Uncommon Valor

Twenty-four years ago today, American forces fought off hundreds of Somali militia in what is now called the Battle of Mogadishu. The battle was described in the book (and later, film) Black Hawk Down.

At the second crash site, two Delta snipers, MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randy Shughart, were inserted by Black Hawk Super 62 – piloted by CW3 Mike Goffena. Their first two requests to be inserted were denied, but they were finally granted permission upon their third request. They inflicted heavy casualties on the approaching Somali mob. Super 62 had kept up their fire support for MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart, but an RPG struck Super 62. Despite the damage, Super 62 managed to go to the New Port and safety.

When MSG Gordon was killed, SFC Shughart picked up Gordon’s CAR-15 and gave it to Super 64 pilot CW3 Michael Durant. SFC Shughart went back around the helicopter’s nose and held off the mob for about 10 more minutes before he was killed. The Somalis then overran the crash site and killed all but Durant. He was nearly beaten to death, but was saved when members of Aidid’s militia came to take him prisoner. For their actions, MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the first awarded since Vietnam.

Nineteen U.S. soldiers were killed in the battle, as opposed to an estimated 300-2,000 Somalis. Task Force Ranger repeatedly requested armor support for the mission, but it was denied by the – wait for it – Clinton administration. Funny how Clintons always lose their nerve when soldiers ask for backup.

While the film takes a few liberties, it tells the tale sufficiently. However, if you want the most authentic account, Mark Bowdren’s book Black Hawk Down is an excellent read.

7 thoughts on “Uncommon Valor

  1. The Clinton machine was/is beyond despicable. And I note they had no qualms about sending armored support to Waco. Something about a “rental car”…?

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  2. Toothy – At the White House, Randy Shughart and Jamie Smith’s fathers told Clinton he was unfit to be president or commander-in-chief. More courageous is four of the wounded soldiers refused to have their pictures taken with Clinton at Walter Reed because “it would dishonor their comrades who died in the fighting.”

    I mean, if you’re still active duty and say that to the president? Damn. Good for them.

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  3. Remember, Janet Reno said she sent the ATF into the Branch Davidian compound to “save the children.” In her, and Hillary’s, view I suppose, better dead and incinerated than raised in a Christian cult.

    I dunno, but it seems to me that one could recover from being raised in a cult. Being incinerated…. not likely.

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  4. Thanks for the post remembering these two fine men. There are many more like them, but we seldom hear of them. It is my sincere desire they all come home safely. There sure were no two more deserving than Shugart and Gordon.

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  5. “repeatedly requested armor support for the mission, but it was denied by the – wait for it – Clinton administration.” They also requested to do the mission at night, when US special forces rule. That was denied as well. Clinton wanted them to go in in daylight so as not to appear threatening or something!

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  6. TXNick – Dead men – and kids – tell no tales, so they cannot tell the truth about that awful family.

    RG – Lot of heroes that day, and none of them were politicians.

    Proof – Yeah, this scene in the film explains all you need to know.

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  7. I remember the reporting on this like it was yesterday. They requested armor and AC-130 air support and the Clinton White House didn’t want to look like bullies so they denied the request. Watching the movie pissed me off immensely knowing we got our asses handed to us for no reason other than inept leadership from anti-military politicians. The book was a good read after seeing the film. And when we invaded Afghanistan after 9/11 we found US GPS units and other equipment that had been taken in Mogadishu.

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