Death of Navy SEAL extends history of Mainers lost serving in Somalia

(NEWS CENTER) -- Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken was the single fatality reported in Friday's engagement with al-Shabab (al-Shabaab) west of Mogadishu in the remote area of Barii, Somalia.

The death of SEAL Kyle Milliken on May 5th was not the only time that Maine has lost servicemen in Somalia. 

During the Battle of Mogadishu, in October 1993, US Army Rangers landed in the capital of Somalia with a mission to apprehend some of the advisers of self-proclaimed radical quasi-president, Mohamed Farrah Aidid.

Of the 18 servicemen who were killed in the raid, two of the casualties were Maine's own.

Staff Sergeant Thomas Field, of Lisbon, was a graduate of Lisbon High School and had joined the military shortly after graduating. Staff Sgt. Field was assigned/promoted to the upper-echelon Night Stalkers detail.

»RELATED: File footage about the life of Staff Sergeant Field

Field was providing cover and assistance to his fellow soldiers during his final moments in battle.

 

Another Maine casualty in Somalia back in 1993 was Master Sergeant Gary Ivan Gordon. Master Sgt. Gordon grew up in Lincoln and graduated from Mattanawcook Academy with the class of '78. After enlisting, MSgt Gordon became a sniper team leader with the US Army.

The 3 man unit was planted inside Mogadishu but Gordon specifically wanted to be inserted to provide aid to the second of two Black Hawk-class helicopters that had crashed after being attacked.

Eventually, Gordon was permitted to fight through hostiles to reach Super Six Four. After removing four injured servicemen with the help of one of his own snipers, Gordon and the group took up defensive positions.

» RELATED: File footage about the life of Master Sergeant Gordon

With a lack of weaponry and manpower, Master Sgt. Gordon died from Somali gunfire. 

 

There is yet another somewhat local member of the attack that managed to survive. As news from US Army losses mounted, so did concern about Chief Warrant Officer Michael J. Durant. CWO Michael Durant was in the same helicopter that MSgt Gordon had volunteered to assist and protect during the unexpected counterattack.

After the Somali assault, CWO Durant was captured and he spoke on camera in a somewhat harsh condition. The footage was released nationwide on CNN. Back in New England, Durant's family was shocked by the ordeal.

» RELATED: File footage about the capture of Chief Warrant Officer Durant

Durant was given a huge homecoming after being released and returning to his hometown of Berlin, New Hampshire.

 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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