30 Years After Desert Storm: Jan. 20

In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, Air Force Magazine is posting daily recollections from the six-week war, which expelled Iraq from occupied Kuwait.

Jan. 20:

  • The Defense Department announces the first Purple Heart of the Gulf War will be awarded to Navy Corpsman Clarence Conner, who was hit by shrapnel on Jan. 17 while on Marine patrol near the Kuwaiti border.
U.S. Navy Corpsman Clarence Conner received the first Purple Heart medal awarded to a service member serving in Operation Desert Storm while recovering at a Navy fleet hospital in eastern Saudi Arabia. Photo: National Museum of Health and Medicine on Facebook
  • USAF fighter-­bombers attack Iraqi nuclear facilities, air defense complexes, and Scud missile launchers.
  • Iraqi television broadcasts pictures of Airmen—three U.S., two British, one Italian, and one Kuwaiti—who were captured after their airplanes were hit by Iraqi ground fire.

Find our complete chronology of the Gulf War, starting with Iraq’s July 1990 invasion of Kuwait and running through Iraq’s April 1991 acceptance of peace terms, here.