Robert Stethem Wiki
Robert Stethem Full Name Robert Dean Stethem was a United States Navy Seabee diver who was murdered by Hezbollah army person during the hijacking of the commercial airliner he was aboard, TWA Flight 847. At the time of his death, his Navy rating was Steelworker Second Class (SW2). He was posthumously promoted to Master Chief Construction man (CUCM).
TWA Flight 847 was hijacked shortly after taking off from Athens on June 14, 1985. The hijackers shot and killed U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem. https://t.co/Ry2hRrm0gH
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) September 22, 2019
Robert Dean Stethem Age & Life Period
Robert Stethem Age was years at the time of death (November 17, 1961 – June 15, 1985)
Robert Dean Stethem Early life
Robert Stethem was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, but grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Waldorf, Maryland. He was one of four children. His father, Richard Stethem, retired from the Navy as a Senior Chief after 20 years, continuing to work for it as a civilian afterward. His mother, Patricia, served in the Navy before raising her family, continuing to serve in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces afterward. His brother, Chief Boatswain’s Mate Kenneth Stethem was a Navy SEAL and brother Diver First Class Patrick Stethem served in Underwater Construction Team One for 10 years – the same unit in which Robert served. Stethem had one sister, Sheryl Sierralta.
Robert Dean Stethem Education
He graduated from Thomas Stone High School in 1980, where he played defensive back on the varsity and junior varsity football teams. He also played Little League baseball.
Stethem joined the Navy shortly after graduating, reporting for duty on May 4, 1981. In the Navy, Stethem was a Seabee Steelworker assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 62 in Gulfport, MS. He served multiple tours on Diego Garcia and Guam. Later, Stethem became a 2nd Class Navy Diver and was assigned to the Navy’s Underwater Construction Team One in Little Creek, Virginia.
TWA Flight 847 Detail
The flight was commandeered by hijackers shortly after taking off from Athens on June 14, 1985. It originated in Cairo and had San Diego set as a final destination, with stops scheduled in Athens, Rome, Boston, and Los Angeles. The hijackers shot and killed Steelworker 2nd Class (DV) Robert Stethem, 23, after beating him unconscious.
How Hijackers killed Robert Stethem
The hijackers shot and killed U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem, 23, after beating him unconscious. They released the other 146 passengers and crew members on the plane during an ordeal that included stops in Beirut and Algiers. The last hostage was freed after 17 days. https://t.co/N54O7NiI4I
— Philip A. Ohlund (@philipaohlund) September 22, 2019
The hijackers shot and killed Steelworker 2nd Class (DV) Robert Stethem, 23, after beating him unconscious. They released the other 146 passengers and crew members on the plane during an ordeal that included stops in Beirut and Algiers.
Robert Stethem TWA Flight 847 Hijacked
On June 14, 1985, Robert Stethem was returning from an assignment in Nea Makri, Greece, aboard TWA Flight 847 when it was hijacked by members of the Lebanese pro-Iranian organization Hezbollah. The hijackers held 39 people hostage for 17 days, demanding the release of 766 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
When their demands were not met, Stethem, as a member of the U.S. military, was targeted, beaten, and tortured. Finally, the hijackers shot him in the temple and dumped his body onto the tarmac at the Beirut airport.
Who Hijacked TWA Flight 847
One of the hijackers, Mohammed Ali Hammadi, was arrested two years later in Frankfurt, Germany. He was tried and convicted of Stethem’s murder and sentenced to life in prison but was released in 2005 after serving 19 years. Three others, Imad Mugniyah, Hassan Izz-Al-Din, and Ali Atwa, were eventually indicted for their involvement in the incident. In 2002, they were added to the FBI Most Wanted list. On February 13, 2008, Mugniyah was killed in an explosion in Damascus, Syria. On September 21, 2019, an unnamed hijacker was arrested while disembarking a cruise ship that had ported in Greece. His identity came up as being wanted by Germany during a passport check.
Robert Stethem Awards and decorations
Stethem was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery Section 59, Grave 430 (), near other American victims of international.
On August 24, 2010, in Yokosuka, Japan, on board the ship named after him – the USS Stethem (DDG-63) – Stethem was made an honorary Master Chief Construction man (CUCM) by order of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. His brother, Kenneth, accepted the certificate and decorations on behalf of the Stethem family.
On April 24, 2015, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presented the Prisoner of War medal to Mr. & Mrs. Stethem and the surviving members of Underwater Construction Team One, EO1(DV) Jeffrey J. Ingalls, CE1(DV) Tony Watson, EA1(DV) Stuart L.J. Dahl, SW2(DV) Kenneth M. Bowen, CE2(DV) Clinton Lee Suggs.
In popular culture
A scene from the movie The Delta Force shows a U.S. Navy diver Tom Hale being beaten, tortured, killed and his body being dumped onto the tarmac. This scene is based on Stethem’s encounter.
Stethem was portrayed by Steven Eckholdt in the 1988 TV movie The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story.
Suspect Of Hijacked TWA Flight 847 Update 2019
Greek police said Saturday they have arrested a suspect in the 1985 hijacking of a flight from Athens that became a multi-day ordeal and included the slaying of an American.
Police said a 65-year-old suspect in the hijacking was arrested Thursday on the island of Mykonos in response to a warrant from Germany.