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.

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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."

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Sgt. First Class Ethan Carpenter (U.S. Army)

An Army Ranger stationed at Fort Bragg in eastern North Carolina was killed Friday "during routine military free-fall training" at a site in Arizona, the U.S. Army said in a press release.

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DoD photo vis U.S. Army WTF Moments

A military working dog was killed in a fierce firefight in Afghanistan last week, and his actions in his final moments saved the lives of several U.S. soldiers.

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Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Special Operations Command

The Department of Defense has identified a U.S. Army soldier killed in action in Afghanistan on Nov. 24 as Sgt. Leandro Jasso of Leavenworth, Washington.

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Courtesy Renton Police Department

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.

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