Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon, two Delta Force Snipers who volunteered to be dropped inside a heavily hostile zone in order to defend a downed Black Hawk helicopter and it’s crew in the battle of Mogadishu, Somalia. Knowing that they were almost certainly sentencing themselves to death, these men did not hesitate in sacrificing their lives in order to buy the crew of the Black Hawk more time. Because of their actions, the crew were spared a vicious slaughter from Somalian civillians, and Michael Durant, the pilot of the downed Black Hawk, was saved.
“"It was terribly risky, maybe even hopeless. But one or two properly-armed, well-trained soldiers could hold off an undisciplined mob indefinitely. Shughart and Gordon were experts at killing and staying alive. They were serious, career soldiers, trained to get hard, ugly things done. They saw opportunity where others could see only danger. Like the other operators, they prided themselves on staying cool and effective even in extreme danger. They lived and trained endlessly for moments like this. If there were a chance to succeed, these two believed they would.”
This incident received a large amount of awareness mainly due to it’s feature in the film, “Black Hawk Down”.
My love, you are strong and you will do well in life.
I love you and my children deeply.
Today and tomorrow, each day grow and grow.
Keep smiling and never give up, even when things get you down.
So, in closing, my love… tonight, tuck my children in bed warmly.
Tell them I love them.
Then hug them for me… and give them both a kiss good night for Daddy.
Either Master Sergeant Gary Gordon or Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart in his last letter to his wife before dying in the Somalian conflict in 1993
The Battle of Mogadishu took place on October 3rd and overnight to the 4th. This mission was apart of Operation Gothic Serpent. Members of the 75th Ranger Regiment, Air Force Rescue and Air Force Combat Controllers, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta, and pilots from the 160th Spec Ops Aviation Regiment. The overall goal was to swarm in to a meeting in the city between Mohamed Adids lieutenants. Shortly after large groups of armed militants attacked the U.S. Forces and shot down two Black Hawk helicopters. In the end, 18 service members died, along with 80 injured. Many personnel were awarded for their actions. Two Delta Force snipers received the Medal of Honor after fighting and perishing while defending one of the crash sights.
Lest we forget the deceased
** - SFOD Delta - **
MSG Gary Ivan Gordon - Killed defending Super 6-4 - Received Medal of Honor and Purple Heart
SFC Randy Shughart - Killed defending Super 6-4 - Received Medal of Honor and Purple Heart
SSG Daniel D. Bush - Crashed with Super 6-1, mortally wounded defending the crew - Received Silver Star and Purple Heart
SFC Earl Robert Fillmore, Jr. - Killed moving to the first crash sight - Received SIlver Star and Purple Heart
MSG Timothy “Griz” Lynn Martin - Mortally wounded by an RPG on the ‘Lost Convoy’, and died en route to Germany's Field Hospital - Received Silver Star and Purple Heart
- 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment -
CPL James “Jamie” E. Smith - Killed around the crash sight of Super 6-1 - Received Bronze Star with Valor Device, and Oak Leaf Cluster as well as a purple heart
SPC James M. Cavaco - Killed on the Lost Convoy - Received a Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple heart
SGT James Casey Joyce - Killed on the Lost Convoy - Received a Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart
CPL Richard “Alphabet” W. Kowaleski, Jr. - Killed on the Lost Convoy by a RPG - Received Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart
SGT Dominick M. Pilla - Killed on Strueckers Convoy (1st Convoy to move back to base) - Received Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart
SGT Lorenzo M. Ruiz - Mortally wounded on the Lost Convoy and also and died en route to Germany’s Field Hospital - Received Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart
** - 160th SOAR - **
SSG William “Wild Bill” David Cleveland, Jr. - Killed on Super 6-4 (Crew Chief) - Received Silver Star, Bronze Star, Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart
SSG Thomas “Tommie” J. Field - Killed on Super 6-4 (Crew Chief) - Received Silver Star, Bronze Star, Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart
CWO Raymond “Ironman” A. Frank - Killed on Super 6-4 (Copilot) - Received Silver Star, Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart
CWO Clifton “Elvis” P. Wolcott - Killed in Super 6-1 Crash (Pilot) - Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Valor Device, Bronze Star, Purple Heart
CWO Donovan "Bull" Briley - Killed in Super 6-1 crash (Copilot) - Received Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart
years ago this afternoon, 33-year-old Gary Gordon (left) and
35-year-old Randy Shughart (right), both members of the Army’s 1st
Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta, were providing air cover
for Rangers in Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu when a fellow
Blackhawk helicopter was shot down. Gordon requested to be landed at the
crash site to provide cover for the crew, but was denied permission.
Seeing the hostile Somali crowds converging on the downed Blackhawk, he
pressed his request until finally granted permission. Gordon and
Shughart, armed each with only his own rifle and pistol, were dropped
off at the crash site, and found pilot Michael Durant alive. There they
formed a perimeter around him hoping for rescue that never came. Both
men exhausted their ammunition and were killed saving Durant, who was
taken alive as prisoner. Both men were posthumously awarded the Medal of
Honor, the first ones awarded for action since Vietnam. Remember them
On October 3, 1993, Rangers conducted a daring daylight raid with other special operations units in which several special operations helicopters were shot down. For nearly 18 hours, the task force delivered devastating firepower, killing an estimated 600 enemy combatants in what many have called the fiercest ground combat since Vietnam.
18 service members made the ultimate sacrifice in accomplishing their mission. Their courage and selfless service will never be forgotten.
CW4 Raymond Frank
CW3 Clifton Wolcott
CW2 Donovan Briley
MSG Gary Gordon
MSG Timothy Martin
SFC Earl Filmore
SFC Randy Shughart
SSG Daniel Busch
SSG Thomas Field
SSG William Cleveland
SGT Casey Joyce
SGT Cornell Houston Sr.
SGT Dominick Pilla
SGT Lorenzo Ruiz
CPL Jamie Smith
SPC James Cavaco
PFC James Martin Jr.
PFC Richard Kowaleski
My love, stay strong and you will do well in life. I love you and my children deeply. Today and tomorrow let each day grow and grow. Keep smiling and never give up even when things get you down. So in closing my love, tonight tuck my children in bed warmly. Tell them I love them, then hug them for me and give them both a kiss goodnight for daddy.