What began as a straightforward mission quickly spiraled into the Battle of Mogadishu — the most intense close combat since the Vietnam War.
Black Hawk went down, the mission suddenly changed for Norm Hooten and the Delta Force team he led.
Here is Norm’s story.
Norm Hooten recalls the Battle of Mogadishu
The events that led to the battle of Mogadishu really started months prior to our arrival. When we got there, we didn’t really think it was going to be anything of significance. Very quickly we realized that that wasn’t the case.
We are pretty sure that the target, which was Mohammed Farah ID was no longer in Somalia. We had shifted our focus more to his executive staff and because we had shut down their communications so effectively they had to have a face to face meeting, therefore is a target of opportunity for us.
We launched an assault force on October 3rd, we could already see tires burning in the city, which is a good sign that they know you’re coming. When the helicopter came to a Hubbard the dust from the rotors was just blinding.
We’d got up the helicopter, moved into our section of the building. The raid itself went really, really well. It wasn’t until we began to leave the target that things started to get a little off plan.
One of our Rangers fell out of a helicopter from about 90 feet and Ricard our air assets to stay on target long enough for one of those gunners to get lucky and we lost a helicopter.
I was on the roof waiting for a helicopter to come pick us up, saw the helicopter go down. I saw super six one crash.
I knew immediately as soon as I saw it go down that that things had changed. It crashed probably about a half a mile to three quarters of a mile away from where we’re at. As we begin to fight and run, shoot and climb through that city to get to that crash site. That three quarters of a mile in combat can be an attorney.
We got there after dark. The helicopter was completely destroyed in the crash. We had already put in a search and rescue team. Most of those guys were already wounded, but they had managed to hold it long enough for us to arrive. We found that one of the pilots was actually underneath the aircraft.
We weren’t going to leave that body, so we began to disassemble that aircraft using the tools that we had in the middle of the night under gunfire. So it took us hours to basically recover the body of the pilot and then get the wounded ready to move.
We left as the sun was coming up, a relief column came in. We took our wounded and are killed in action. We put them on the armored vehicles and the remainder of us moved out, but we were on foot.
We ran through the city to a link up site where we linked up with 10th mountain division. We moved about another mile or so with elements attempt mountain. That distance was known as the Mogadishu mile.
When we got to the Pakistani stadium, we looked and we realized that just how big the operation had become.
When you’re an assault team working in a small element, you really only focused on your one or two meters of the ground on a battlefield, so you don’t really see the place it was going to take in
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