VFW Magazine — November 2017
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Remembering Somalia

It’s been a quarter-century since America’s two-phased venture on the Horn of Africa cost 44 GIs’ lives. Though Operation Restore Hope was a humanitarian mission, U.S. troops engaged in firefights from the time they arrived until the time they departed. Here’s a look at those actions from 1992-94:


Dec 12 First U.S. Combat Action. Two Marine Cobra gunships destroy an APC and two Somali “technicals”: Two Somalis are KIA.


Jan 7 500 Marines engage in a shoot-out with warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid’s forces in Mogadishu. 15 Somalis are taken POW; no U.S. casualties.

Jan 12 First U.S. KIA. Marine is killed on patrol in Mogadishu.

Jan 14 Operation Condor Ratchet. 10th Mt. Div.’s A Co., 2nd Bn., 87th Inf. surrounds Abu Airfield next to Afgooye. One Marine mortally wounded.

Jan 15 20 men from E Co., 2nd Bn., 87th Inf. kill six Somalis in Baledogle.

Jan 25 Cobras from the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regt., destroy six “technicals,” killing eight Somalis in Kismaayo.

Jan 26 A Marine is KIA by sniper fire in Mogadishu.

Feb 24-26 Kismaayo Ablaze. 2nd Bn., 87th Inf. engages Somali militias in dozens of firefights: At least 23 Somalis are killed. No U.S. casualties.

Mar 2 Members of B Co., 2nd Bn., 87th Inf. fight their way out of a crossfire in Kismaayo, killing nine Somalis. No U.S. casualties.

Mar 3 A Special Forces member is KIA by a land mine.

Jun 5 Two U.S. soldiers (trucker and engineer) are wounded in the bloodiest day in three months during running battles across Mogadishu. An 85-man company from the 1st Bn., 22nd Inf., is air assaulted in to repel further attacks.

Jun 11-13 U.S. Special Operation AC-130 Spectre gunships attack six targets in Mogadishu. No allied casualties.

Jul 12 17 U.S. helicopters conduct a 17-minute attack on an Aidid compound — at least 13 Somalis are killed.

Aug 7 U.S. convoy is attacked and five Somalis are killed in an hour-long battle near Afgooye. U.S. helicopters assist.

Aug 8 Four GIs KIA. A land mine blows up their Humvee in Medina.

Sep 13 Three U.S. soldiers are WIA in a twohour clash in Mogadishu. About 200 GIs are ambushed by 200 gunmen. Two U.S. helicopters lay down heavy fire, killing 15 and wounding 40 Somalis.

Sep 26 Three GIs KIA. Their Black Hawk helicopter is shot down by an RPG. During a gun battle to reach the crash site, three Americans are WIA.

Oct 3-4 Battle of Mogadishu. B Co., 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regt.; Delta Force members; pilots of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regt.; Companies A and C, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf., 10th Mt. Div.; and C. Co., 41st Eng. Bn. battle 1,000 Somalis in Mogadishu. U.S.: 18 KIA, 73 WIA. Somali: 312 KIA; 814 WIA. Two GIs earn Medals of Honor (posthumously).

Oct 6 Last U.S. KIA. A Green Beret is killed during a mortar attack on Mogadishu airport; 12 GIs are WIA. Three Marines are WIA in a land mine explosion elsewhere.

Nov 29 Navy SEALs kill a Somali gunman in Mogadishu. In another incident, two Somali gunmen are killed.

Dec 12 Two U.S. MPs are WIA by Somali gunmen in Mogadishu. Navy SEALs kill a Somali gunman.

Dec 26 U.S. troops kill two gunmen in Mogadishu.


Jan 31 22 Marines of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team kill eight Somalis and wound 24 while escorting a convoy.

Mar 14 Seven airmen of the Air Force’s 16th Special Operations Squadron die in an accidental crash off Kenya.

Mar 25 Last U.S. combat troops leave Mogadishu.

MEDALS OF HONOR (Posthumous)

Sgt. 1st Class Randy Shughart U.S. Army

Master Sgt. Gary Gordon U.S. Army

When a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Mogadishu on Oct. 3, 1993, two DELTA Force snipers — sergeants Shughart and Gordon — volunteered to be inserted by helicopter to help protect the stranded crew. Without hope of rescue, they fought until their ammo ran out. They were killed when their position was overrun. One of the wounded crewmembers was captured, held as a POW and then returned.