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"Black Hawk Down" POW Michael Durant to Appear at Air Show
DAYTON -- Air show officials confirmed today that Michael Durant CW4 (Retired) will make an appearance at the 39th annual event. Durant, now a New York Times bestselling author and motivational speaker, was the pilot of Black Hawk helicopter Super Six Four that was fired upon and shot down during combat operations in Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 3, 1993.
After being shot down, Durant’s crew went through an intense street battle and was eventually overrun by a mob. Durant was dragged away and kept prisoner for 11 days. He was badly injured, suffering from a broken back and gunshot wounds. During that time Durant’s image was the focus of media across the world and appeared on the covers of Time, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report. The events of that day were recorded in Mark Bowden’s bestselling book "Black Hawk Down" and Ridley Scott’s movie of the same name. Durant recorded his impressions of the event in the bestselling book, "In the Company of Heroes" and later wrote about covert warfare from his experience in Special Operations in the book, "The Night Stalkers."
A decorated veteran with such awards as the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart, POW/MIA ribbon and several others, Durant retired from the Army in 2001. A New Hampshire native, Durant is president of Pinnacle Solutions Inc., a simulation and training company based in Huntsville, Ala. Durant and his wife, Lisa, have six children.
While at the show on June 22, Durant will spend time with the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation group that offers spectators Huey and Cobra helicopter rides and will also have some of his family with him during the day.
“I’m very much looking forward to the show and having the opportunity to share my passion for aviation with my family,” Durant said.
United States Air and Trade Show Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Emoff said they are thrilled to host Durant and his family at the air show.
"He represents the honor and sacrifice present in our military men and women," Emoff said.
The 2013 Air Show runs June 22 and 23 at the Dayton International Airport. In total, there will be 15 feature attractions in the air and a host of ground display aircraft and interactive exhibits. Flying attractions range from award-winning aerobatic great Sean D. Tucker to the only flying B-29 Superfortress in the world, "FIFI", to a first ever demonstration of the MiG-17 and Disney Planes star Dusty. Spectators will also enjoy the AeroShell Formation Aerobatic Team and the "Great Wall of Fire" just to name a couple more.
Photo courtesy www.mikedurant.com: Durant, left, flies an MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Somalia.
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