Gary Gordon

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U.S. Army Master Sgt. Gary Gordon, Medal of Honor for actions in Operation Gothic Serpent (October 3, 1993).




Delta Force operator

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Medal of Honor for actions in Operation Gothic Serpent.
USNS LMRS T-AKR: Gordon Class (ship) [1] (
USNS Gordon (ship) [2] (

United States Army Master Sgt. Gary Ivan Gordon (August 30, 1960October 3, 1993) earned the Medal of Honor posthumously for actions in Operation Gothic Serpent — the operation that led to the Battle of Mogadishu.



Master Sergeant Gordon (MSG), U.S. Army, distinguished himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty on October 3, 1993 while serving as Sniper Team Leader, United States Army Special Operations Command with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Gordon's sniper team provided precision fires from the lead helicopter during an assault and at two helicopter crash sites, while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fires. When MSG Gordon learned that ground forces were not immediately available to secure the second crash site of Super 6-4, he and another sniper, Sergeant First Class Randall Shughart unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the four critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the large and growing number of hostile Somalis closing in on the site.

After his third request to be inserted, Gordon received permission to perform his volunteer mission. When debris and enemy ground fires at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, he was inserted one hundred meters south of the crash site. Shortly after, the Blackhawk that had inserted Gordon and Shughart was hit by an RPG, but managed to crash land back at the U.S. controlled airport.

Equipped with only his sniper rifle, a CAR-15, and his Colt .45 pistol, Gordon and his fellow sniper, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members of Super 6-4. He immediately pulled pilot Mike Durant and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter which placed him and his fellow sniper in the most vulnerable position.

Gordon used his custom sniper rifle and side arm to kill an undetermined number of attackers. He was down to his last magazine and had used half of it before he was fatally wounded. Fellow Delta sniper Shughart then took Gordon's CAR-15 to Durant for him to use.

Gordon's actions saved the pilot's life.

USNS Gordon

The U.S. Navy officially named roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Gordon (T-AKR 296) in a ceremony at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, July 4, 1996, at Newport News, Virginia.

The Honorable Congressman John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, was the ceremony's principal speaker. Serving as the ship's sponsor was Carmen Gordon, widow of the ship's namesake.

Distinguished guests attending the ceremony include:

  • John W. Douglass, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition
  • General Dennis J. Reimer, Army Chief of Staff
  • General (Retired) Wayne A. Downing, former Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command
  • Vice Admiral George R. Sterner, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command
  • Vice Admiral Philip M. Quast, Commander, Military Sealift Command
  • General Henry Shelton, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command
  • General (Retired) Gordon Sullivan, former Army Chief of Staff
  • Brigadier General (Retired) William G. Boykin, Master Sgt. Gordon's Commanding Officer in Somalia and former Commander of the Army's Combat Applications Group
  • Mr. William P. Fricks, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newport News Shipbuilding.

Gordon was the second ship to undergo conversion from a commercial container vessel to a Large Medium Speed Roll On/Roll Off (LMSR) sealift ship and is operated by the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, Washington, DC.

Related topics

External links

Official military sites



  1. US Army Center of Military History. Medal of Honor Recipients: Somalia ( United States of America: US Army.

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