If you remember the film Black Hawk Down, you’ll remember the sequence where the second US helicopter crases and its crew is bravely but vainly defended by two Delta Force commandoes. What happened to the captured crewman, Michael Durant? This piece from the BBC tells that story, and it’s one of surprising compassion, shown both by one of the captors at the time, and by Durant today. MP+
I’d describe it as hitting a speed bump in a parking lot going 40mph (64km/h),” says Mr Durant, describing the moment his Black Hawk helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade fired from a Mogadishu street 70ft (21m) below.
Amid loud whines and bangs, his aircraft “began to spin… rather violently”, he says.
“Because the spin was so rapid, I couldn’t see anything immediately around me. We probably hit the ground in about 15 seconds. It does not take long to fall 70ft in a helicopter.”
It was 3 October 1993, and Mr Durant’s Black Hawk was taking part in an operation to capture close associates of the local warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid.
Read the whole piece here.