Blackhawk Down
Basics:
Analysis: How a relief mission ended in a firefight
Background: A defining battle leaves lasting scars

Video
  • Today's video
  • Video categorized by speaker
  • Audio
  • Audio interview clips
  • Radio transmission clips
  • Photos
    Somalia: A Nation in Name Only
  • Introduction
  • Guns and fear
  • Daily living
  • The future

  • A Soldier's View
  • Maps
    Graphics
    Full text
  • The mailgram sent to Ranger Spec. Jamie Smith's parents
  • Gen. Garrison's letter about the events of Oct. 3
  • Who's who
  • Where are they now
  • Glossary
    Index
    Ask the author
  • Round 1 of Q&A
  • Round 2 of Q&A
  • Round 3 of Q&A
  • Round 4 of Q&A
  • Round 5 of Q&A
  • Round 6 of Q&A
  • Round 7 of Q&A
  • Round 8 of Q&A
  • Round 9 of Q&A
  • Round 10 of Q&A
  • Round 11 of Q&A
  • Round 12 of Q&A
  • Round 13 of Q&A
  • Round 14 of Q&A
  • Round 15 of Q&A
  • Round 16 of Q&A
  • Round 17 of Q&A
  • Round 18 of Q&A
  • Round 19 of Q&A
  • Round 20 of Q&A
  • Final notes on Q&A
  • About the series
    Inquirer

    Round 11

    FYI NC
    I love the way you can accurately interpret the emotions of all present even though you weren t even there or even talked to half these people. While it does shed some light on the issue, you have managed to make those in charge that day appear as irrational, uncaring, and blind. No one but those in charge can say for sure what they were feeling and what they could do. Those there that day were some of the braviest and finest soliders ever to serve our nation. Also, will you discuss the events on Oct. 6th?
    Mark Bowden
    Any of the thoughts or emotions expressed in the story are taken directly from interviews with the men, or, in some cases, from their own written accounts of the battle. If I have inadvertantly attributed something to anyone that is not correct, I will change it if so informed. I have no desire or need to supplement the wealth of detail in the interviews I've done, and will redouble my efforts, certainly in the book, to avoid straying a word from the record. I will not be writing at length about the events of Oct. 6th in the newspaper series, but may in the book. MB

    Tim Mahoney Wash, DC
    Chek out my address...I'm the Army Chief of Staff's Commo NCO. I'm a vet, and would like to talk...great series.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks ...

    Tim Mahoney Wash DC
    Sorry....timothy.mahoney@us.army.mil
    Mark Bowden
    and I'll be in touch. MB

    John B. Newark, De
    great series. have been reading the hard copy from the beginning. read every q&a so far. this site is great. tell jennifer good job. seems like a new look to journalism. keep up the good work and looking forward to the book. thanks to all the military guys, rangers, d-boys, seals, 10th and everyone else so we can sit in our comfortable chairs.
    Mark Bowden
    Thank you, John. MB

    Sue McLean, VA
    Mark, you state that "Miller felt he was in command. Steele did not." Even given that the original mission planning may not have envisioned the co-mingling of Delta and Rangers, was there no command guidance as this unfolded? In retrospect, it appears Steele would have done better by himself and his Rangers if he'd deferred to Miller. At this point in your time line, Miller is far advanced to the crash site; has organized a casualty collection point and it appears the Delta guys are trying to round up Rangers. Of course, I'll "keep reading"...just wondering if any of the Delta guys following this have info on this situation. Clint (see Forum) clearly explained part of the problem between the two groups.
    Sue McLean, VA
    The quote read: "Miller felt hye was in command. Steele did not see it that way." Sorry, I left the end of the quote off my question.
    Mark Bowden
    Keep reading. MB

    J. Luciano Carlisle, PA
    You have managed the impossible. To transport a reader to hell and back honors the memory of all those who died and gives thanks to those who survived. Thank you for getting this story out and I hope you get a Pulitzer.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. MB

    Michael S. McManus Pennsauken, NJ
    Mr. Bowden, thank you for answering my posts under Round 9 of questions. I hope your book does do justice for the 10th Mountain. We haven't received much credit for events there and even our Army doesn't refer to the Somalia situation as a "win" for us. It has gotten old and does still piss me off that our leaders allowed us to be over there without no real "heavy" ground support. Your accounts sure put me back to that night and I do enjoy the writing. A sincere thank you!! My father taped the show and will send it to me here in Japan, can't wait.
    Mark Bowden
    Let us know what you think. MB

    Bill Monterey
    Mark, It sounds like CPT Steele made the right call by having the Rangers remaining at the target building after the convoy left converge on the first crash site. My question is "What was the original plan?" How did the Rangers who couldn't fit in the convoy plan to get out? Even if no birds had been shot down, would they have been stranded? I'm sure they must have had some extraction plan for everyone involved in the raid. Do you know what it was?
    Mark Bowden
    They planned, all of them, to come out on the vehicles. Remember, one of the five-tons was destroyed in front of the target building, and three were dispatched with Pvt. Blackburn. But the original plan called for exfil by convoy. MB

    Anthony Murphy Warminster, PA
    I know I've already posted twice before, but I think both YOU AND THE INKY DESERVE A PULITZER FOR THIS WORK!(to include the hard copy, online, documentary, interactive, and book form of this material)!!!! As a (non-combat) veteran, I appreciate your efforts to tell this story!!!!!
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, Anthony. MB

    Sgt. JJ Miller Park Forest, Illinois
    From 1981-85 I was assigned to 5th special forces unit, certain missions I have been on we have had no more than about 10 individuals. Why such a large scale force invasion with elite units other than regular units? If this was to be an extraction why not silent teams as opposed to this obvious show of force with elite units not designed for the task?
    Mark Bowden
    A smaller force was envisioned initially, early in the summer of 1993, when the mission was first considered. By the time it was approved, almost three months later, Aidid knew he was targeted and was in hiding. The objective became capturing him, or taking down his organization. The force sent was what the command requested (I'm not sure why they felt they needed so many men), The men who went in were trained for this task, extensively, and they went in daylight (departing from most of their Mog missions, which were at night) because they had fresh intel and believed success required moving quickly. MB

    John Murphy
    I served in Somalia as an analyst for six months. I left just before this raid. You did a magnificent job writing this story. Thank you.
    Mark Bowden
    Thank you. MB

    KURT S. OKINAWA, JA.
    Mark, have been reading and am happy to see a more comprehensive write-up. I would like to get any information you have, I was there, and would like to add to my notebook. I have to finish reading and will comment later. thanks.
    Mark Bowden
    Just call me, Kurt. If you are Kurt Schmid, I would like to talk to you. My number is 215-854-2400. Thanks. MB

    A proud Sömali Mogadisho
    I would say to Mark Bowden if you think that what the american solders met in Mogadisho wasn't enuagh fight, they wouldn't run away, But when they saw how Somalians are not afraid to die, they reelized that it was time to get away.
    Mark Bowden
    I'm glad we're being read in Somalia. MB

    Don Fagnan Lower Gwynedd, PA
    Will Blackhawk Down be available in book/paperback? My son, currently stationed in GA, is entering Ranger School soon and would enjoy it. dfagnan@peco-energy.com
    Mark Bowden
    I'm going to be writing the book over the next few months. It's due to be published in October, 1998. A full reprint of this series will be available after it finishes this Sunday. Call 215-854-4984 to order a reprint. Thanks. MB

    SPC Wigod California
    Mark. What did the President know, about the need for armored vehicles, and when did he know it? Mark, I thunk I heard you say the Habre Gidr spy learned of the Raid before it happened while working at the US Embassy? Isn't it the White House position that they knew nothing of the Raid till after it happened? For all you Hungry Lizards out there. Armored Combat Vehicle Familiarization Course now at http://kp.simplenet.com
    Mark Bowden
    The President has not agreed to talk to me about this. Published accounts of his role and response -- Elizabeth Drew's "On the Edge" is the best -- show him angry and somewhat bewildered after news of the battle reached Washington. His position has always been that he was poorly informed. MB

    Walt Shumate Valhalla
    "when they saw how Somalians are not afraid to die, they reelized that it was time to get away. " ........ Next time, we'll cut off the KHAT shipment for a couple of days. That will remove MOST of the Habr Gedr "bravery" But there IS a lesson to be learned about how difficult it is to deal with a society which holds life in such low regard that they steal from their starving cousins and starve them to DEATH, then throw their women and kids into battle against those who are trying to put a stop to it. Perhaps that lesson is, cut off the snake's head FIRST, then negotiate with the tail. Oppressors Beware.
    Steve Newark DE
    Medics seem to be exposed to even greater fire than combatants due to exposure during rescues, etc. Did they have higher casualties? They seem like selfless heros.
    Mark Bowden
    They are indeed. The men say "God watches out for medics," and this battle seems to bear that out. While they were certainly in the thick of things, few of the medic were injured (A.F. MSgt Scott Fales comes to mind) and none were killed. MB

    SOLDIER USA
    Mark, Is there a way to contact you offline? Do you have a personal email?
    Mark Bowden
    Call me at 215-854-2400. MB

    Charlie Vanderslice Philadelphia, Pa
    Mark, This is an excellent series. Each day I look forward to reading the next chapter. It is important for us all to remember that this is not a soap opera but real life blood, sweat, and tears shed by our armed forces and thier families. I have never served but my hat is off to all in uniform. Thanks.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, Charlie. MB

    gordon ft benning, ga
    Mr. Bowden, misquotes and train of thoughts that are questionable are constantley being pointed out and talked about by the men you mention here at RHQ. It might do you and the article some good if you attempt to communicate to these guys again.
    Mark Bowden
    I will be happy to speak to any of the men, those who I have already interviewed and those who I have not. I have informed USSOC that I would like to speak to any man who was there who wants to talk to me, and arrangements have already been made for one of the men I was unable to interview the first time. You have been telling me now for two weeks about "misquotes" and "questionable" trains of thought. I am not hiding. Call me at 215-854-2400 or message me here with any mistakes. I will correct them. As I said above, I have such a wealth of material I have no need, none, to make up a thing. The material is drawn directly from my interviews (all of them from Ft. Benning taped) sometimes word for word -- especially in the trains of thought. If I have inadvertantly put words in someone's mouth, I will take them out. I promise. MB

    Jim Smith Moorestown NJ
    1. Why hasn't there been greater coverage of events which generated the hostility of the Somali people toward the US soldiers?
    Mark Bowden
    We decided at the outset of this series to hold off writing a detailed account of how and why this battle took place until after the battle story is complete. Such an account appearing suddenly four years after the battle would not have been read by as many, I think, as it will be now. The battle story, we hope, has created an audience for it. Look for it Sunday, Jim. MB

    "VITTO" Charlottesville, VA
    Mark's interview on CSPAN can be heard at: http://www.c-span.org/mmedia/washjrnl/wj1128.htm Format is Real Audio and will only be available for a few more days.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. I didn't know that. MB

    Jim Smith Moorestown, NJ
    1. To the idiot referencing Khat and denying it to the Somali's....Do your homework before expressing a position. You will see that the Habr Gedr and M. Adid's forces were veterans of combat dating back to the cold war. You will also see that events leading up to this raid included US sniper attacks on innocent women at the central market, Physical abuse of Somali civilians at the hands of US military personnel, and destruction of homes and businesses by low flying US military aircraft at all times of the day and night, etc. Would it not provide a greater level of understanding as to why so many civilians were armed and ready to fight a percieved invincible foe?
    Mark Bowden
    Keep reading. MB

    Walt Shumate Valhalla.
    Mr. Smith. This idiot's opinions spring from personal experience...which is the only kind there is. It has been my experience that field work is far superior to homework. Oppressors Beware.
    Hassan Toronto, Canada
    I posted several questions and comments on Thursday December 4, 1997 but none of them appeared on your page. Are you pre-screening and choosing the favorable once to your story?. It seems to me your story is one sided. I hope some one will write the Somali side of the Story. Have you interviewed or talked to Paul Watson - The Toronto Star reporter who provided the photos showing the dead American body draged in the streets of Mogadishu?
    Mark Bowden
    The questions are not screened. I'll ask Jennifer what happened to your questions, although I think I've answered some already. The story of the battle is one-sided. It was very difficult to work in Mogadishu, and very expensive. I did the best I could in the seven days I was there, and we sent back camera crews twice in making the documentary film. I have had far more time to interview American soldiers about their experiences. The Sunday story will attempt to explain how and why this battle took place, from both sides (something easier to report than the narrative of the battle itself). I have not interviewed Paul Watson, although I did interview Somalis present at that scene. Keep reading. MB

    We are NOT screening the questions. When you type in a question and hit the "submit your question" button, the question gets filed in a database and appears on the page when you click the "see current questions" button.

    We have a question from a Hassan in Chicago in Round 1, but no other questions from Hassan in Toronto, Canada. We've looked at the questions posted during that day, which fell into Round 6 and Round 7 respectively, and found no question with your name.

    My best guess is that your question, if you did hit the "submit" button, was somehow lost if your Internet connection was interrupted. For instance, if you're dialing in through a phone line, and call waiting is still activated, it will interrupt any modem transmission. Data transfer can also be interrupted on network connections, and local Internet connection problems could play a part.

    Please ask any question you want. That's the reason we have this forum. Just check the "current questions" after you've hit submit to make sure the question came through on our end. -- Online ed.


    Peter Coen Poquoson, VA
    My compliments on this absolutely riveting series. Question. What was the original extraction plan for the Rangers and Deltas? Ride with the convoy? If so, why does your timeline say they were ordered to the crash after the convoy rolled
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. I might have misspoke in the timeline. The convoy and the remainder of the force headed for the crash site left the target building at the same time. The original plan was for all the men to come out on the ground convoy. MB

    LTC Steve Lindberg Army War College, Carlisle, PA
    My boss & I are writing a course to introduce students here to urban combat in the future. Would very much like to speak to you about this series and possible applications to the future. My E-mail is lindbers@csl-emh1.army.mil. Phone here is 717-245-3013 or COL Mike Pasquarett at 717-245-4015.
    Mark Bowden
    I'll call. MB

    Joe Calderone NY, NY
    The series is terrific, fast-paced reading. It takes you there. Your fans look foward to the opening of the feature film, which we trust will be here in the Big Apple.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, pal. MB

    JB Dayton, OH
    It may already be too late to hear the interview in C-span. I went to access it and they have already removed it.
    Mark Bowden
    Darn, fame is a vapor. MB

    Steve Newark DE
    My dad was a paratrooper in WWII (11th Airborne). He has written stories and talked much about all aspects of his experience but actual combat fire fights. Thanks for helping me to understand his strong bonds and comradrie with fellow trooper "brothers", even 50 yrs later. Your series should be required reading for all citizens. Awesome story you have told!!
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, Steve. MB

    R. Robson Colwood, British Columbia, CANADA
    I am impressed with your coverage of that Somalia FUBAR! A lot of brave men were wasted unnecessarily, in my opinion. I too know what it is like to be left alone surrounded by hostiles in enemy territory. Talk about déjà vu (shudder). Merry Christmas Mr. Bowden, a surpeior job of conveying the events that took place by brave lads. My beret is off to you and them! http://www.wlc.com/rrobson/ EX COELIS
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. MB

    R. Robson Colwood, British Columbia, CANADA
    I am impressed with your coverage of that Somalia FUBAR! A lot of brave men were wasted unnecessarily, in my opinion. I too know what it is like to be left alone surrounded by hostiles in enemy territory. Talk about déjà vu (shudder). Merry Christmas Mr. Bowden, a surpeior job of conveying the events that took place by brave lads. My beret is off to you and them! http://www.wlc.com/rrobson/ EX COELIS
    L. Matson West Chester, PA
    I submitted a correction for Kevin Snodgrass (differences between audio and "who's who") and only part was changed...what about the rank discrepancy? Thanks again for a great series!
    Mark Bowden
    We're checking it out. Thanks. MB

    Sorry for the delay. The Who's Who entry has been fixed. -- Online ed.


    R.S. USA
    Just a comment on the Medal of Honor ceremony. Just imagine that on a fine day when two soldiers receive the highest award for valor. NO news coverage whatsoever. The only channel around FT. BRAGG N.C. is on C-span and the regular news is constantly covering O.J. Simpson and Jackie O. To add to it the Commander in Chief cannot find his way over from Greensboro to visit wounded men at WOMACK hospital, however a few weeks later when a transport plane crashes in a ball of fire on Pope Air Force Base he makes a special trip from Washington to see the folks who were injured by that disaster. I am in no way attempting to minimize how horrific that incident was, all life is precious, I am just using this incident as an illustration of events. He should have come to Ft. Bragg and taken his blows from everyone there who deserved to give them to him. He deserved every comment from every soldier and family member at the MOH ceremony and more than that. Bill Clinton failed everyone in Task Force Ranger and then had the nerve to turn his back yet again on these couragous men and not even show up at any of the memorial services held in their honor, o
    Tom Greene Birmingham Alabama
    Will this be published as a book or can we download the entire series?
    Mark Bowden
    The book will be published by Grove/Atlantic in Fall, 1998. The series, which represents about a third of what the book will be, will be reprinted in full by the Inquirer. You can order a copy at 215-854-4984. The Inquirer is also going to market a package deal, reprint, VHS copy of the hour-long documentary, and a CD-rom with the whole shebang. That's coming before the end of this month. Watch this space. MB

    Tom Greene Birmingham Alabama
    Will this be published as a book or can we download the entire series?
    Vgoetz Napa, Ca.
    After reviewing this site and enthusiastically sending it to others have one question. Can you punlish the book on CD per your contract with your publisher. Recommend it!! Great journalism and the medium is finding a level that exceeds anything that ever existed for journalism. Best Wishes!!
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. I'll be discussing it with my publisher if I ever finish writing this thing. MB

    Mark Jackson San Antonio, TX
    Just a quick comment in defense of the (10th Mountain) rescue convoy. We (QRF) moved out to the airport when we heard that the first chopper had been shot down. Everyone was eager to get out there and help those guys, we left the airport actually pretty quick moving toward them when we were ambushed at the K-4 traffic circle, after sustaining several casualites, we moved back to a position just north of K-4 and then back to the airport to gather reinforcements. This was all WELL before dark. It was then that we sat around for like 9 hours for God knows what reason. Great job though, keep up the good work!
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, Mark. We'll get more on the 10th in the book. MB

    Vgoetz Napa, Ca.
    After reviewing this site and enthusiastically sending it to others have one question. Can you punlish the book on CD per your contract with your publisher. Recommend it!! Great journalism and the medium is finding a level that exceeds anything that ever existed for journalism. Best Wishes!!
    DCP Phila., PA
    I think both the CD rom idea and the picture and bios of the KIA are outstanding ideas. I'll take 'em both. Since CDroms have next to unlimited space, perhaps you could include some of these Q&A, which add another vivrant demension to the story. I also think Delta John's input is great. Thank you!
    Mark Bowden
    Thank you. MB

    Sean Tudor Sydney, Australia
    Congratulations to Mark on an excellent, well-researched, and especially moving series of articles on this battle. I really feel for the men who were involved in this action. I look forward to both your book and the CD-compile of this website.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, Sean MB

    Bob Dobson Poway, CA
    When I went through pre-Ranger training ( I did not get to Ranger school ) one of the things stresses was memorization of the Operations Order format, including a paragraph on Chain of Command. The numerous orders I wrote and recieved in 8 years of Cavalry ops always seemed to include this. Any ideas on which level of planning dropped this paragraph?
    Mark Bowden
    I don't know. MB

    Martin San Diego, CA
    Mark- Great, great stuff- I'm on the edge of my seat! Can't wait for the book- it seems that three times as much in the book is not enough - you have much more detail than that to fit in! I also wanted to echo what Don Rolph said- recommend use of AU and MPEG for sound and video since it is more standard- I can't access the video.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, and I'll refer the technical question to Jennifer. MB

    I answered a question about this in Round 10 . . . once we get a chance to breathe after the series ends, we may make different formats available. I can't make any promises, though. -- Online ed.


    Chris Arlington
    Mark, been trying to get in touch w/ you. Have contact info on McKnight. Seems you're never in the office. Also, previous book was written on this mission, Mogadishu!:Heroism & Tragedy.... did not enter the same detail you are doing however... OK book.
    Mark Bowden
    Wrong. I have been nowhere but the office for the last four weeks. I'm sick of being in the office. My skin is turning white and pasty. My number is 215-854-2400. If I'm not actually at my desk -- in those rare moments I stray -- leave me a message. I'll call you back. Promptly. MB

    Chris Arlington
    Mark, two mandatory articles which you must read, if you haven't already . "Letter from Somolia: An S-3's Observations", Infantry, Jan.-Feb. '95 (Ref. # PB 7-95-1) p.13. and "Mogadishu, October 1993: A Company XO's Notes on Lessons Learned", Infantry, Nov.-Dec. '94 (Ref. PB 7-94-6) p. 31. I would be happy to fax both if you made your fax number available.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, Chris. Fax them to 215-854-5185.

    Rick Raleigh NC
    Gen. Garrison seems to have been attempting to be loyal to his Seretary of Defense and President in his testimony to the Senate regarding armor and AC-130's. If he didn't need them why ask for them in the first place?
    Mark Bowden
    I'm sure I'll be corrected here if I'm wrong, and I might be, but I doubt commanders always get everything they ask for. The question would then be, can we do this mission with what we have? Garrison obviously decided yes, and continues to defend his judgement. MB

    Rick Raleigh NC
    Regarding aerial fire support: Blackhawks with miniguns fly forward, shoot sideways. Hard to shoot down alleys without hovering. AH-6's (usually) fly forward shoot forward. They can shoot along linear features like alleys easier, but must make gun runs, instead of hovering, to avoid ground fire, so there may be gaps in coverage. Since they shoot at low angles to the ground, there is a possibility of collateral hits. AC-130's fire nearly straight down reducing overshoots. They orbit over target area to give continuous coverage so bad guys always hear them and are supressed. They have very good visuals for finding targets. They can hit a rooftop without damaging surrounding buildings (As they did in Panama). They are not very good at hitting guys on lower floor of multi-story buildings unless they use the big guns and shoot right into the basement through the roof. They are relatively safe from small arms and RPG's because of speed and altitude. They carry lots of ammo and can loiter for hours.
    CHOCKS CLARKSVILLE, TN
    This is in response to Mark Mondl of Beavercreek. I would like to know what kind of military experience if any you have. Did you come to your own conclusion on GEN. Garrison and the actions on the 3rd & 4th of OCT or did you rely on a idiot like COL. Hackworth(less)? If Hackworth(less) was such a great military leader that HE thinks he is, then why is he not wearing the rank of General? I was a member of TFR and I can tell you from first hand experience that GEN. Garrison has the combat experience and knowledge to lead our military in any situation. In order to accomplish a mission like the one we were sent to do we had to have the full support from the people that sent us there and we did not have that from our so called president and all of his little puppets.
    Sue McLean, VA
    I'll continue to "keep reading". However this becomes more and more incredible. Steele watches with "satisfaction" and feels vindicated when Delta team cannot make their FIRST attempt at moving out. When did the Delta teams with Steele join the rest of the force at the crash site? Did Steele ever attempt to move or did they remain "non-players" to include no further radio contact with Miller from this point on?
    Mark Bowden
    The Delta team did successfully move north and link up with the rest of the force later that night. Steele stayed put with his Rangers. I don't believe there was any further contact between him and Miller, but I don't know for sure. MB

    Lance McMillan Arlington, VA
    I was XO of the ship which did the pre-landing beach recons and launched the AAVs onto Green beach for the initial landings; and the N3 (Ops officer) for the Amphib staff which planned and conducted the final US/UN withdrawal from Somalia. When the Marines first went in, and later during the final withdrawal, there was minimal Somali opposition to our presence; certainly nothing as violent as what this story shows. If anything, the Somalis almost showed a grudging respect for our Marines when we were there. When and how did the changes in the Somali attitude to the US forces occur (at both ends of our involvement), and did the difference in the US Marine (as opposed to the US Army) approach to dealing with the Somali people have anything to do with the change?
    Mark Bowden
    I'll address some of this in the Sunday story about how and why the battle took place, and its aftermath. The Marine force was, I believe 20,000 men. Their job was to open up supply lines to deliver food to the starving, and they arrived with enough force to wring goodwill from any Somali factions who weren't genuinely happy to see them. TFR was a force of about 500 men with an entirely different mission. They would swoop in and out of the city in relatively small numbers, snatching up Aidid lieutenants. They also came after a summer of bloodshed, including the Aidid forces attack that killed 25 Paki soldiers and the July 12th US helicopter raid on the Abdi House, which may have killed as many as 73 Habr Gidr clan leaders. So by the time TFR arrived, they were dealing with a very hostile clan. MB

    Jong Lee Manalapan, NJ
    Great series! What was the basic combat load of the Rangers and Delta? When did they get resupplied? Any accounting of ammo used? Thanks, Jong
    Mark Bowden
    The basic weaponry is what you see in the story, M-16s, some with M203 grenade launchers, CAR-15s, 60 cals, SAWs, LAWs, 50-cal machine guns and Mark 19s of Humvees. They also carried various kinds of grenades. I might be missing something, but that's pretty much it. Thanks, Jong. MB

    John Jacksonville, FL
    Comment: As a former Army Ranger (1980s) I have found this series to be very interesting. It brings back some memories of inter-service and inter-unit rivalries, and the problems that occur because of them. While I haven't recognized any of the names, I still get chills from the descriptiond of the incident. Outstanding, informative work. Thanks.
    Mark Bowden
    Thank you, John. MB

    former Infantryman Arlington
    Re: McMillan --Excuse me sir, but I think there was one helluva change in mission between the initial humanitarian relief op and October 3. I think that might account for change in attitude.
    Palfrey Carney's Point, N.J.
    Why was there no air cover from a carrier or land based aircraft? Why was there no rescue convoy sitting and waiting in case the mission ran into trouble? The lack of support was very costly.
    Mark Bowden
    No such force was included in the TFR package, not was it requested. I assume the commanders, everyone from Colin Powell to Gen. Garrison, didn't feel they needed it. MB

    Kent King of Prussia, PA
    To Delta John and others; I did not mean to diminish the Delta Operators or Delta Force in any way. I was only making an observation based on the story Mark is telling. Having served in the our military and Somalia, I can appreciate the situation you were all in. I'm sure many tough decisions were made that day, some right, some wrong. However, (again, based on the story as told here) it just seems as though the the force was begining to unravel: The Rangers were obviously shaken by the casualties they were taking; the command structure was paralized and ineffective; Would it not have been wise to try and stabilize the the unit into a cohesive and effective force, then pusg on to the helo's?
    greg calder va beach, virginia
    mark You have done a fine job with writting this article. Very interesting and gripping. This needs to be a movie.
    Mark Bowden
    We'll see. But be careful what you wish for. MB

    Kent King of Prussia, PA
    And you're right I was not there, so there is no way I can possibly no what it must have been like or what anyone on the ground that day was feeling or thinking. I'm sure if I sat down with any of the D-Boys that were there they would probably have very valid reasons for the decisions they made (everyone involved would, perspective is everything). However, frank discussion of these events and others like them is how we learn, it is how we can prevent a next time. We must not be afraid to challenge one another; What you do (and others like you) is to important to our country. The Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors who go into harms way represent one of our country's most precious resources. Do we owe them; do we owe you any less.
    AH Philadelphia
    Did you get to interview Ricky Lamb? He is mentioned, a lot, in COL Dan Bolger's "Savage Peace," and I served with Rick in the Joint Security Area in Korea. A great guy and quite a legend.
    Mark Bowden
    I did not. I would like to talk to him and have heard lots about him. My number is 215-854-2400. MB

    Kent KOP, PA
    Mark, this is one of the most impressive pieces of military literature I have read in a long time. When the book comes out it needs to be made mandatory reading for anyone who aspires to serve as a ground combat officer/NCO or as part of combat air crews! Excellent Job!!!!
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks a lot, Kent. I hope they all buy a copy. MB

    Kent KOP, PA
    To Lance McMillan; When 13th MEU arrived in Mogadishu the impression I had was that the Somalis definitely had a different perspective on Marines (versu Army and others). In fact, we were told not to wear desert boots because the Somalis identified the black boots with Marines; referring to Marines as the "Black Boots". The idea being, we wanted them to be able to readily identify us as Marines. We were also told that of all the force in the theatre, the two the Somalis most feared were the French Foreing Legion and the USMC. This was a result of the initial days of the operation when it was primarily a military run op. Mark can you verify this?
    Mark Bowden
    I cannot. Sorry. MB

    former infantryman arlington, Va
    Looking at the maps, it seems tactically clear why the Delta commander wanted to consolidate the position at the chopper site. As your narrative indicaters, some somalis were already between the main body and group of rangers and there was certainly a risk of the detachment with Steele being cut off. At the very least, there would certainly be crossfire problems if the infiltration continued. Did this continue to be a problem during the rest of the fight?Were the Rangers able to get any of the ammo, water and medical supplies that were brought in by chopper?
    Mark Bowden
    I don't believe the force had serious problems during the night. There were a few Somalis who poked or wandered into the perimeter (ungainly as it was), and most died as a consequence. The Little Birds kept any large numbers of Somalis away. I don't believe Steele and his men out on the southernmost edge of the perimeter got anything from the resupply, but I might be wrong. MB

    Participant On Duty
    To LTC Lindberg. Sir,there are still a number of veterans of the battle of Mog and other urban fights that could provide our future leaders at the War College better sources of expertise than Mr Bowdens story. We'd feel more inclined to fill in the many holes for the War College, rather than a newspaper. Newspapermen have a way of taking limited facts and drawing major conclusions. Mr. Bowden, you've done well. Why do I feel you're going to blow it in your final conclusions?
    Mark Bowden
    I suspect is has a lot to do with your stated opinion of journalists. MB

    AH Philadelphia
    To answer Ensign: Attack helicopters fly as low and as close to cover as possible to avoid direct fire. The builidings provided that cover. The unfortunate aspect of this tactic is that a lucky gunner gets in an RPG shot. To fly higher risks more concentrated small arms fire. Yes! the helos did have to fly that low.
    Door Gunner Dallas, TX
    To those of you slamming Clinton and placing the blame on him for the deaths of our servicemen in Somalia...here's a pop quiz: Which American GOP president is responsible for the deaths of 240+ US Marines in Beirut (1983)?
    gordon ft benning, ga
    Mr Bowden...I understand your position in defending your story and I (as do many others) appreciate the clearly detailed effort you put forth in writing this article, but even you can admit that it seems a little one-sided as I've pointed out to you on so many occasions. Regardless of what you write about the relationship between us and the other tier units, you have to admit by what some people have been writing you in the "ask the author" segment that this is the conclusion that alot of your readers are coming to based on what your telling them coming from only the d-boys side. It is this response by your readers that disturbes me. Rest assured that "misquotes" and "questionable trains of thoughts" are what is leading these folks to make some of the truly "uneducated" comments. As a journalist you have to share in the responsibilty in telling the story so the public can convey this as fact. I personally spoke to the person you talk about who you had recently contacted about getting things straightened out. This is a step in the right direction. Trust me, he is very eager to talk to you based on what you have written was a conversation between
    Mark Bowden
    The story I have told is based primarily on the accounts of Rangers, overwhelmingly so. I admire the hell out of these guys. I'm glad you are pleased that I contacted BT (actually he contacted me, for which I'm grateful). You should know, and he'll tell you if you ask him, that I went to extraordinary lengths to try and speak to him before these stories started, and was denied permission to speak with him by his command. I have since received an apology (as he has) from the USSOC public information officer, and the road has been cleared, at last, for us to speak. MB

    Joseph F. Burns Atco, NJ
    As A 22 year A.F. vet., I know that interservice rivalries are as old as our history, but when the shooting starts, we all fight under one flag. It was said of Iwo Jima that, "uncommon valor was a common virtue", surely this applies to those who served and sacrificed in the Battle of Mogadishu, as well.
    gordon ft benning, ga
    (remarks were cut off) ...him and another Ranger NCO. I'm sorry if I come off too critical but just as you, I have history's best interests at heart. Additionally I (as do all of us in my unit)have our interservice relationships best interests to think about. So this is my motivation for continually second guessing your words. Sorry about the 2 plus weeks of author bashing.
    Mark Bowden
    Apology accepted. I welcome your criticism and corrections. I want to get it right. MB

    gordon ft benning, ga
    (remarks were cut off) ...him and another Ranger NCO. I'm sorry if I come off too critical but just as you, I have history's best interests at heart. Additionally I (as do all of us in my unit)have our interservice relationships best interests to think about. So this is my motivation for continually second guessing your words. Sorry about the 2 plus weeks of author bashing.
    Been-There Done-That
    To Gordon from Ft Benning. Why do you keep complaining and sending e-mails about the "problems" with this series? Mr. Bowden has asked for you to call him to clear things up. Why don't you?
    mike tampa, fl
    There were Special Forces working for soccent before during and after this battle. iwould be interested in their operations. They came up with a mine harden humvee in like 90 days and a excellent countersniper. The Infrantry Gen Ernst said he could control mogadishu with a company of sof snipers. They were all over the country, What was thier story.
    Mark Bowden
    I don't know. MB

    JCB Cincinnati, OH
    To mike regarding MG Ernst's comment about controlling Mog with snipers: true, maybe, if all you're trying to do pick people off as opposed to snatching a PC.
    Marlin - LTC Ret New Orleans LA
    Comment - Artist Gil Cohen visited Somalia in Dec. 1993 as part of the USAF Documentary Art Program and painted some pretty depressing oils of the area which may add to your book. He lives in Doylestown PA. His painting "Mogadishu, Somalia, 1993" appears in the Dec. 1997 issue of Ingersoll- Rand's Compressed Air magazine.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. I'll look it up. MB

    W. Dean Lee USA
    As a recent graduate of the Command & General Staff College, I was apalled that we spent two months discussing the Civil War, and only two hours on Somali. You have an excellent electronic forum and opportunity to solicit fresh and unbiased insights on special operations, urban tactics, command & control, field leadership, field medicine, rules of engagement, and combat stress. I encourage you to collect these ideas and lessons learned from your readers, and share them with the young soldiers, old sergeants and inexperienced officers. You may help save their lives oneday.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. All I'm really planning to do is write a book, after this series is complete. I hope it gives this incident the place in history it deserves, and that folks everywhere learn from it. MB

    Sue McLean, VA
    To Gordon at Fort Benning: Before you jump to your conclusion about people getting a "biased" opinion of the problems in command and control or urban warfare during the battle of Mogadishu strictly from a "D-Boy" perspective, you'd have to convince me that ALL THE QUOTES from the Rangers were taken out of context or misquoted by Mark. And that all the radio transmissions he's quoted are wrong or taken out of context. You'd have to convince me that all his maps and graphics are incorrect. Unfortunately, I think this reporting that has gone far past the initial superficial will lead everyone who reads this to their own conclusions. I fear you are coming across as protesting too much. I recognize the bravery of everyone in this battle in this extremely vicious fight. I see no apparent reason or hidden agenda to Mark's reporting. I don't believe he is "pre-juding or post judging anyone". However, looking forward to hearing from you in detail over what is wrong with the reporting to date. I agree, let's get it all out and get it right this time.
    Mark Bowden
    Here, here. MB

    Neil M Pasadena, CA
    Excellent job! It's so rare to be able to find out what actually happened in events like this. I'm glad that it covers not only the personal views, but also a more expanded picture of what was going on. It's important for civilians to have at least *some* idea of what we're asking from those who serve.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, Neil. MB

    Doc (USN) NJ
    Great series, a tribute to our guys who deserve much more, maybe some day mission commanders will read history! hooyaa!
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. MB

    Sandi Jones Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.
    I am the mother of Kenny Thomas (chp, 22) and want to know if this entire series is available in a complete package that I can buy?
    Mark Bowden
    The Inquirer is preparing such a package, a reprint of the series, videotape and CD-Rom. It should be ready before the year is out. Call 215-854-4984, and watch this space. My book will be out next Fall. MB

    Convoy Medic
    Great story so far... just a quick note, SGT. Houston didn't die in the firefight, he died in Landstuhl Germany a few days later a result of his wounds. Also, Phil was a specialist, not a Cpl.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. We'll fix it. MB

    Former Infantryman Arlington, VA
    If you recall the headlines in October 1993 immediately after Mogadishu, words like ³disaster²...²bungled mission² were thrown around casually. This had to rankle all the troops who fought there. There seems to be the same disturbing tenor in some of the remarks from the ³Monday Morning Quarterbacks² that smacks of the unreal expectations from that splendid little war--- the Gulf War, where everything was meticulously planned for months and where everything went according to plan. Well, maybe, not everything. Let¹s not be so quick to castigate the planners and the young soldiers in their first brush in combat.. This was no ³screwed up² mission -- it was a quick reaction raid in response to real time, perishable intelligence. But in battles, things don¹t alwasys go according to plan -- it¹s the friction of war. What went wrong? A soldier was seriously hurt in the initial assault and had to be evacuated; then a chopper was shot down; then another chopper went down. All this gave the Somalis a time to react. The gound force had to go to the crash site to rescue survivors. But, these unexpected incidents occur in battle and it¹s almost too glib to say ³why didn¹t they plan
    Former Infantryman Arlington, VA
    In my question above, all the numerals are quotation marks. I'm enjoying the opportunity Mark and the Philly News have given me to "learn" how to copy and paste!
    Mark Bowden
    Yet another service provided! MB

    That tends to happen when you cut a section of text from a word-processing program that uses what are called smart quotes and post it into a plain-text document, which doesn't recognize these type of quotes. Ah, computers! -- Online ed.


    LT B Tuzla, Bosnia
    I'm currently working with numerous people who served in Somalia. I have told them all about this great article. How can I get permission to use the article as "professional development" for fellow soldiers. Also how can I obtain PBS video. Thanks for the insight. asogaaf@email.wuerzburg.army.mil
    Mark Bowden
    You are welcome. I don't know how you could get permission for what you ask. You can order a copy of the video by emailing the producer chris.mills@phillynews.com. MB

    You can get information on using the articles from Fred Mann, director of Philadelphia Online. Our phone number is 215-854-5002.


    M@ Washington DC
    Mark, thank you for this wonderful series. You write with objectivity yet there's a tremendous reverence for the soldier in your work. Does that stem from anything personal or is it just phenomenal journalism? Thanks again, I stay up to read the next day's issue as soon as it's out.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. I have never been in the military, although everyone in Somalia accused me of being a special forces operative. I told them I was flattered, but special forces would be a sad outfit indeed if they sent 1)me, 2)a middle-aged white male with a bum knee, 3)someone who spoke not a word of Somali to spy on Somalia.

    One fellow told me with great authority that he knew I wasn't telling the truth because 1) he watched how careful I was walking around certain areas, which meant I had training to avoid mines 2)all Americans are required to spend two years in the military after leaving school.

    I decided it was pointless to argue with such a knowledgable fellow. MB


    Michael Oregon
    Please forgive my ignorance of this subject, Mark, but in the final analysis, who made the call to conduct this particular mission President Clinton or the many Generals and advisors to the President? Thank you very much for this riveting account!!!
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. Clinton had been getting briefed on TFR's missions before they happened. On this one he was not. It happened too fast. He was mightily angry about it afterwards. The decision to go rested with the officers in the field, most notably Gen. Garrison. MB

    Neves Reno, NV
    I wanted to thank you on behalf of your remark in Question series 4 where you noted it would be appropriate to donate a portion of profits from Book/Movie proceeds to surviving family members and to point out the Special Operations Warrior Foundation at http://www.specialops.org/ as a worthy recipient and for anyone else who felt so inclined. This is very generous of you Mark.
    Mark Bowden
    You bet. But bear in mind I haven't even written the book yet, much less sold a copy. MB

    Andrew Kent Ottawa, Ontario Canada`
    Wow what an amazing story. I was really shocked at the ferocity as well as the duration of the whole battle. It left me with one question though, where was the direction from the Ranger NCOs? It seem from the story that some of the younger Rangers lacked motivation at times, am I out of line here? Anyway I would like to both thank and commend the boys who made it home and especially those who didn't.
    Mark Bowden
    It's really up to you to judge, not me. I'm telling the story as accurately as I can. I believe yesterday's story, where Sgt. Watson talks Capt. Steele out of moving the men further north is an example of leadership, but whether you agree or not with Watson's call is another matter. MB

    Ex -18D
    This story has been long overdue. My question is were any of the medics, either Ranger or Delta decorated for the outstanding medical care they delivered to their fellow soldiers? Primum Non Nocere!
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. We intend to list all of those who received the higher order decorations. More about the 10th's exploits will be in the book. MB

    Ex -18D
    Will there be any mention of the efforts by the medics in the rescue convoy? There had to be several from the 10th Mtn. Division. Were they decorated or awarded a Combat Medic Badge?
    Junior TN
    Just wondering. Is the Delta colonel you mentioned in Chapter 11, Gary Harrold the same as the Lt.Col. Gary Harrell mentioned in recent chapters? Typo or different men?
    Mark Bowden
    Same man. Sorry. Because he is, or was, in Delta, it was impossible to get verification on the spelling of his name. I was relying on a document related to the battle, and someone kindly phoned me and with the correction. One thing I've learned about the Army, they spell names every which way and backwards. MB

    We've fixed the reference in Chapter 11. Thanks for letting us know. -- Online ed.


    Carl Johan Akerberg Skovde, Sweden
    It is a tragic account that as many as 18 soldiers died in the firefight. This article helped to bring som light into what really happened on the streets of Mogadishu. Thank you for a great article series.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, Carl. MB

    John Indy In
    Who was in charge of the APC that Spec Ahlfinger was in? Was it the lead vehicle or following? What was the relationship betwwen the Pakastanis and the U.S. forces?
    Mark Bowden
    It was follwing. I think Lt. Hollis was in charge. The Pakis were the major UN force in Mogadishu at the time. The 10th was a Quick Reaction force assigned to the UN (although entirely under US command). On this night, the main force (the Pakis) came to back up the back-up -- by offering the tanks. MB

    Mark Beavercreek
    To Chocks from Clarksville, TN. Why all these ad hominem attacks? 1. My military experience or lack there of have nothing to do with my previous comments, because: 2. I made no comments either supporting or refuting anything that Col Hackworth said. The comments in the quotes were all his. 3. I asked a question concerning who Gen Montgomery was. 4. Col Hackworth served with distinction in two wars. You dismissed any insight his military experience may allow by calling him Hackworth(less). If the measure of a military member's ability as a warrior is whether or not the person made general, then quite a few highly decorated and courageous military members would come up short.
    GRS Arlington, Va.
    Compliments on the fine series; however, it's confusing to refer to a unit as "the 10th's Alpha Company" without its battalion affiliation. I presume you're talking about the 2/14th Infantry?
    Mark Bowden
    Yes. I'm sorry if I've made a civilian muddle. MB

    MAJ Ed Nugent FT Gordon, GA
    Mark, Great series! Several times now you've mentioned MG Garrison's testimony to Congress. Is there an archive or site (print, electronic, whatever)where this testimony can be accessed? Thanks and keep up the good work.
    Mark Bowden
    I don't know. I got mine by phoning the Senate Armed Forces Committee. MB

    N/A Washington, DC
    Response to your response to my first: 1) 600 or so oral histories done; none printed. Housed in the US Army Center of Military History. 2) Other interviews, classified I believe, elsewhere.
    N/A Washington, DC
    (cont). USACMH and its sister organization, US Army Military History Institute (Carlisle Barracks, PA) hold massive oral history collections compiled by combat historians since SLA Marshall invented technique in WWII.
    N/A Washington, DC
    (cont.) Checking out those things, rather than the types of bogus "history" (Custer, Hackworth, etc.) would help to clarify and give context. P.S., Marshall's assertions about firefights are hotly contested! Don't rely on them either.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks. MB

    gordon ft benning, ga
    Answer to been "where", done "what": If you don't understand the context of my comments, I'm not to going to waste time explaning my motivation to you--I explained my reasons in yesterdays rounds of questions. To Sue in Mclean, Va: After looking back at my comments over the last 2 weeks, I have to agree with you. I do sound like I'm "protesting" too much. This is not the Ranger way. From here on I'll make an effort to submit questions and comments that are more constructive.
    L.H. Burruss Columbia SC
    One of the major issues your unparalleled piece of reporting raises, at least in this old soldier's mind, is the issue of women in combat situations. (both combatanst and non- combatants). There seems to be less difference in the way men and women are dealt with now than was the case in my generation . Is that what we mean by gender equality? I wonder how much this is a result of the intensive "gender equality" emphasis and training our society and our Army have these days? I hope some good sociologist or journalist will explore in depth this troublesome aspect of modern combat which your piece raises so poignantly.
    A Potts Monterrey, Mexico
    Was the "Qucik Reaction Froce" of the 10th so-named because they were considered a ready reserve for problems in the city/country? If so, were they on an alert status during the raid(s)?
    Mark Bowden
    Yes. The 10th was not specifically on alert to back up the Rangers, but the force was divided into three companies, one of which was at a high state of readiness at all times. MB

    Carl Weaver Fredericksburg, VA
    redeye6@aol.com As a former Army pilot, I have the following nit pick comment on your fine article. The UH-60 is a utility, not attack, helicopter and its name is spelled Black Hawk after a person, not the Blackhawk tribe. Attack helicopters are the AH-64 Apache and former AH-1 Cobra (now retired)
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, Carl. We're going back and fixing this. Boy, do we have egg on our face. MB

    Lori PA
    You have done an excellent job in bringing the combat horrors our brave men suffer to the average citizen, but not having witnessed personally what you report, and not having interviewed all the men you report on, how can their feelings, thoughts, etc. be accurately expressed? Also, will we be able to get an in-depth report soon on the events leading up to the fiasco...as well as the president's and other leaders' so-called "ignorance" of what was happening?
    Mark Bowden
    I have only offered the feelings and thoughts of the men I have interviewed, or those who left written accounts expressing those things. On Sunday you will see much written about why this battle took place. MB

    Jim Pezola Fort Washington, Pa
    I have not read the whole story in seqence - Mark. The series is the best I've ever read. The heroism described during this ordeal is remarkable. My question: Why wasn't an armored force deployed earlier in the effort to extract the pilots? Why weren't there more jet, a10 coverage of the perimeter to insure the mob was kept at bay? For anyone involved in the conflict in support or combat capacity, you guys displayed amazing courage. Finally - your story is being told in detail.
    Mark Bowden
    Thanks, Jim. 1)There was no armor to dispatch. It was not part of the TFR deployment (although Bradley Fighting vehicles were requested. They were turned down by Def. Sec. Aspin) 2)TFR did not have jets on hand. They were never requested and probably couldn't have provided the pinpoint accuracy demanded by the urban battlefield. MB

    Gary Randall Lufkin, TX
    I have been reading your articles on Blackhawk Down. They are very interesting. Being in Texas I couldn't not watch the documentary. Could you advise me on how to get a copy of the documentary shown on Dec. 2nd in PA? I am very interested and know Sgt. First Class Paul Howe. Thank you very much. email- herbs@inu.net
    Mark Bowden
    To order a copy of the videotape, email the producer chris.mills@phillynews.com. MB

    AKACOP Highlands Ranch,Co.
    Hey Mark, it was Lt. Hollis that made the decision to leave the Apc. He is and was a great Plt. Leader. Just wanted to let you know. It was Hollis who saved Gun team 1, second plt.s Rto and part of first squad from certin death. If we had satyed in the Apc. we would have died. He also made other decisions that made our reunion to A-co possible. You are doing a great job and the people I still talk with think so too. Thanks
    Mark Bowden
    Thank you. MB

    D W Hall Sacramento, CA
    Former Ranger, 2nd/75th. Grenada vet. Class A job. Makes Grenada look like a stroll. What were the contingency plans, if any? Didn't Intell know the irregulars wouldn't scare off? Know about thier weapons/ordnance? Rangers lead the way!
    Mark Bowden
    Contingency consisted of a CSAR Black Hawk and whatever Rangers remained back at the hangar. The 10th Mt. Division was also nearby. No one I spoke with anticipated the large-scale sustained attack TFR experienced that day. They did know their weapons, but underestimated the sheer number of RPGs the Somalis could throw into the air. MB

    Brian Williams Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
    I was a soldier of the 2-22nd, 10th Mountain Division who was deployed immediately to Somolia after this incident. There are so few accounts anywhere of what happened over that Ijust wanted to say thanks for remebering all the people who served in this little experiment in nation building.
    Mark Bowden
    You are welcome, Brian. MB

    AKACOP Highlands Ranch, Co.
    In response to a question, Lt. Hollis was in the Second Apc and he was in charge, Half of first squad was in the first Apc. If you are wondering why we took the wrong turn, it was not a decision made by an American. We only had two windows in the Apc to look out of and we could not see behind us. We did know that we had left the main convoy because we were so packed in that one person was acualy on the out side of the vehicle. Once again thanks Mark. Did you get my pictures?
    Mark Bowden
    Yep. Thanks again. MB



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