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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 170-95
April 04, 1995

AWARD OF THE PURPLE HEART

The Secretaries of the Army and Air Force, Togo D. West Jr., and Sheila E. Widnall, announced today they are awarding posthumously the Purple Heart to the Service members tragically killed in the accidental downing of two Army Blackhawk helicopters by U.S. Air Force F-15s in Northern Iraq's "no fly" zone in April 1994.

The Purple Heart is being awarded because the incident took place in a geographic area where the presence of hostile forces was anticipated and the Army Blackhawk helicopters carrying these Service members were misidentified as a hostile force. The two Air Force F-15 aircraft involved were on a mission patrolling for hostile forces at the time of the incident.