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

    Who's who

    Editor's Note: All people are listed with their age at the time of the Somalia mission.

    Where are they now: The update on these people

    Abdiaziz Ali Aden, 18, a Somali who lived in the house clipped by Blackhawk Super 61 as it crashed.

    Mohamed Farrah Aidid, leader of the Habr Gidr, a powerful Somalian subclan. He was the revolutionary general most responsible for the overthrow of former Somalian dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. Aidid saw himself as the rightful ruler of Somalia and resisted U.N. efforts to force him into sharing power in a coalition government. He died at age 62 of gunshot wounds on Aug. 1, 1996.

    Spec. Steve Anderson, a 21-year-old Ranger from Illinois, who was injured on one of the earlier missions in Mogadishu. He was off on a water-fetching detail when the Oct. 3rd mission started, and was left behind at the hangar.

    Mohamed Hassan Awale, ``foreign minister'' of Mohamed Farrah Aidid. He was a prime target of the Oct. 3 raid and was captured.

    Sgt. Alan Barton, a Ranger assigned to the airborne Combat Search and Rescue Team.

    Pvt. First Class Todd Blackburn, 18, a member of Chalk Four. He missed the rope when he jumped from the helicopter and fell 70 feet to the street.

    Chief Warrant Officer Donovan Briley, co-pilot of Super 61, the first Blackhawk shot down in the battle.

    Sgt. First Class Bart Bullock, a Delta Force medic assigned to Chalk Four.

    Staff Sgt. John Burns, a Ranger from Philadelphia who rode on the main ground convoy.

    Pfc. Tory Carlson, a 20-year-old Ranger from Scottsdale, Ariz., who was assigned to a humvee with the main ground convoy in the initial assault.

    Sgt. Raleigh Cash, 21, from Oregon, a Ranger with the vehicle platoon who got left behind at the base because he had been dispatched to fetch water.

    Spec. James Cavaco, 24, of Massachusetts. He was assigned to the ground convoy in the initial assault.

    Staff Sgt. Bill Cleveland, one of two crew members aboard Durant's Super 64.

    Lt. Col. Bill David, ground commander of the 10th Mountain Division's Quick Reaction Force.

    First Lt. Tom DiTomasso, led Chalk 2 to the northeast corner of the target house.

    Spec. Dave Diemer, 22, of Newburgh, N.Y. He was a machine gunner for Chalk Four.

    Staff Sgt. Ray Dowdy, a crew chief on Cliff Wolcott's Blackhawk.

    Chief Warrant Officer Michael Durant, 32, a native of Berlin, N.H., and pilot of Super 64, one of the Blackhawks used to ferry Rangers to the target house. Durant's unit, the ''Nightstalkers,'' is considered the finest helicopter aviation unit in the Army. Durant's helicopter was shot down during the battle.
    Durant on the crash and its aftermath

    Sgt. Chuck Elliot, Chalk One's M-60 gunner.

    Sgt. First Class Chuck Esswein, a Delta soldier assigned to the vehicle platoon.

    Staff Sgt. Matt Eversmann, 26, leader of Chalk Four. The Oct. 3 battle was the first time he commanded a group in combat.

    Eversmann speaks about the mission


    TSgt. Scott Fales, a veteran Air Force PJ, or parajumper, who was one of the team leaders with the airborne Search and Rescue team.

    Sgt. Tommy Field, one of the two crew members aboard Durant's Super 64.

    Abdullahi "Firimbi" Hassan, a propaganda minister for the Aidid clan who stayed with captive pilot Michael Durant during his captivity.
    Firimbi talks about Durant's captivity

    Chief Warrant Officer Ray Frank, Durant's co-pilot on Super 64 and veteran helicopter pilot. Frank survived a bad crash on a practice mission several years before.

    Sgt. Scott Galentine, 21, of Xenia, Ohio. He was assigned to Chalk Four.

    Sgt. First Class Bob Gallagher, a platoon sergeant assigned to the Ranger vehicle platoon.

    Maj. Gen. William F. Garrison, the two-star commander of Task Force Ranger. He is a major figure in U.S. Army special operations. During the Vietnam War, he helped direct the now-infamous Phoenix program, which targeted Viet Cong informers in South Vietnam.

    John Gay, a Navy SEAL assigned to Task Force Ranger. He was in the initial ground convoy.

    Mike Goffena, pilot of Super 62, a Blackhawk helicopter circling over Mogadishu to provide air cover. Super 62 was supposed to be paired with Super 64.

    Private Second Class Mark Good, a medic assigned to Chalk Four.


    Sgt. Mike Goodale, 23, of Pekin, Ill. He was assigned to Chalk One.

    Goodale talks about the Ranger mindset

    Master Sgt. Gary Gordon, 33, a veteran Delta commando from Lincoln, Maine who was a sniper in the back of Mike Goffena's Super 62.

    Spec. Aaron Hand, a Ranger who was riding shotgun on one of the five-ton trucks in the ground convoy during the initial assault.

    Sgt. First Class Glenn Harris, a medic assigned to Chalk Four.

    Lt. Col. Gary Harrell, the Delta ground force commander who was helping to monitor the fight from the command and control Blackhawks over the city.
    Radio transmission clips from Oct. 3, 1993

    Sgt. First Class Paul Howe, a veteran Delta team leader who was with the assault force that stormed the target house.
    Howe talks about the Delta Force's mindset

    Ali Hussein, shop clerk working at a pharmacy in southern Mogadishu.

    Chief Warrant Officer Dan Jollota, a Blackhawk pilot who was flying the Combat Search and Rescue team.

    Chief Warrant Officer Keith Jones, pilot of Star 41, an MH-6 Little Bird that delivered Delta assaulters to the target building and then daringly landed at the first crash site to rescue two men from the wreckage of Super 61.

    Sgt. James ''Casey'' Joyce, 24, is a native of Plano, Texas, the son of am Army Lt. Colonel. Joyce roped down with Chalk Four.

    Pvt. Ed Kallman, a 19-year-old Ranger from Gainesville, Fla., who drove one of the humvees in the main ground convoy.

    Pfc. Richard Kowalewski, a 20-year-old Ranger who grew up in Texas, Alabama and Pennsylvania. His buddies called him Alphabet because his last name was hard to pronounce. He was driver of a five-ton truck in the main ground convoy.

    Sgt. First Class Al Lamb, 32, a Ranger who roped in to Cliff Wolcott's crash site from the combat search-and-rescue Blackhawk.

    Spec. Phil Lepre, 24, of Philadelphia, a 10th Mountain Division soldier who joined in the rescue effort.

    Sgt. Bob Mabry, a Delta Force medic at Cliff Wolcott's crash site.

    Chief Warrant Officer Karl Maier, copilot of Keith Jones in Star 41, the MH-6 Little Bird that delivered Delta assaulters to the target building and then daringly landed to rescue two men from the wreckage of Super 61.

    Master Sgt. Tim ''Grizz'' Martin, 38, a veteran Delta medic from Aurora Dearborn, Indiana.

    Pvt. First Class Kevin Matthews, a Ranger assigned to the vehicle platoon.

    Lt. Col. Danny McKnight, commander of the ground convoy in the initial assault.

    Sgt. Jeff McLaughlin, 27, from Birmingham, Ala., a team leader on Chalk Four and, at 6-5, the only man in the company taller than Sgt. Matt Eversmann.

    Yousef Dahir Mo'Alim, a militia leader in Somalia. He was an armed bandit and gunman for hire. A member of his militia shot down Super 64.
    Mo'Alim shows where he found Durant at the crash site

    Ali Hassan Mohamed, a student who ran into the streets to join in the firing on the Rangers and Delta commandos.

    Kassim Sheik Mohamoud, owner of a garage in Mogadishu who hid when the fighting began, then braved the streets to bury the dead.
    A look at Kassim's garage today

    Abdikarim Mohamud, a secretary for a U.S. firm providing support services to the military forces under U.N. command.

    Private First Class Jason Moore, radio operator assigned to Chalk Four.

    Homer Nearpass, a Navy SEAL who rode into the battle on the ground convoy.


    Spec. Shawn Nelson, a 23-year-old Ranger from Atlanta, Ga., who spent three years after high school in a corporate training program to be a systems analyst. When the program unexpectedly closed, Nelson joined the Army. He was Chalk Two's M-60 gunner.
    Nelson's take on the mission

    First Lt. Larry Perino, 24, Globe, Ariz. He was leader of Chalk One and was second-in-command to the Ranger commander, Capt. Mike Steele.

    Spec. Rob Phipps, 22, a Ranger who roped in to Cliff Wolcott's crash site from the combat search-and-rescue Blackhawk.

    Pfc. Clay Othic, 20, of Holt, Mo. He was assigned to the ground convoy in the initial assault.

    Sgt. Dominick Pilla, 21, of Vineland, N.J., an M-60 machine gunner assigned to Staff Sgt. Jeff Struecker's humvee. He was the first American to die in the battle when he was shot in a humvee racing to evacuate a wounded Ranger.

    Sgt. First Class Matt Rierson, a 33-year-old Delta Force team leader whose men stormed the target house and captured 24 prisoners.

    Pvt. Adalberto Rodriguez, a Ranger from Puerto Rico who rode on a humvee in the main ground convoy.

    Pfc. Carlos Rodriguez, a Ranger assigned to Chalk One who ran from the target building to Cliff Wolcott's crash site.

    Sgt. Lorenzo Ruiz, 27, of El Paso, Texas. He was assigned to the ground convoy in the initial assault.

    Omar Salad, top political adviser of Mohamed Farrah Aidid. Salad was the primary target of the Oct. 3 raid and was captured.

    Sgt. First Class Randy Shughart, 35, a veteran Delta commando and native of Newville, Pa. He was a sniper in the back of Mike Goffena's Super 62.

    Dale Sizemore, 21, from Clinton, Illinois. Joined the Rangers after high school. He was injured horsing around in the hangar and was waiting for a flight home the day of the battle.
    Sizemore talks about the rules of engagement

    Cpl. Jamie Smith, a Ranger who was shot in the upper thigh. His comrades held his femoral artery together to try to save him.

    Sgt. Kevin Snodgrass, a machine gunner assigned to Chalk Four.

    Spec. Eric Spalding, 20, of Orangeburg, Mo. He was assigned to the ground convoy in the initial assault.

    Spec. Peter Squeglia, 26, of Wilberham, Mass., a Ranger company armorer who volunteered to join the fight on a ground convoy after two helicopters were shot down.

    Spec. John Stebbins, a Ranger assigned to Chalk One who ran from the target house to Cliff Wolcott's crash site.

    Capt. Mike Steele, 31, commander of the Rangers assigned to the task force. A native of Statham, Ga., he played on the offensive line for the 1980 national champion University of Georgia. Steele roped into the battle on Chalk One, and was the commander of the Chalk teams that roped in near the target house.

    Delta Steve is an eight year veteran of the Delta Force, who led a team of Delta soldiers on the Oct. 3rd. mission. His team was inserted by a Little Bird helicopter, and took part in the storming of the target house. He did not want to be identified or shown on camera.
    The Delta Force's role in the battle

    Staff Sgt. Jeff Struecker, 24, from Fort Dodge, Iowa, a born-again Christian who was assigned to the vehicle platoon in Mogadishu. He led several convoys into battle.
    Struecker talks about the lost convoy

    Sgt. Jim Telscher, a Ranger who roped in with Chalk Four. Riding with the main ground convoy, he ran out under heavy fire to pull wounded Cpl. Casey Joyce off the street after Joyce was shot.

    Spec. John "Brad" Thomas, a Ranger assigned to Sgt. Streucker's humvee. His friend Sgt. Dom Pilla died in his lap.

    Pvt. John Waddell, an 18-year-old Ranger from Natchez, Mississippi who passed over college scholarship offers after graduating from high school with a 4.0 grade point average in order to join the Army and become a Ranger. Waddell was a rifleman assigned to Chalk Two.
    Waddell witnesses the first helicopter crash

    Staff Sgt. Charlie Warren, a crew chief on Cliff Wolcott's Blackhawk.

    Sgt. First Class Sean Watson, 28, of Ohio. He was the leader of Chalk Three.

    Sgt. Aaron Williamson, who was assigned to Chalk One.

    Technical Sgt. Tim Wilkinson, an Air Force PJ, or parajumper, who specializes in rescuing downed pilots.

    Staff Sgt. Dave Wilson, assigned to the ground convoy in the initial assault. A veteran Ranger, he was one of only two African Americans on the mission. Wilson was taunted during his time in Mogadishu as a traitor by some Somalis.

    Chief Warrant Officer Cliff Wolcott, the veteran pilot of Super 61, the first Blackhawk shot down in the battle.

    Staff Sgt. Ed Yurek, a 26-year-old Ranger from Wilmington, Massachusetts who tried Boston College and a number of jobs, none of them with great success, before enlisting in 1990. He was a team leader assigned to Chalk Two.
    Yurek on finding a schoolroom in the battle zone



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