Read and watch Dan Tilkin's full report:
A few weeks ago a tattered box showed up in the KATU Newsroom. Inside were documents from the U.S. Army that reporter Dan Tilkin has been trying to get his hands on for almost ten years.
The documents spell out details of a supply convoy that was ambushed in Nasiriyah, Iraq, shortly after the start of the Iraq War. The ambush would become infamous because of one soldier in the convoy – Jessica Lynch.
For the Walters family of Salem, the 10 year anniversary of the ambush this Saturday will be a somber day to remember Sgt. Donald Walters.
Sgt. Walters was killed in Nasiriyah in what was probably Oregon’s most famous Iraq war death.
Even though his death made headlines, his family still doesn’t have a complete picture of how he was killed. Was he was accidentally left behind during an ambush in Nasiriyah? Or did he choose to stay behind while his convoy of vehicles from the 507th Maintenance Company escaped?
Nobody now argues that Sgt. Walters died as a hero, but at the time of his death the Army gave credit for his heroic deeds to Lynch.
At the time, Lynch rose to fame and became a household name. Only later did the public learn that Lynch never actually fired a shot in battle.
Recently, seemingly out of the blue, the beat up box arrived on Tilkin’s desk. Inside were hundreds of documents detailing what happened that day in Nasiriyah. A similarly battered package with the same documents also arrived at the home of Walters’s parents.
The hundreds of documents we received, many marked "secret,” are mostly from an Army investigator's interviews with the soldiers in Sgt. Walters' unit who survived the ambush.
They detail how Sgt. Walter's convoy was "driving lost" in Nasiriyah because their maps were bad. One soldier described how "all of a sudden a shot went through my windshield, which was basically the start of the ambush."
We uploaded the documents we received so you can browse through them. Click on the different trucks on the map to see the documents associated with those soldiers.
KATU’s Dan Tilkin sat down with Sgt. Walter’s parents to discuss the latest revelations about their son’s death. Watch KATU News at 6 p.m. to hear their emotional reaction to getting the box of documents.