Black Hawk Down - Fallen Heroes of Mogadishu

Master Sgt. Gary Gordon and Sgt. 1st Class Randy Shughart provided sniper cover for Super 6-4 - the second downed Black Hawk MH-60L - during the Battle of Mogadishu on October 3, 1993.

Then both Gordon and Shughart volunteered for further dangerous duty as they tried to hold off the advancing Somalis. Despite their best efforts, to defend their fellow Americans, both Gordon and Shughart were killed during the battle.

After their deaths, their bodies were shamefully mistreated. Video footage of those events were shown on American newscasts.
Photos of Gordon and Shughart were featured on the cover of NCO Journal during the fall of 1994. This was after both men were posthumously awarded America’s Medal of Honor (during May of 1994) for their bravery in the Mogadishu Battle.

On the battle’s 20th anniversary, Dr. Richard W. Stewart (who was chief historian for the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair, D.C. during 2013) published an article in the NCO Journal commemorating the heroism of Gordon and Shughart. Included in that story are these words:

Sgt. 1st Class Randall Shughart and Master Sgt. Gary Gordon served as Special Forces sniper-team members with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. On Oct. 3, 1993, while subjected to intense fire from automatic weapons and from rocket-propelled grenades, Shughart and Gordon provided precision sniper fire from the lead helicopter during a building assault and at two helicopter crash sites.

While providing critical suppressive fire above the second crash site, Shughart and Gordon learned that ground forces were not available to secure the site where four survivors were immobilized by injuries.

Both men unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted, even though they knew that enemy personnel were closing in on the site. Because of enemy ground fire, they were inserted 100 meters south of the crash site.

Equipped with only their sniper rifles and pistols, Shughart and Gordon fought their way through a dense maze of shanties to reach the critically injured crew members. Pulling the pilot and other crew members from the aircraft, they established a perimeter, placing themselves in the most vulnerable position.

Both men poured out continuous protective fire until their ammunition was depleted. Shughart was fatally wounded.

Gordon returned to the wreckage to recover a rifle that had only five rounds of ammunition remaining. He gave this weapon to the pilot with the words, “Good luck.” Armed with only his own pistol, Gordon continued the fight until he, too, was fatally wounded.

The pilot was captured ans eventually released by Somali fighters. The other three crew members were killed.

The selfless actions of Shughart and Gordon saved the pilot’s life at the cost of their own. Their heroism was above the call of duty and exemplifies the highest traditions of the military service.

Both men were awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously by President Bill Clinton at a White House ceremony in May 1994. Additionally, two conference rooms were named after Shughart and Gordon at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, and two U.S. Military Sealift Command ships, the USNS Gordon and USNS Shughart, were named in their honor in 1996 and 1997, respectively.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 03, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 14, 2019

Media Credits

Photos of Master Sgt. Gary Gordon and Sgt. 1st Class Randy Shughart as they appeared on the cover of the Fall 1994 issue of NCO Journal. Online via the Department of Defense.


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"Black Hawk Down - Fallen Heroes of Mogadishu" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 03, 2015. Jan 23, 2020.
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