The Hostages and the Casualties

Sixty-six Americans were taken captive when Iranian militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979, including three who were at the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Six more Americans escaped. Of the 66 who were taken hostage, 13 were released on Nov. 19 and 20, 1979; one was released on July 11, 1980, and the remaining 52 were released on Jan. 20, 1981. Ages in this list are at the time of release.

The 52:

  • Thomas L. Ahern, Jr., 48, McLean, VA. Narcotics control officer
  • Clair Cortland Barnes, 35, Falls Church, VA. Communications specialist
  • William E. Belk, 44, West Columbia, SC. Communications and records officer
  • Robert O. Blucker, 54, North Little Rock, AR. Economics officer specializing in oil
  • Donald J. Cooke, 26, Memphis, TN. Vice consul
  • William J. Daugherty, 33, Tulsa, OK. Third secretary of U.S. mission
  • Lt. Cmdr. Robert Englemann, 34, Hurst, TX. Naval attaché
  • Sgt. William Gallegos, 22, Pueblo, CO. Marine guard
  • Bruce W. German, 44, Rockville, MD. Budget officer
  • Duane L. Gillette, 24, Columbia, PA. Navy communications and intelligence specialist
  • Alan B. Golancinksi, 30, Silver Spring, MD. Security officer
  • John E. Graves, 53, Reston, VA. Public affairs officer
  • Joseph M. Hall, 32, Elyria, OH. Military attaché with warrant officer rank
  • Sgt. Kevin J. Hermening, 21, Oak Creek, WI. Marine guard
  • Sgt. 1st Class Donald R. Hohman, 38, Frankfurt, West Germany. Army medic
  • Col. Leland J. Holland, 53, Laurel, MD. Military attaché
  • Michael Howland, 34, Alexandria, VA. Security aide, one of three held in Iranian Foreign Ministry
  • Charles A. Jones, Jr., 40, Communications specialist and teletype operator. Only African-American hostage not released in November 1979
  • Malcolm Kalp, 42, Fairfax, VA. Position unknown
  • Moorhead C. Kennedy Jr., 50, Washington, DC. Economic and commercial officer
  • William F. Keough, Jr., 50, Brookline, MA. Superintendent of American School in Islamabad, Pakistan, visiting Tehran at time of embassy seizure
  • Cpl. Steven W. Kirtley, 22, Little Rock, AR. Marine guard
  • Kathryn L. Koob, 42, Fairfax, VA. Embassy cultural officer; one of two women hostages
  • Frederick Lee Kupke, 34, Francesville, IN. Communications officer and electronics specialist
  • L. Bruce Laingen, 58, Bethesda, MD. Chargé d’affaires. One of three held in Iranian Foreign Ministry
  • Steven Lauterbach, 29, North Dayton, OH. Administrative officer
  • Gary E. Lee, 37, Falls Church, VA. Administrative officer
  • Sgt. Paul Edward Lewis, 23, Homer, IL. Marine guard
  • John W. Limbert, Jr., 37, Washington, DC. Political officer
  • Sgt. James M. Lopez, 22, Globe, AZ. Marine guard
  • Sgt. John D. McKeel, Jr., 27, Balch Springs, TX. Marine guard
  • Michael J. Metrinko, 34, Olyphant, PA. Political officer
  • Jerry J. Miele, 42, Mt. Pleasant, PA. Communications officer
  • Staff Sgt. Michael E. Moeller, 31, Quantico, VA. Head of Marine guard unit
  • Bert C. Moore, 45, Mount Vernon, OH. Counselor for administration
  • Richard H. Morefield, 51, San Diego, CA. U.S. Consul General in Tehran
  • Capt. Paul M. Needham, Jr., 30, Bellevue, NE. Air Force logistics staff officer
  • Robert C. Ode, 65, Sun City, AZ. Retired Foreign Service officer on temporary duty in Tehran
  • Sgt. Gregory A. Persinger, 23, Seaford, DE. Marine guard
  • Jerry Plotkin, 45, Sherman Oaks, CA. Private businessman visiting Tehran
  • MSgt. Regis Ragan, 38, Johnstown, PA. Army noncom, assigned to defense attaché‘s officer
  • Lt. Col. David M. Roeder, 41, Alexandria, VA. Deputy Air Force attaché
  • Barry M. Rosen, 36, Brooklyn, NY. Press attaché
  • William B. Royer, Jr., 49, Houston, TX. Assistant director of Iran-American Society
  • Col. Thomas E. Schaefer, 50, Tacoma, WA. Air Force attaché
  • Col. Charles W. Scott, 48, Stone Mountain, GA. Army officer, military attaché
  • Cmdr. Donald A. Sharer, 40, Chesapeake, VA. Naval air attaché
  • Sgt. Rodney V. (Rocky) Sickmann, 22, Krakow, MO. Marine Guard
  • Staff Sgt. Joseph Subic, Jr., 23, Redford Township, MI. Military policeman (Army) on defense attaché‘s staff
  • Elizabeth Ann Swift, 40, Washington, DC. Chief of embassy’s political section; one of two women hostages
  • Victor L. Tomseth, 39, Springfield, OR. Senior political officer; one of three held in Iranian Foreign Ministry
  • Phillip R. Ward, 40, Culpeper, VA. Administrative officer

One hostage was freed July 11, 1980, because of an illness later diagnosed as multiple sclerosis:

  • Richard I. Queen, 28, New York, NY. Vice consul

Six American diplomats avoided capture when the embassy was seized. For three months they were sheltered at the Canadian and Swedish embassies in Tehran. On Jan. 28, 1980, they fled Iran using Canadian passports:

  • Robert Anders, 34, Port Charlotte, FL. Consular officer
  • Mark J. Lijek, 29, Falls Church, VA. Consular officer
  • Cora A. Lijek, 25, Falls Church, VA. Consular assistant
  • Henry L. Schatz, 31, Coeur d’Alene, ID. Agriculture attacheé
  • Joseph D. Stafford, 29, Crossville, TN. Consular officer
  • Kathleen F. Stafford, 28, Crossville, TN. Consular assistant

Thirteen women and African-Americans among the Americans who were seized at the embassy were released on Nov. 19 and 20, 1979:

  • Kathy Gross, 22, Cambridge Springs, PA. Secretary
  • Sgt. James Hughes, 30, Langley Air Force Base, VA. Air Force administrative manager
  • Lillian Johnson, 32, Elmont, NY. Secretary
  • Sgt. Ladell Maples, 23, Earle, AR. Marine guard
  • Elizabeth Montagne, 42, Calumet City, IL. Secretary
  • Sgt. William Quarles, 23, Washington, DC. Marine guard
  • Lloyd Rollins, 40, Alexandria, VA. Administrative officer
  • Capt. Neal (Terry) Robinson, 30, Houston, TX. Administrative officer
  • Terri Tedford, 24, South San Francisco, CA. Secretary
  • Sgt. Joseph Vincent, 42, New Orleans, LA. Air Force administrative manager
  • Sgt. David Walker, 25, Prairie View, TX. Marine guard
  • Joan Walsh, 33, Ogden, UT. Secretary
  • Cpl. Wesley Williams, 24, Albany, NY. Marine guard

Eight U.S. servicemen from the all-volunteer Joint Special Operations Group were killed in the Great Salt Desert near Tabas, Iran, on April 25, 1980, in the aborted attempt to rescue the American hostages:

  • Capt. Richard L. Bakke, 34, Long Beach, CA. Air Force
  • Sgt. John D. Harvey, 21, Roanoke, VA. Marine Corps
  • Cpl. George N. Holmes, Jr., 22, Pine Bluff, AR. Marine Corps
  • Staff Sgt. Dewey L. Johnson, 32, Jacksonville, NC. Marine Corps
  • Capt. Harold L. Lewis, 35, Mansfield, CT. Air Force
  • Tech. Sgt. Joel C. Mayo, 34, Bonifay, FL. Air Force
  • Capt. Lynn D. McIntosh, 33, Valdosta, GA. Air Force
  • Capt. Charles T. McMillan II, 28, Corrytown, TN. Air Force

This list was adapted from information in Free At Last by Doyle McManus.