Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One Year Ago...

One year ago, 28 JAN 07 we lost two fine Americans.

In the open desert North of the city of An Najaf, CW3 Cornell Chao and CPT Mark T Resh (serving with 4-227 AVN, 1CD) lost their lives when their AH-64 Longbow Apache helicopter was shot down while they were engaging enemy forces that were endangering coalition forces on the ground. They gave up their lives when they rolled in and took out a gun truck that had just engaged and damaged their flight lead, flown by CW4 Johnny Judd and CW2 Jacob Gaston. For their actions that day they recieved the Silver Star Medal.

Mr Judd's aircraft remained on station, by himself, damaged, gun inoperable, covering his downed wingman. The only friendly forces on the ground was a small SF team with some USAF JTACs. They were miles from any other friendly forces. And they stayed there (where their wingman had been shot down, and where they continued to take fire from) until another attack weapons team arrived to relieve them.

This was the beginning of a long day which in the end resulted in over 400 enemy dead and some 200 more captured. Attack helicopters from the 1st Air Cavalry BDE, 1st Cavalry Division (both 1st and 4th Battlaions of the 227th Aviation Regiments) remained on station constantly, engaging enemy forces multiple times until the downed aircraft was secured. CAS and AC-130s pounded the enemy positions especially after nightfall.

For a story about a USAF F-16 pilot who received a Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions that day go HERE

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