Skip to comments.British helicopter pilot shot between the eyes but keeps flying to save 20 soldiers
Posted on 03/05/2010 9:24:20 AM PST by llevrokEdited on 03/05/2010 3:09:39 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
The Sun reports that Flight Lieutenant Ian Fortune, 28, had flown in to pick up casualties as a firefight raged between American and Afghan forces and heavily-armed rebels near Garmsir in Helmand Province.
Flt-Lt Fortune - who had TV presenter Mike Brewer on the aircraft filming a documentary - was advised to hold off on approach to the battle as it was "too hot" on the ground. He circled until troops reported incoming fire had calmed down.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.au ...
Thank God for our (and the UK military).
Military = honor.
Public “service” = dishonor.
“And had it not been for the skill of the pilot the result would have been the same.”
Amen to that!
in a sense, the military version of skully
Wow. That’s a story. The article doesn’t mention what decoration the pilot was issued. That would have been a nice detail to include.
How does one survive a shot between the eyes, much less being able to function enough to fly the copter to safety?
God bless him
“It knocked his head back and caused severe bleeding.
More bullets followed, hitting the Chinook’s controls and shutting down the stabilisation system. “
I couldn’t imagine what the Chinook becomes like without just the stabilization system. This guy really maintained his cool.
When did this happen? If it was recently, it would take 6 months or more to process.
It is in Life-Or-Death situations that the truly great show themselves and this pilot is certainly one of them. My respects and admiration to this man, his crew and those responsible for making him the man that he has shown himself to be. Kudos!
I hope he is up for a BIG medal!
Perhaps it’s too early for that. It will come in time. It’ll be interesting to see that on the documentary. Has to be one he!! of a pilot. One of the many brave souls doing their job under hellacious conditions.
Wow! Just Wow!
I mistakenly got the feeling it happened a while ago, because it mentions a documentary. I thought the documentary had already aired, but after rereading the story, it just talks about a camera crew being there. It may have just happened very recently, which of course would explain why no award has been given, yet.
Did anyone catch the Flt-Lt Fortune.
as in Fortunate
The British equivalent of Congressional Medal of Honor, if I could nominate.
He needs the Victoria Cross. The highest England has.
OH YA! I like hero’s! Hope we read about it soon.
Ah, another member of the club. And for their sake, I’m not sure I even want to see somebody earn it more impressively than that.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Flight Lieutenant Ian “Mongo” Fortune. Don’t shoot him. You’ll only make him mad.
The obvious choice is the British Distinguished Flying Cross.
Flight Lieutenant Ian Fortune should never have to buy a beer for the rest of his life!
Once again I question the media acting as the sniper’s spotter, albeit quite belatedly.
A thick skull. Obviously, the bullet did not penetrate into the brain.
Wow! That is an incredible story. My guess is a combination of the bullet losing energy as it penetrated or deflected off of metal parts and probably a thick head thanks to the pilot’s parents kept that bullet from fulling penetrating.
He really lives up to his name “Fortune”.
And his ability to maintain control under those circumstances was amazing.
I’d be surprised and disappointed if he didn’t get the Victoria Cross from Her Majesty for his actions.
As someone else posted on another thread.
WHY do Americans NEVER hear about OUR HEROs?
Obviously, he has an Irish ancestor.:)
God bless him and his family.
Blame the American Left Wing-Nut LameStreamMedia.
I hitched a ride on a Chinook in VietNam.
I had never been in one before.
Whwn it took off, I thought it was going to vibrate itself apart and this was a good one.
He needs the Victoria Cross. The highest England has.
The Victoria Cross is for a level of courage in the face of an enemy where the person should have died. Broadly speaking he (or she, although that has not happened yet with the VC - it has with the equivalent decoration for courage not in the face of the enemy) must have expected their actions to kill them and have chosen to do them anyway.
Flt-Lt Fortune certainly would have known there was a risk of death in any combat mission, but every soldier (including sailors and airmen) knows that every time they enter combat. The VC becomes a factor only when the risk greatly increases above that normal level.
In my view, as somebody who was taught the criteria for recommending decorations in the British Honours system (and in the Australian one as well), I'd be recommending him for the DFC - awarded for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy". That's what this fits.
Sometimes when I say things like this, I get accused of claiming the person isn't heroic. On the contrary, my intention is to ensure that the real heroism of those who receive decorations such as the DFC, or the MC, or the DSC, or the CGC, is not understated. Receiving any of those decorations indicates a person has shown an extreme level of courage or devotion to duty above and beyond the call of duty.
I might go to the CGC (Conspicuous Gallantry Cross) in this case in recognition of the fact that as well as displaying great courage, his actions were also instrumental in protecting others and increasing the chance of a successful mission.
The Victoria Cross is for a level of courage in the face of an enemy where the person should have died.
Call me Mister Cynical but doesn't getting shot between the eyes rise to the level of where he should have died?
Yes, but he didn’t expect to be shot between the eyes. He knew there was a risk of being wounded or killed but so do all those who go into combat. We don’t give the VC to all soldiers who are killed or wounded.
Unusual courage of the type that is decorate is displayed when the risk reaches an unusual level. It’s the man who stands up when he could be lying down. It’s the pilot who flies into withering anti-aircraft fire, he cannot hope to survive, not the pilot who accepts the normal risks in being fired at.
I beg to differ, flying into any LZ that is under fire has the prerequisite risk called for.
Wow. Just wow.
The Victoria Cross is the highest award for bravery in British and Commonwealth forces - generally seen as equivalent to the United States’ Medal of Honor.
Do you believe every pilot who ever flew into a landing zone under fire should have received the Medal of Honor? Or do you believe it should be reserved for the extraordinary acts for which is bestowed?
No but not every pilot that flys into an LZ gets shot between the eyes and continues to fly the aircraft either.
It would do you well to read many of the Medal of Honor stories especially those given to Pilots and Air crew.
For instance Read the one Jimmy Doolittle received.
I know the criterion for U.S. Awards but defer to you on the criterion for the Crown’s Awards.
Very brave, but VC’s are reserved for actions regarded as even braver.
Only 1356 or so since 1856.
I’m a military historian and I have read about most twentieth century Medal of Honor recipients. I’ve also read about most twentieth century recipients of the Victoria Cross and have met a number of them.
I was an officer of the Australian Defence Force for over twenty years and was specifically trained in the criteria for which various British and Australian decorations are awarded, and in the processes by which you recommend somebody for such a decoration.
The DFC is a decoration bestowed for “an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy”. In my view that is a correct and accurate description of what Flt-Lt Fortune did.
Flying into a landing zone under fire is what Flt-Lt Michelle Goodman DFC did in 2007. It is what Lieutenant Nichol Benzie RN DFC did in 2007. It is what Major Mark Hammond DFC did in 2006. It is what Flt-Lt Christopher Hasler did in 2006. It is what Flt-Lt Craig Wilson did in 2006. Most of them did it multiple times.
I know the criteria. I know what is being awarded.
I am, by the way, well aware of the Doolittle raid and I know that the citation for General Doolittle’s Medal of Honor specifically refers to the fact that his mission was considered to be one that was virtually certain to end in death or capture. Not just a risk, but an unusual risk.
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