In the U.S. Armed Forces, we don’t leave anyone behind. It’s one of the basic pillars of what the Army calls the Warrior Ethos: “I will never leave a fallen comrade.”Perhaps our President should read this too.
That being said this is the story of 2 brave American soldiers who gave their lives to save people left behind.MSG Gordon and MSG Shughart: The real heroes of the Battle of Mogadishu
The story of courage and self-sacrifice is best portrayed in the heroic story of MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart. Two Delta snipers who fought and died in the Battle of Mogadishu. For their acts, they were awarded the highest military decoration Medal of Honor, for the first time after the Vietnam War.
The Master Sergeant Gary Ivan Gordon and Sergeant First Class Randall David Shughart, both members of the 1st SFOD-D were part of the Task Force engaged in Operation Gothic Serpent (later known as Battle of Mogadishu) during the US intervention in Somalia on October 3, 1993.
During the battle, they were tasked to provide sniper support from the air, but the things went awfully wrong after two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down. At one point, MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart requested permission to land near the crash site of the second helicopter and to defend the crash site and four critically wounded helicopter crew members. They did that, despite the fact that large numbers of armed Somali militia were converging the area.
On the first call, mission commanders denied their request to go there and protect the site of the downed helicopter until reinforcements arrive. The Mission commander said that the situation was already too dangerous for the Delta snipers to effectively protect the Blackhawk crew from the ground… But, they insisted!
Black Hawk Down
At the time, MSG Gordon was Sniper Team Leader during a joint-force assault mission to apprehend key advisers to Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid and warlord himself if possible. The first phase of the assault went good, but shortly after an initial phase, one of the Army’s Black Hawk helicopters providing insertion and air support to the assault team, was shot down and crashed in the downtown at the hostile controlled area. Helicopter with call sign Super 61 (Super Six One).
A CSRT (Combat Search and Rescue team) was dispatched to the first crash site to secure it and a short time later, another Black Hawk, Super 64 (Super Six Four) was shot down as well. Available Ranger forces on the ground were not able to assist the downed helicopter crew of the second crash site as they were already engaged in heavy combat with Somali’s militia and making their way to the first crash site.