AP NEWS

‘Black Hawk Down’ hero, native of Durand, dies at 64

November 16, 2019

DURAND, Ill. (AP) — A Durand native whose courageous combat was illuminated in the book “Black Hawk Down” has died.

The Rockford Register Star reports that 64-year-old Sgt. Major James McMahon died Nov. 5. A cause was not listed.

The 16-year veteran Army Ranger was aboard one of two Black Hawk helicopters shot down by rocket-propelled grenades in Somalia in August 1993. The book by Mark Bowden introduces McMahon by describing his face as so battered and cut that “he looked like he was wearing a fright mask” as he pulled the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

McMahon was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for valor.

McMahon retired in 2002, worked as a defense contractor and since 2013 was a special operations instructor at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.