Remembering the Life and Memory of...
LCpl Sean F. Estler
Hometown: Kendall Park, NJ.
Died: October 23rd, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon.
Unit: US Marine Corps, 24th Marine Amphibious Unit.
Incident: Died of injuries from a suicide truck bomb attack on the Marine Barracks
Birth: Nov 2, 1963
Death: Oct. 23, 1983
SOUTH BRUNSWICK – Lance Cpl. Sean Forrest Estler, 19, of Rochelle Drive in the Kendall Park section, died from injuries sustained during the terrorist bomb blast on American Marines stationed in Beirut as part of an international peacekeeping force.
Born in New Brunswick, he resided in Kendall Park most of his life.
He graduated from South Brunswick High School in 1982, where he was active as a member of the Outdoor Club, a member of the junior varsity football team, and a member of the band.
Cpl. Estler was a member of Troop 90 Boy Scouts sponsored by the Community Presbyterian Church of the Sand Hills, Kendall Park, and in 1981, he was the first member of the church to receive his Eagle award.
He recently served as an assistant scoutmaster.
At the time of his death, he was survived by his parents, Louis C. and Mary Ellen Estler Jr. of Kendall Park; a brother, Cpl. Keith C. Estler of Camp Lejeune, N.C.; his paternal grandfather, Louis C. Estler Sr. of Lake Park, Fla.; his maternal grandparents, Mr. And Mrs. Frank Schmidt of Holiday, Fla.
A military funeral was held at community Presbyterian Church of the Sand Hills, with the Rev. Paul Walker, pastor, officiating.
Burial was in Dayton Cemetery, in the Dayton section of the South Brunswick.
The Beirut barracks bombing (October 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon) occurred during the Lebanese Civil War, when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon—killing 299 American and French servicemen. The organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing, but that organization is thought to have been a nom de guerre for Hezbollah—or a group that would later become part of Hezbollah—receiving help from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Suicide bombers detonated each of the truck bombs. In the attack on the American Marines barracks, the death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 Navy personnel and three Army soldiers, along with sixty Americans injured, representing the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II, the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States military since the first day of the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, and the deadliest single attack on Americans overseas since World War II.[dead link]In addition, the elderly Lebanese custodian of the Marines' building was killed in the first blast. The explosives used were equivalent to 5,400 kg (12,000 pounds) of TNT.
In the attack on the French barracks, the eight-story 'Drakkar' building, two minutes after the Marine attack, 58 paratroopers from the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment were killed and 15 injured, in the single worst military loss for France since the end of the Algerian War.
The blasts led to the withdrawal of the international peacekeeping force from Lebanon, where they had been stationed since the withdrawal of the Palestine Liberation Organization following the Israeli 1982 invasion of Lebanon.