Friendly Fire

Wynter Gordon found a perfect little silk dress for the ASCAP 20th Annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in Los Angeles on June 25, 2007. Getty Images/Michael Buckner

Sgt. Jason Faley had just one day left on his tour of duty in Kuwait.

"He had said that he had one more sortie mission to do and they were leaving the next day," recalled Susan Faley, his mother. It was his last day of training.

But her son did not come home. He was killed when a Navy jet mistakenly bombed friendly troops, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin.

Sgt. Brent Miles was just a few short yards away from Faley and he survived, although with grievous injuries.

"Partially tore off my ear. Half the eardrum was missing. It broke my jaw. My sinuses were completely destroyed," said Miles.

Sgt. Tim Cruising had tried to call off the bombing at the last second when he realized the plane was headed straight at his observation post and not the target.

"The guys around me all heard me say, 'oh my God,' cause I'm thinking what if it wasn't in time," recalled Cruising.

"It wasn't more than 2-3 seconds when the bombs actually hit," said Miles. "We didn't know they were inbound... until they hit."

Three 500-pound bombs and nowhere to hide.

"The vehicles are on fire and everybody's on the ground... as stunned as I am or dead," recalled Miles.

"After I realized I wasn't dead, I tried to move for the radio, but my legs wouldn't work," said Cruising.

One leg ripped by shrapnel, the other badly broken, Cruising crawled to the radio.

The Accident
What exactly happened in the cockpit of that Navy jet?

Click here to listen to the audio tape during the botched training mission or here to read a transcript.
"Hey, this is havoc two-zero. Need immediate medevac. Bombs was dropped on our position," Cruising called out.

Then he crawled to Jason Faley.

"I said, 'Don't quit, don't quit, don't quit, don't quit.'," Cruising said.

But Faley had been too close to the blast.

"When Jason was laying there all I could think about was his 1-year-old son," he said.

Lt. Cmdr. David Zimmerman, the pilot who dropped the bombs that caused so much harm, has been relieved of duty and will soon leave the Navy. That's too light a sentence for a grieving mother.

"Why isn't this man being court-martialed for manslaughter, for dereliction ad negligence of duties," asked Susan Faley

Six dead, eleven injured. There will be no court-martial. But that doesn't mean Zimmermann will go unpunished.

"I feel that it was a grievous error and that he will punish himself more than any punishment anyone in the military will ever dole out," admitted Miles.

As for Brent Miles and Tim Cruising, they both want to get back to their jobs on the bombing range as soon as their wounds heal.



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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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