On November 4, 1979, hundreds of Iranians seized the U.S. embassy and took 66 Americans hostage. President Jimmy Carter authorized a secret military operation on April 25, 1980, designed to rescue American hostages.
The mission was aborted when a freak accident caused two of the aircraft to collide. The ensuing explosion and fire claimed the lives of eight American service personnel. Shortly thereafter the eight bodies were returned to the United States, but the remaining 53 hostages were not freed until January 20, 1981, 444 days after they had been captured.
A monument dedicated to the memory of those gallant servicemen, who died in the valiant effort to rescue the American hostages, was erected at Arlington National Cemetery. The white stone marker bears a bronze plaque listing the names
and ranks of the three Marines and the five airmen.