Black Hawk Down
For the United States, Operation Restore Hope reaches its nadir when members of the U.S. Army's elite Delta Force and the Army Rangers are used to raid warlord headquarters and abduct them. In one such raid, the U.S. forces are dropped into a Mogadishu neighborhood to snatch two lieutenants of warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. While the snatch and grab operation is successfully accomplished, trouble starts when two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters are shot down by rocket-propelled grenades. As U.S. Army Rangers attempt to rescue the crews of the downed helicopters, a mob of armed militiamen and angry Somalis descend on the site. A horrific carnage follows that ends only 15 hours later when a combined U.S./U.N. armored convoy manages to reach the trapped Rangers and Delta operators. But for the world, the mission in Somalia would forever be gruesomely remembered for the 18 U.S. Army Rangers killed and footage of the exultant crowds dragging naked, mutilated bodies through the streets of Mogadishu. Despite domestic outrage, the U.S. continues to play a major role in the mission until 1994.
George P. Crofton