Finally there is the Command and Controll Blackhawk, Super 63. In the back of this aircraft was my battalion commander, LTC Matthews, and the overall ground commander, LTC Harrell.
In the movie, there is a scene where the men on the ground were begging for MEDEVAC. By this point in the battle we had 5 Blackhawks out of action, either shot down or shot up so much they couldn't fly anymore. Of the two assault force and four blocking force 'hawks', only
myself and Super 67 were left. I fully expected LTC Harrell to send us in to try to get those men out. I jacked a round into the chamber of my pistol and my M16. I knew that the only way to do was to hover with one wheel balanced on the roof of the building. Then the Rangers would be able to throw the wounded in. I knew that we were going to take a lot of fire and I was trying to mentally prepare myself to do this while the aircraft was getting hit. My friends had all gone in and taken their licks
and now I figured it was our turn. (Peer pressure is such a powerful tool if used properly.) Quite frankly, I really thought that we were at best going to get shot down, at worst I figured we were going to be killed.
The way I saw it we had already lost 5 aircraft, what was 2 more? I had accepted this because at least when this was all over General Garrison would be able to tell the families that we had tried everything to get their sons,fathers or husbands out. We were even willing to send in our last two helicopters. Fortunately for me LTC Harrell realized that the
time for helicopters had passed. The decision was made to get the tanks and armored personnel carriers to punch through to the objective area. Once again, the dialogue in the movie is verbatim. What you don't hear is me breathing a sigh of relief! I remembered thinking that maybe I was going to see the sunrise after all.
I guess I got a little carried away. I really didn't mean to write this much.
People ask me if this movie has given me 'flashbacks'. I don't think you can call them flashbacks if that day has never been out of my mind.
I hope that when you do see the movie it will fill you with pride and awe for the Rangers that fought their hearts out that day. Believe me, they are made of the same stuff as those kids at Normandy Beach. When 1LT Tom DiTomasso, the Ranger platoon leader on my aircraft, told me that we did a fantastic job, I couldn't imagine ever receiving higher praise than that. I love my wife and children, but the greatest thing I've ever done is to be a Nightstalker Pilot with Task Force Ranger on 3-4 Oct 1993.
Thank you for reading this. I look forward to answering any and all questions anyone may have about the movie or the actual battle. I just
thought that this might fill in some of the blanks. Thank you again.
Capt. Gerry Izzo (Super65)
Nightstalkers Don't Quit