Warrior Wednesday Salutes

Honoring the Fallen-  Mogadishu, Somalia

The following is from one of my articles which appeared at PolitiBrew, which included a brief history and the events which happened this day 24 years ago in Somalia. On October 4, 1993 US troops fought their way out of Bakara Market  while dozens of cheering Somalis dragged the body of an American soldier through the streets of Mogadishu…

In Somalia during 1992 to 1994 the US military was involved in conducting humanitarian aid missions to people who had been dying of starvation. By December 1992 our troops were engaged on the ground in Operation RESTORE HOPE. In spring of 1993, the US led Task Force was turned over to control of the UN, with a few logistical, aviation, and quick reaction forces left behind to assist.

In early October 1993 news broke here in the States about dozens of our soldiers being killed or wounded and their bodies being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.

The Battle of Mogadishu was part of Operation Gothic Serpent and was fought October 3rd and 4th 1993, in Somalia, between US Forces and Somali militiamen loyal to self-proclaimed Somali President Mohamed Farrah Aidid.

21 year old Sgt Dominick Pilla was shot and the first soldier to die in the battle. 33 year old Chief Warrant Officer Donovan Briley was the co-pilot of the first Black Hawk shot down in the battle.

25 year old SSG Daniel Busch 1st Special Forces, Delta Force, died when he was shot after being pulled from the downed helicopter by Sgt. Jim Smith, a Delta sniper who had also survived the crash.

26 year old SPC James Manuel Cavaco died riding in the Humvee convoy going to the crash site. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star.

34 year old SSG William D. Cleveland, Jr died when the 2nd Blackhawk helicopter, Super Six Four crashed. He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously.

25 year old SSG Thomas J. Field who was a Veteran of Operation Just Cause in Panama, died when the helicopter crashed.

28 year old SFC Earl Fillmore, 1st Special Forces, Delta Force died while serving as a medic giving aid to fellow troops. He was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.

45 year old Chief Warrant Officer Raymond Alex Frank was copilot who died defending the Super Six Four Black Hawk survivors. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.

31 year old Sgt. Cornell Houston was wounded by gunfire and shrapnel while trying to rescue the downed helicopter survivors. He died a few days later from his wounds. He was awarded posthumously with the Purple Heart medal, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, and de Fleury Medal.

33 year old MSG Gary Ivan Gordon, 1st Special Forces, Delta Force, had also served in Panama during Operation Just Cause.  He was killed along with Delta Force team member Randall Shughart while attempting to rescue the downed Super Six Four Black Hawk survivors. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

24 year old Sgt. J. Casey Joyce was killed by a Somali sniper.

20 year old Cpl. Richard Kowalewski was killed when the convoy he was in was hit with an RPG. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal posthumously.

38 year old MSG Timothy Martin, 1st Special Forces, Delta Force was mortally wounded by an RPG on the Lost Convoy and died while en route to a field hospital in Germany.

33 year old SFC Matthew Rierson, Delta Force Team Leader was killed in a mortar attack.

27 year old Sgt. Lorenzo Ruiz was shot in the chest while on the Lost Convoy and died along with Timothy Martin while en route to Germany.

35 year old SFC Randall D. Shughart was killed during his successful effort to save the life of a downed pilot from Super Six Four with Gary Gordon. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

21 year old SPC Jamie Smith was shot while helping a fellow soldier from one of the helicopters. The bullet struck his thigh, severing his femoral artery. He was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star for Valor and a Purple Heart.

36 year old CWO Clifton P. Wolcott died while maintaining control of his helicopter which had been shot with an RPG. His actions saved the others on board. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions.

Also at the Mogadishu Airport and other locations in Somalia that day,  a Special Forces (Green Beret) Soldier was killed during a mortar attack at the airport marking the last KIA.  12 soldiers and 3 Marines were wounded in action.

While all who have served during war and conflicts throughout the 20th Century deserve recognition and gratitude, too often some of these lesser known conflicts are ignored or forgotten. If it hadn’t been for the movie “Black Hawk Down”, many wouldn’t know that Americans gave their lives for the starving and oppressed East Africans of Somalia. These men were incredible heroes to those who remember.  They were loved and cherished by those who knew them, and served with them.

General Patton once said, It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

Thank You Lord for them.

Army Rangers return to Somalia, 20 years later…

God bless our Troops. Keep them safe Lord, please. Bless our Veterans.
Have a safe and blessed day all.