The 87th. Armored Recon. Battalion      

The Unit that lead the way to the Suez Canal and the turning point in the 1973 War

The 87th armored reconnaissance battalion was formed urgently when the winds of war started blowing, five months before the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War. Its personnel was a combination of young warriors from elite units and seasoned recon veterans. On the third day of the war it was the 87th that alone held the front line in a critical area against superior enemy forces, on the night between the fourth and fifth day it was the 87th that went on a scouting mission behind enemy lines and located the weak border area between the two Egyptian armies. And in the great operation "Knights of Hearts" the crossing of the Suez Canal, that finally turned the tides of  war, it was the 87th that spearheaded the attack and lead General Sharon's division ("Pillar of Fire") to the brink of the Canal. And there, in the terrible night battle, the 87th ceased to exist as a coherent fighting unit. But its valiant warriors had had a great impact on the battle on the Egyptian front, and the survivors would go on fighting within other units until the end of the war.

Because of its short life span, and the large number of casualties (112, including 45 killed in action) that included unit and subunit commanders, the unit's legacy evaporated and was left to oblivion for many years. The warriors were assigned to other reserve units and lost contact with each other and with the bereaved families of the fallen.  But lately, a group of 87th veterans "Legacy of the 87th." has taken up the challenge of restoring the units legacy to its deserved place in IDF's history. A veterans' convention was held at the IDF Armored Corps Memorial Site in May 2005. Approximately 600 attended the convention, including the warriors and their families, the bereaved families of the fallen, and invited guests, among them four high-ranking officers (presently reserve generals) who fought with the 143rd Armored Division in the 1973 war.

"Legacy of the 87th."

Dan Kaznelson, the 87th's Medical Officer, Chairman [danny@87th.org.il], +972-54-6576778

Ya'akov Limon, the 87th's Intelligence Officer, Secretary

Uri Taiber, the 87th's Communications Officer, Treasurer

Dov Dvir (Dechter), Deputy CO of the 87th's "A" Company

Gideon Friedman, Deputy CO, "B" Company

Yair Litvitz, Tank platoon commander, the 87th's "C" Company, later CO "H" Company

Menahem Kornweiz, the 87th's Personnel Officer

Avi Bakal, Senior Medic in the 87th's Medical Platoon

Katriel Shchori, Medic in the 87th's "D" Company

Ami Niv, APC driver in the 87th's "B" Company

Itzhak Kissilov,  NCO in Intelligence section

Frida Carmeli, Widow of the 87th's first CO, Lt-Col Bentzi Carmeli

Miriam Rapaport, Sister of Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Mizrahi, KIA on Oct. 15th 1973