February 16, 2022
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden, and Governor Janet Mills sent a letter to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, urging him to name a DDG-51 destroyer after Master Sergeant Gary Gordon, a Lincoln native and master sergeant in the United States Army’s Delta Force special operations unit. MSG Gordon sacrificed his life while rescuing a downed helicopter crew in Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 3, 1993.
“The warfighting capability of a DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class destroyer exemplifies MSG Gordon’s fighting spirit and would be an inspiration to all the crew who would have the privilege to serve aboard the USS Gary Gordon,” the Maine Delegation and Governor Mills wrote. “With such a namesake, there is no doubt the crew of the ship would serve with the same pride, perseverance, and bravery as MSG Gordon.”
“MSG Gordon represents the best of Maine and the best of America’s service men and women,” they continued. “There could be no better namesake for a Bath-built destroyer than MSG Gordon. His is a story of American heroism and courage, and it is a story that should honored and remembered by naming a warship USS Gary Gordon.”
During the Battle of Mogadishu, MSG Gordon gave his life to save the crew of a Black Hawk helicopter that had been shot down over the city. Seeing that the injured crew could not survive an advance of enemy forces with only aerial coverage, MSG Gordon requested his helicopter mission commander deposit him on the ground to defend the wounded crew. The mission commander initially refused, due to the extreme danger, but relented on MSG Gordon’s third request because of his persistence and forceful passion.
Once on the ground, MSG Gordon, along with fellow sniper Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart, fought their way to the injured crew, extracted all four injured soldiers from the gun-shot riddled aircraft, and fought valiantly until out of ammunition. It is estimated MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart killed over 25 enemy forces before they were killed. Their extraordinary heroism was made famous as the subject of the book and movie Black Hawk Down.
Click HERE to read the letter the Maine Delegation and Governor Mills sent to Secretary Del Toro.