LINCOLN, Maine (AP) – A U.S. military soldier who died rescuing helicopter crews in Somalia was not killed on Monday in his memory.
Coach Sgt. Gary Gordon, a native of Lincoln, Maine, asked to allow him to protect helicopter members from a mob in Mogadishu in 1993. He and another soldier were killed.
The surviving pilot was one of the participants in the ceremony to commemorate the recipient of the Medal of Honor Medal.
Republican Senator Susan Collins, who attended the ceremony on Monday, said “the integrity, dedication, and courage shown by Master Sergeant Gordon in Somalia almost three decades ago have been demonstrated right here in Lincoln, in his family and in this region.”
The plaque bears the image of Gordon holding a rifle with a placard bearing his name.
Gordon was a Delta Force soldier. He was portrayed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the 2001 film Black Hawk Down.
The day began with U.S. troops fighting against Somali military personnel. During the war, two U.S. helicopters were shot down, and one of the missiles was fired by U.S. troops.
Aloft in another helicopter, Gordon twice appealed, and was denied both times, to be allowed to help unprotected people. He is Sgt. First Group Randy Shughart was granted permission after the third application.
“The pilot who appointed him said no one in their head would have asked to do this,” said Col. Ron Russell, a veteran of the war who spoke at the commemoration ceremony.
To rescue, Gordon and Shughart pulled the pilot, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael Durant, out of the helicopter. Durant, a native of Berlin, New Hampshire, attended the ceremony on Monday.
The military understood Ranger and the Special Forces’ belief that “I will not fail my friends,” Russell said.
“There were comrades under them who needed their help, and they were willing to help,” Russell said. Gordon and Shughart were both killed by enemy fire.