U.S. News & World Report
November 7, 1983

"Enough Guns to Arm a Division"

As the echoes of battle fade, Americans moving warily about this war-torn island are finding the native people openly joyful.

"When we began entering villages, I was scared," admits a soldier on patrol. "I had always heard everyone in Latin America hates us. But they- were glad to see us. They were practically dancing in the streets. I felt good about that."

"Ecstatic," is the way Father Carl Geers, a Roman Catholic priest from Cincinnati, describes Grenadians for whom he held mass during the invasion. "The people had a gun to their heads and couldn't have gained their freedom without outside help."

That the people of Grenada were in the grip of Cuban power is evident from munitions and propaganda that U.S. forces are discovering.

In a large compound of eight warehouses, U.S. troops found crate after crate of new Russian-made machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and antiaircraft guns. "There are enough guns here to arm a division of troops," reported Lt. Col. Frank Akers of the 82nd Airborne.

Captured Cuban quarters are strewn with revolutionary literature, lauding socialist youth and the South-West Africa People's Organization guerrillas of southern Africa. One poster that appeared to be months old states: "The revolution will go ahead without Maurice Bishop"-the Grenadian Prime Minister killed in a coup only days ago.

Grenadians claiming to be eye witnesses tell newsmen that, when Bishop was executed, as many as 30 people were gunned down with him, including some children.
With the fighting over, Grenadians who had hidden in . their boarded-up homes have started turning up behind American lines seeking safety and food.

Stores here are already empty of food and-as a forerunner of a massive American airlift of basic provisions that will likely be neededboxes of potato chips and granola bars are being delivered.

Efforts also are under way to get U.S. troops out of field tents and into more-permanent quarters.

American soldiers and Marines now are hunting for Marxists who vowed to fight on. The troops patrol with 50-pound packs, wearing new helmets that cover the ears like German helmets of World War II and armed to the teeth with bayonets, knives, pistols and machine guns.

An American interrogation team is questioning captured Cubans, and Capt. Jorge Cotto of Puerto Rico, part of that effort, says the captives are being cooperative. Eight Cuban nurses even are tending to 41 wounded Cubans.

With rain squalls ' battering the U.S. encampments, troops stay ready for action by test-firing their M-16 rifles into the surf on sandy white beaches.

Some try to sleep, wrapped in ponchos amid tall grass between banana trees. Others chew on cold rations and "MRE's"-meals ready to eat. A soldier gives this tongue-in-cheek recipe: "Take barbecued beef and chocolate chip cookies, add water and you can make hash browns."