Bruckenthal, Nathan B., DC3

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Last Rank
Petty Officer Third Class
Last Primary Rate
DC-Damage Controlman
Last Rate Group
Damage Controlman
Primary Unit
2002-2004, DC, Coast Guard Air Station (CGAS) Miami
Service Years
1999 - 2004
DC-Damage Controlman
One Hash Mark

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Smithtown, New York
Last Address

Casualty Date
Apr 24, 2004
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Other Explosive Device
Persian Gulf
Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR)
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Sec 60 Site 7978

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
GWOT Fallen
  2004, GWOT Fallen1

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 Ribbon Bar

Tactical Law Enforcement
Enlisted Cutterman

 Duty Stations
Coast Guard Station MontaukCG Station Neah BayCoast Guard Air Station (CGAS) Miami
  1999-2002, FT, Coast Guard Station Montauk
  2000-2002, DC, CG Station Neah Bay
  2002-2004, DC, Coast Guard Air Station (CGAS) Miami
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  2003-2010 Transition of Iraq (2003-04)
  2003-2010 Liberation of Iraq (2003)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Nathan B. "Nate" Bruckenthal (17 July 1979-24 April 2004) was a Damage Controlman Third Class in the United States Coast Guard. He was the first Coast Guardsman to die in wartime action since the Vietnam War. Bruckenthal died along with two U.S. Navy sailors intercepting a waterborne suicide attack on the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal off the coast of Iraq in the northern Persian Gulf.

Bruckenthal was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his actions.


Stony Brook, New York. He is the son of Ric Bruckenthal of Northport, New York, and Laurie Bullock of Ashburn, Virginia.

While growing up he had also lived in Hawaii, Virginia, and Connecticut. Bruckenthal and his family lived in Ridgefield, Connecticut from 1992 to 1995, where he was a volunteer firefighter from 1997 to 1998.

In 2001 he met his future wife, Patti (nee Rombo), while serving at Station Neah Bay. Patti, who is originally from Sweden, was a student at Pacific Lutheran University studying the Makah Indian tribe when Bruckenthal gave the students a tour of the Station.

Bruckenthal intended to continue his public service by becoming a police officer or firefighter after completing his Coast Guard service and finishing college. He is survived by his wife, Pattie, and his daughter, Harper Natalie Bruckenthal, born after his death on November 19,2004.


Bruckenthal joined the Coast Guard on 5 January 1999.

He served on the Coast Guard Cutter Point Wells, based out of Montauk, New York, prior to attending Damage Controlman "A" School. After school he was assigned to Station Neah Bay in the northwest corner of Washington on the Makah Indian Reservation.

His next assignment was to Tactical Law Enforcement (TACLET) Team South, at Coast Guard Air Station Miami. Bruckenthal's first tour to the Persian Gulf region was from April to June, 2003. He departed home for his second deployment in February 2004 and was due to return that June. During both tours his detachment, LEDET 403, was assigned to the USS Firebolt.

Attack in the Persian Gulf

A photo of Petty Officers Bruckenthal and Ruggiero

An account of the attack is included in an issue of the Coast Guard Reserve magazine.{1}

      In the early evening hours of April 24, a dhow (a lateen-rigged Arabian vessel) approached an oil terminal in the Persian Gulf. Bruckenthal, trained as both a boarding team member and boarding officer, was accompanied by one other Coast Guardsman and five sailors from the United States Navy. The group boarded a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB), taking off in pursuit.

As the crew was poised to board the dhow, an explosion was detonated. Two Navy petty officers also died as a result of the waterborne attack: PO1 Michael J. Pernaselli, 27, of Monroe, N.Y., and PO2 Christopher E. Watts, 28, of Knoxville, Tenn. Injured were three Navy sailors and BM3 Joseph T. Ruggiero, USCG, 23, from Revere, Mass., who received the Purple Heart.    

Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi of Al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack.
Awards and decorations{2}

Bruckenthal was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Valor, the Purple Heart, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. On his first Persian Gulf deployment he was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.

The Unaccompanied Personnel Housing building at Station Montauk is named in honor of DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal. He served as a fireman on the CGC Point Wells, which was homeported in Montauk.


Christmas in Arlington

Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace and farewell.
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