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Mike Edward MOSIER served with the U.S. Air Force during the Gulf War as a gunner on AC 130H Hercules gunship. The gunship departed from Mombasa International Airport, Mombasa, Kenya, Africa, in support of Operation Continue Hope [December 9, 1992 - May 4, 1993]. Reportedly a 105mm shell exploxed in a gun barrell causing the airship to go down 200 feet off the coast in 10 to 15 feet of water. Eight of the 14 members of the crew died, including Mike who perished on March 14, 1994 while saving the lives of his fellow comrades from the fiery crash. The son of Grace and Henry MOISER of Mount Ayr, he was 32-years-old.

The Washington Post
Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, March 15, 1994


An American AC-130 aerial gunship crashed into the Indian Ocean off the Kenyan coast, killing one crewman and leaving 10 missing. Three other crew members were plucked from the water by rescuers, said Army Col. Steve RAUSCH. Kenyan divers and fishing boats, as well as several U.S. aircraft, were continuing the search.

The New York Times
New York, New York
Tuesday, March 15, 1994



Four days before the last United States troops are to leave Somalia, an Air Force AC-130 gunship supporting the operation crashed today off the Kenya coast. One crew member was killed and 10 others are missing, the Defense Department said.

The Pentagon has sent investigators to determine the cause of the crash, but early indications suggested engine failure. There was no sign of hostile fire, military officials said.

Military officials said the crash could produce the most American casualties in the Somalia mission since an Army raid in Mogadishu last October in which 18 died. After that gun battle, President CLINTON ordered the withdrawal of all United States forces by the end of March.

Since last October, the United States has flown the AC-130's, slow-moving aircraft bristling with guns and cannons, over Mogadishu to support international forces on the ground.

The plane that crashed today, one of four based in Mombasa, Kenya, was en route to Mogadishu when it went down about 6 P.M. local time about 75 miles northeast of Mombasa, the United States Central Command in Tampa, Fla., said.

A spokesman for the Central Command said 3 of the 14 crew members had been rescued from the plane, which landed 200 yards offshore. Kenyan divers and fishing boats helped American rescue planes to search for the missing.

There are 2,972 American troops still in Mogadishu, with 6,650 marines and sailors on ships nearby. Gen. John M. SHALIKASHVILI, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a visit to Mogadishu last weekend that the relief operation had saved thousands of Somalis from starvation.

Correction: March 16, 1994, Wednesday An article yesterday about the crash of a United States Air Force plane off Kenya referred incorrectly to the departure date planned for the last American troops in Somalia. It is March 25, not March 18.

A later report stated that the gunship was "lost on March 14, 1994 over the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya, near the town of Malindi, while practice firing of the 105mm howitzer saw a premature detonation and the resultant explosion set fire to the port engines, causing the aircraft to crash into the sea. Aircraft and crew were supporting the ongoing operations in and around Magadishu, Somalia. Call sign 'Jockey 14,' loss of eight crewmembers":

Capt. Anthony STEFANIK, Jr., Fire Control Officer, 31, USAF, Johnstown PA, 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field FL

Capt. David J. MELHOP, Navigator, 30, USAF, Zellwood, FL, 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field FL

Capt. Mark A, QUAM, Warfare Officer, 27, USAF, Madison WI, 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field FL

MSgt. Roy DUNCAN, Loadmaster, 40 USF, Miami FL, 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field FL

TSgt. Robert L. DANIEL, Sensor Operator, 34, USAF, Gray, GA, 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field FL

SSgt. Mike E. MOSIER, Aerial Gunner, 32, USFA, Mt. Ayr IA, 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field FL

SSgt. Brian P. BARNES, Aerial Gunner, 26, USAF, Cole Camp, MO, 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field FL

SSgt. William C. EYLER, Sensor Operator, 32, USAF, Tulsa OK, 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field FL



Standing, Back Row, Left to Right: Capt. MELHOP, far left; Capt. QUAM, 2nd from left; SSgt. BARNES, 3rd from left; SSgt. MOSIER far right

Front Row, Left to Right: Capt. STEFANIK, 2nd from left; TSgt. DANIEL, 3rd from left; SSgt. EYLER wearing sunglasses; MSgt. DUNCAN, 5th from left.

Operation Restore Hope - Somalia

In late 1992, civil war and clan-based fighting, along with the worst African drought of the century created famine conditions that threatened one-fourth of Somalia's population with starvation. In August, the United Nations began a peacekeeping mission to assure the distribution of food and medical aid to the country.

On December 4th due to quickly deteriorating security and the U.N. troops' inability to control Somalia's warring factions, United States' President George Bush ordered 25,000 U.S. troops into Somalia. He said, "it's a humanitarian mission, and our mission is to get in there and open up these corridors and provide humanitary relief." - January 1, 1993

"Operation Restore Hope" remained unresolved when Bill CLINTON took over the presidency on January 20, 1993. President CLINTON was anxious to bring the American troops home. In May the mission was formally handed back to the U.N. and by June, only 4,200 troops remained.

On June 5th, 24 Pakistani U.N. peacekeepers were ambushed and massacred while conducting an inspection of a weapons site, the ambush led by soldiers under the command of Somalia warlord General Mohammed AIDID. Subsequently, U.S. and U.N. forces began an extensive search for AIDID and his troops. In August, 400 elite U.S. troops from Delta Force and the U.S. Rangers arrived on a mission to capture them. In October, eighteen of these soldiers were killed and eighty-four wounded during a disastrous assault on Mogadishu's Olympia Hotel during their search for AIDID. The seventeen-hour battle was the most violent U.S. combat firefight since the Vietnam War. Three days later, President CLINTON cut his losses, ordering a total U.S. troop withdrawal, which occurred on March 25, 1994. AIDID was never captured.
- The History Channel

The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.. March 15, 1994

The New York Times, New York, New York. March 15, 1994

CASPER, Lawrence E. Falcon Brigade: Command and Combat in Somalia and Haiti P. 263. Lynne Rienner Pub. Boulder CO. 2001.

Compilation by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2009

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