“One side of my brain feels it happened two years ago while the other side seems to think it happened only yesterday,” said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Timothy French of
In the early morning hours of that tragic day, Adversary 11 and Adversary 22 were shot down during a combat operation. The four aviators who lost their lives were U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Phillip Windorski, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Tillery, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Benjamin Todd, and U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew Kelley. All were OH-58D Kiowa pilots of Bravo Troop, 6th Squadron 6th Cavalry Regiment.
Commemorating the two-year anniversary of their loss brings many memories to the minds of those who served with them.
One of the fallen pilots made a lasting impression on a young officer and new pilot.
“Phil was one of the first instructor pilots I met as well as the first I flew with, when arriving to the unit,” said U.S. Army Capt. Zachary Valentine of
To others, each of them had unique attributes which benefitted the unit. The loss of which was very difficult to rebound from.
"A tragedy that massive was almost impossible to deal with,” said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bobby Guffey of
The current Bravo Troop commander highlighted the heroic legacy the fallen pilots left behind.
“Remembering our fallen comrades is difficult,” said U.S. Army Maj. Luke Schmidt, the current Bravo Troop commander and a native of Humphrey, Neb., “but it is important to never forget the blood, sweat, and tears they shed for our country and the ultimate sacrifice they made in maintaining our freedom and a better way of life for the Iraqi people."