(CNSNews.com) – Nearly 4,500 members of the U.S. armed forces paid the ultimate price during the war in Iraq, which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday formally declared over.
The official Department of Defense death toll for the conflict which began on March 20, 2003 is 4,474 fatalities, 3,527 of them in combat (including nine civilian DOD employees). A total of 32,226 U.S. personnel were wounded in action.
Operation Iraqi Freedom lasted for 90 months, before being replaced at the end of August 2010 by Operation New Dawn.
According to a CNSNews.com database of U.S. fatalities in Iraq over the entire 106 months of the mission:
--The deadliest month for American troops was Nov. 2004, when 139 troops were killed in combat, followed by April of that year (125 combat deaths) and May 2007 (121 combat deaths).
--The worst sustained period was the nine months between October 2006 and June 2007, when a total of 805 U.S. troops died in combat.
--President Bush’s troop “surge,” which saw Gen. David Petraeus oversee the deployment of an additional 20,000 soldiers and Marines during the first half of 2007, brought a dramatic and sustained decline in troop fatalities (see graph.pdf).
--In July 2008, monthly U.S. combat-related deaths dropped into single digits for the first time. They remained in the single digits for 36 of the 42 months since then.
--In Dec. 2009, Oct. 2010, and Feb., Aug. and Oct. of this year, no deaths in hostile circumstances were reported. No deaths, hostile or otherwise, have been reported this month.
--Over the entire war, April was the deadliest month for U.S. forces, followed by November and May. At the other end of the scale, February was the least deadly month, followed by September.
--The deadliest provinces of Iraq for American troops were Anbar and Baghdad, which each accounted for more than 1,200 deaths.
--The roadside bombs known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) accounted for a large proportion of the combat deaths during the war. In 2005, 425 out of 702 combat fatalities (60.4 percent) were attributed to IEDs while in 2006, they accounted for 367 out of 750 combat deaths (48.9 percent). Between 2007 and the war’s end, 673 out of a total of 1,139 combat deaths (59.1 percent) were attributed to IEDs.
--The oldest deployed American to die in Iraq was 69 year-old U.S. Army chaplain, Col. Sidney Marceaux Jr. of Beaumount, Texas, who died in Sept. 2008. The oldest American killed in combat was 60-year-old U.S. Army major, Steven Hutchison of Scottsdale, Ariz., killed in Basra when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in May 2008.
--Thirty-three Americans aged 18 were the youngest fatalities.
--The American personnel killed in Iraq included 104 women.
--The states accounting for the greatest loss of life were California (474), Texas (419), Pennsylvania (196), Florida (196), New York (191), Ohio (188) and Illinois (162). They are also the seven states with the largest populations. Taken in proportion to their 2010 populations, Texas accounted for the highest number of fatalities of those seven states, followed by Ohio and Pennsylvania.
--According to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count Web site, 179 British troops were killed during the war, along with 139 troops from other contributing countries, with Italy (33), Poland (23), Ukraine (18) and Bulgaria (13) accounting for the greatest loss of life.