ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.
That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.
On Oct. 3, 1993, a contingent of U.S. special operations forces deployed consisting of soldiers from the Army's 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta and 75 Ranger Regiment, launched what was supposed to be a relatively simple mission: enter the Somali capital of Mogadishu and capture a handful of warlord Mohammed Farrah Aidid's top stooges.
The resulting raid, known as the Battle of Mogadishu, was a complete disaster— and everything went sideways with the downing of a MH-60 A/L Black Hawk helicopter that would forever immortalize the mission in American culture as "Black Hawk Down."
The Army is actively cooperating with law enforcement in Washington state as they continue their investigation into a newly minted Ranger's alleged gruesome murder and mutilation of a woman in a motel outside Seattle in July, just before he fired on two parked vehicles and fatally shot himself, Stars and Stripes reports.