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Navigation Unit Found in Afghanistan Not U.S. Hero's

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2002 – A senior DoD official today said a Global Positioning System device found by U.S. forces in Afghanistan didn't belong to Army hero Master Sgt. Gary Gordon after all.

Gordon and fellow soldier Sgt. 1st Class Randall Shughart were killed in action in Mogadishu, Somalia, Oct. 3, 1993. Both received posthumous Medals of Honor for valor.

DoD officials noted to reporters yesterday afternoon that the recovered GPS, found in a cave after Operation Anaconda fighting, was marked "G. Gordon" and might have once belonged to the heroic noncommissioned officer.

"When we had initially found the materials in the cave, it was believed the global positioning unit could have, appeared to have, belonged to a service member who had been killed in Somalia several years ago.

"We weren't certain and, as we continued to investigate, we finally were able to determine that that was not the case," DoD spokesman Bryan Whitman noted today. The GPS unit had been lost in that vicinity during earlier Operation Anaconda fighting this month. The cave had been the scene of an Anaconda firefight, he noted.

A DoD news release noted that subsequent research indicates the recovered GPS unit once belonged to a U.S. pilot who had served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. That pilot was redeployed, the release continued, and gave the GPS device to another U.S. pilot who lost it during Operation Anaconda.

U.S. forces have searched numerous caves, bunkers and compounds throughout Afghanistan and have discovered mortars, weapons, ammunition, documents, writings, maps and cassette tapes that have been turned over to teams for detailed examination, DoD spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. John Rosa told Pentagon reporters yesterday.

Events of the Army's Oct. 3, 1993, battle with Somali militiamen in Mogadishu are depicted in the recently released movie "Black Hawk Down."

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