A photo collage posted to Facebook purportedly showing the U.S. victims of the Aug. 26 attack at Kabul’s airport has gone viral. The bombing attack claimed the lives of 13 U.S. service members.
This Facebook post was shared hundreds of times, and this page from Imgur, an image hosting and sharing account, with the image was viewed more than 81,000 times as of Aug. 30.
“While everyone fusses about what President to blame and cost of air lift fares, here's the soldiers that died yesterday in Afghanistan,” the caption on the image posted to Imgur said.
Does this photo show the service members that were killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 26?
No, this photo does not show the 13 service members killed in Afghanistan. It is a collage of 16 service members - 15 Marines and a Navy sailor - killed in a military plane crash in Mississippi on July 10, 2017.
Facebook marked this post with a “false information” disclaimer.
WHAT WE FOUND
Fifteen Marines and a Navy sailor were killed in a KC-130T crash on July 10, 2017 in Leflore County, Miss., according to a release from the U.S. Marines.
Using reverse image search, VERIFY was able to trace the photo collage of the service members killed in the 2017 crash to several news articles, including this one from WSAV, a station in North Carolina, published on July 14, 2017.
The release from the Marines said the flight originated from Marines Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., and was transporting personnel and equipment from there to Naval Air Field El Centro, Calif.
In July 2017, the Marines shared the same photos of those killed in the helicopter crash to honor the fallen. Examples can be seen here, here, here and here.
Following the attack in Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on Aug. 29, 2021, released the names of the 13 service members killed in the Aug. 26 attack at Kabul’s airport.
“These 13 men and women made the ultimate sacrifice so that others could live. They were and will be forever remembered as heroes. My heart and my thoughts are with their families, especially today. They, too, have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Austin wrote.
USNI News, with the U.S. Naval Institute, posted a visually similar photo graphic of the service members killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 26.
President Joe Biden was at Dover Air Force Base on Aug. 29 when the bodies of the fallen service members were returned to the U.S.
“The 13 service members that we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others. Our sacred obligation to the families of these heroes will last forever,” Biden tweeted.