20 October 2015

Gunfighter Diary Desert Storm 03 Feb 91

03-04 Feb 91

160179, 2RS, 3.9, 260, Peewee

At 1830 I lost Injun, my closest friend and 3 other fellow Marines (Super Dave, Haddad and Benz) in a helicopter mishap. We were flying a mission to deliver some map overlays to Division HQ and they were our wingmen. It had been a slow day and we launched just after sunset on what seemed to be a routine mission. We fueled, took off and transitioned into night formation flying. Dash 2 started having some problems maintaining a good position on us and they broke off to the left. A few seconds later we saw a flash. We had heard no transmissions from them since takeoff, not unusual, and tried to raise them on the radio to no avail. We headed over to where we saw them crash and landed to look for survivors, but there wsa no chance that they survived. We took off again briefly to call the appropriate agencies and they relayed the information back to base. We had no idea what happened but it really didn't matter. We spent the night at the site and a ground security team showed up around 2330. The CO and mishap investigation team showed up about 0400 with the Chaplain.

We flew hairier missions with these guys and they've never had problems before. So what happened? We'll never know.

Jim was a great guy. I am honored to call him my friend and plan not to dwell on his loss, but rather the enrichment that I gained in my life by knowing him. He was doing something that he felt was his duty, and honor bound to do. He was my best friend and one of the best people I ever knew. I guess God got tired of sharing him with us. I'll always miss him, but will have the happier memories. He brought happiness to many lives and I suppose we are lucky to know him as long as we did.

Semper Fi Injun.

Super Dave far right.

Cpl Benz.

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