Photos of Military Coffins
(Battlefield and Astronaut Fatalaties)
at Dover Air Force Base

Click here for important updated info about these photos and the modified headline


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Related: The Wounded

click for gallery of the war dead
(288 photos)

click for gallery of the deceased astronauts
(73 photos)

>>> Since March 2003, a newly-enforced military regulation has forbidden taking or distributing images of caskets or body tubes containing the remains of soldiers who died overseas. [read more]

Immediately after hearing about this, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the following:

All photographs showing caskets (or other devices) containing the remains of US military personnel at Dover AFB. This would include, but not be limited to, caskets arriving, caskets departing, and any funerary rites/rituals being performed. The timeframe for these photos is from 01 February 2003 to the present.

I specified Dover because they process the remains of most, if not all, US military personnel killed overseas. Not surpisingly, my request was completely rejected. Not taking 'no' for an answer, I appealed on several grounds, and—to my amazement—the ruling was reversed. The Air Force then sent me a CD containing 361 photographs of flag-draped coffins and the services welcoming the deceased soldiers.

Score one for freedom of information and the public's right to know.

Further info:

"Curtains Ordered for Media Coverage of Returning Coffins"

The first three photographs to break the embargo

Note to the media: I have high-resolution versions of all 361 photos. If you want to print or broadcast any of them, just let me know which one(s) and I'll send the high-rez version.

Technical notes: The Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Department of the Air Force, sent these photos (on CD-ROM) on 14 April 2004 in response to an unnumbered FOIA request from Russ Kick. The request was originally sent to Dover AFB and was denied in full. Upon appeal, all photos were released. Name tags and other personally-identifying information were removed from the photos by the Air Force.


Columbia funeral rites

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posted 22 Apr 2004 | updated 25 Apr 2004
site & text copyright 2002-4 Russ Kick