded by the initial enemy fire, Colonel Coffman exhibited truly inspirational leadership, rallying the Commandos and organizing a hasty defense while attempting to radio higher headquarters for reinforcements. Under heavy fire, he moved from Commando to Commando, issuing them orders with hand signals. At one point, an enemy round shattered Colonel Coffman’s shooting hand and rendered his M4 rifle inoperable.

After bandaging his hand, Colonel Coffman picked up AK-47s from Commando casualties and fired them with his other hand until each ran out of ammunition.[citation needed] With the assistance of the one remaining Commando officer, Colonel Coffman redistributed ammunition among the uninjured commandos until he had only loose ammunition. Four hours after the start of the battle, a second Commando element arrived and Colonel Coffman guided them to his position. Shortly thereafter attack helicopters arrived, followed closely by the second platoon Outlaws of Charlie Company 3/21 INF. Colonel Coffman used Iraqi radios to direct air strikes, while the Outlaws engaged insurgents in surrounding buildings after receiving small arm and RPG fire.[citation needed] After supervising the evacuation of several dozen wounded Commandos, Colonel Coffman led a squad-sized element to the Four West Iraqi Police Station, fifty meters ahead of the Strykers, to make contact with the Commandos still in the station. After they linked up, the Strykers moved forward, and attack helicopters engaged the buildings occupied by the enemy, following which Colonel Coffman returned to his original position where he was evacuated with the rest of the Iraqi commando casualties.[citation needed] During the fierce four-hour battle, twelve Commandos were killed and 42 were wounded. Twenty-five enemy were killed and many dozens more were wounded.[citation needed]

Two days later, on November 16, U.S. forces managed to break through across the insurgent-controlled bridge, and went on to take back the northern, eastern and southern part of the city.[citation needed] The Americans reported that they met little resistance, though three of the ten police stations were burned down by withdrawing insurgent forces.[citation needed] By late in the evening the city was partly secured by the 25th Infantry. The city, nor any part of the city was ever in insurgent hands.

Over the next three weeks, 76 bodies of executed Iraqi soldiers were found throughout the city. [18]18 American service members were killed and another 170 were wounded, at least 31 members of the Iraqi security forces were killed, along with at least 9 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters (actual numbers are unknown). [18]An estimated 600 insurgents were killed, along with five civilians, one South African security contractor, and one Turkish truck driver. Actual casualty figures remain unknown. The insurgents managed to make a safe haven out of the western part of the city from where they continued to conduct hit and run attacks over the coming months. One of the more notable attacks came just a month after the fighting ceased, when a suicide bomber dressed like an Iraqi soldier managed to get into the mess tent on an American base called Forward Operating Base Marez, and detonated himself – killing 22 people, including 14 American soldiers. The insurgent group known as Jaish Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for the attack. The battle resulted in the city complement of security forces deserting leaving the area insecure.[19] The 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team) was on their own in the city until they were able to build up the Iraqi Police and Iraqi Military presence once again.

Deuce Four – Modern legacy

The 24th Infantry was re-instituted in 1995 and assigned to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in Fort Lewis, Washington. The regiment served in the Iraq War from 2004 to 2005, and was decorated for its service. In 2006, during a re-organization of the Army, the regiment was re-flagged; however, the 1st Battalion was not included, and so it alone retains the regimental designation and carries on its legacy. It is now part of the 1st Brigade Combat Team (Stryker), 25th Infantry Division at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

The 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division “Lightning” (a Stryker brigade), and served in Iraq from October 2004 to October 2005. The battalion came home with 5 Silver Stars, 31 Bronze Stars, and 181 Purple Hearts and played a crucial role in the Battle of Mosul (2004). During that battle, the battalion saw some of the heaviest, sustained fighting of the insurgency to date. The unit was also awarded with the Valorous Unit Award as being part of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (SBCT).

The unit reflagged as the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment and moved to Vilseck, Germany. The 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment replaced the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment of the now decommissioned 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team as of 14 December 2006.

In 2008–2009, 1-24 Infantry deployed to Diyala Governorate, Iraq to FOB Warhorse and later to FOB Grizzly. In contrast to their previous deployment involving the Battle of Mosul, 1-24 sustained very few casualties, none of which came from sustained engagement with enemy forces. For their reconstruction and humanitarian efforts during this tour, the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation along with sister units in the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division “Lightning”.

Operation Enduring Freedom

The 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment deployed again under 1/25 SBCT to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011–2012. The battalion assumed responsibility for the Zabul Province, with assistance from Romanian units along Highway 1. The battalion HQ was primarily stationed at FOB Lagman in Zabul Province with companies co-located and dispersed north and south. 1-24 Infantry found themselves in a direct combat role again, losing several soldiers to Taliban attacks throughout their yearlong deployment, including an “insider attack” in Qalat on 8 January 2012.

Operation Inherent Resolve

The 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment deployed once again to Iraq (and some elements later to Syria under U.S. Army Special Forces) under 1/25 SBCT in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in 2019-2020. The unit was attacked by ballistic missiles launched by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force during their Operation Martyr Soleimani in retaliation for the Assassination of Qasem Soleimani.


Regimental badge

  • Description:
  1. On a blue field a block house of masonry with tower, walls in color of grey stone, roofs yellow.
  2. On a yellow scroll, the words “SAN JUAN” in blue.
  3. All encircled by a yellow band bearing the motto in blue “SEMPER PARATUS” (Always Prepared).
  • Symbolism: The design commemorates the gallant service of the regiment in the Santiago campaign of 1898.
  • Background:
  1. The badge was approved on 1920-03-27.
  2. The badge is used as the crest on the organizational colors. The breast of the eagle on the colors is feathered.

Distinctive unit insignia

  • Description:
  1. A gold color metal and enamel device 1+14 inches (3.2 cm) in width overall consisting of a blue disc bearing a white blockhouse with tower masoned and roofed gold below a gold scroll inscribed “SAN JUAN” in blue letters.
  2. Attached below the disc a gold scroll turned blue and inscribed “SEMPER PARATUS” in blue letters.
  • Symbolism:
  1. Blue is the color associated with Infantry.
  2. The house with tower depicts a blockhouse at San Juan Santiago de Cuba and commemorates the 1898 campaign service of the regiment.
  • Background:
  1. The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 24th Infantry on 1923-01-21.
  2. It was amended to correct the motto on 1923-03-21.
  3. Amended to add the authorization for wear of the DUI on 1923-05-07.
  4. Amended to add to the authorization for wear of the DUI on 1925-09-21.
  5. On 1925-10-23 it was amended to change the appearance of the DUI.
  6. The insignia was cancelled and a new insignia authorized on 1927-05-17.