Skip to comments.Profiles of Valor: CW5 David Cooper, United States Army
Posted on 07/29/2008 5:11:00 AM PDT by cll
Profiles of valor: USA CWO Cooper
On the afternoon of 27 November 2006, Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Cooper of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regimentthe Night Stalkers was leading a formation of six helicopters north of Baghdad. The formation comprised two AH-6 Little Bird attack helicopters (one flown by Cooper), two MH-6 troop-carrying Little Birds, and two MH-60 Black Hawks carrying Special Operations soldiers. When the formation was 50 kilometers from Baghdad, Cooper heard his wingman shout Mayday! An insurgent had hit the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade, severing the tail rotor. Despite the damage, Coopers wingman was able to land his helicopter without sustaining major injuries, and the other helicopters in the formation landed to assist.
The Black Hawks soon evacuated the downed pilots, leaving behind 20 special operators and the Little Bird pilots to set up a perimeter around the disabled helicopter. Forty minutes later, eight enemy anti-aircraft gun trucks approached the crash site, and Cooper took off in his Little Bird to investigate. He immediately came under attack by the enemy force but stayed in the air to draw fire away from the exposed U.S. soldiers on the ground. Meanwhile, two more trucks unloaded enemy forces into a house about 800 yards away, where they began to set up mortars and machine guns.
Cooper immediately began attacking the numerically superior force using his Little Birds miniguns and rockets. When his helicopter ran out of ammunition, Cooper landed and the men on the ground quickly unloaded the rockets from the downed helicopter and put them on Coopers, despite intense enemy fire. Cooper took off and again started to pummel the enemy despite the bullets that were striking the helicopter inches from his face. When low fuel forced Cooper to land again, the soldiers on the ground used a Leatherman tool to remove an auxiliary fuel tank from the disabled helicopter and attach it to Coopers Little Bird. Cooper went back into battle a third time, finishing off the trucks and mortar positions once and for all.
For Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Coopers complete disregard for his personal safety and extreme courage under fire, he became the first Night Stalker to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. I just happened to be the guy there that day, Cooper said. Any one of the Night Stalkers thats in this formation would have done the same thing I did.
Note: The Distinguished Service Cross (the Army equivalent of the Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross, is second in precedence only to the Medal of Honor)
Congratulations to Chief Cooper ! (Can we get this guy to run for President ?)
I should have sized that picture better. My apologies.
A very telling statement by a true American hero.
Thanks for the post.
A bad dude. Sure hope he stays safe.
Now *that* is a Warrior!
This guy is amazing...
supported a few of those guys back in the day...they should have let us keep our Eagle Rising insignia...
While the guy is a hero, so are all the guys that supported him each time he went on another run of fighting off the enemy. Let us not lose sight of them.
> While the guy is a hero, so are all the guys that supported him each time he went on another run of fighting off the enemy. Let us not lose sight of them.
This is a great story of courage that does credit to everybody involved. You’re right to point this out.
I salute a great American hero.
What a treasure of heroes we Americans have! God bless them all.
The 160th is AMAZING. This unit possesses none of the qualities of an army line unit... Thats a good thing. The Night Stalkers get it done!
All of these guys come from “army line units”.
They have the benefit of being very specific in their tasks.
No “ash and trash” duties.
Have you spent much time in “army line units”?
i was a reservist in another lifetime. HW bush era. Have a friend in the 160th and it was just a different world from his description.
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