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British Pilot Shot, Still Rescues 20 Soldiers

By Wyatt Earp | March 8, 2010

Remember the name Lt. Ian Fortune. The British pilot is a profile in courage, as he was shot in the helmet during a Afghanistan firefight and still managed to load 20 soldiers into his Chinook before flying them to safety.

Weeks after a firefight in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, a story has emerged of a British pilot who was struck in the head by a bullet and still managed to safely land a helicopter full of casualties, medical personnel and troops. British TV host Mike Brewer says he was onboard the Chinook that day as Flight Lt. Ian Fortune, 28, was shot in the helmet, just above his eyes. Immediately after takeoff, the aircraft “took a big shudder,” someone called “mayday, mayday” on the radio, Brewer said, adding that he heard Fortune saying he had been shot in the face.

Brewer said at this point, “I was thinking it as the end of my days, and I was about to plummet to my death.” Still, Fortune was able to get the 20 or so people aboard the Chinook — including a half-dozen injured Afghan troops — back to Camp Bastion safely, he said.

“The aircraft controls were damaged. It was a lot of trouble to keep us in the air,” Brewer said. “I spoke to the co-pilot later. He said Ian would not let go of the controls. Even with blood pouring into his eyes, he would not let go.”

Holy crap, dude! That’s pretty hardcore, and yet typical of the acts British and American soldiers do in Afghanistan every day. Good show, Lt. Fortune!

Topics: The Troops | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “British Pilot Shot, Still Rescues 20 Soldiers”

  1. John D Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    That’s what you call “playing through the pain.”

  2. Old NFO Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    He done good… :-)

  3. minuteman26 Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Yep, he done real good. Hope the copilot was at least wiping the blood out of his eyes.

  4. Ingineer66 Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Holy crap is right. What a stud.

  5. RT Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 7:27 pm


  6. lergnom Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    The grandfathers who crossed the Channel in ’44 would be proud. Maybe there’s hope for England yet.

  7. skip Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Muf*****r gots brass.

  8. Dannytheman Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 8:54 am

    My kind of role model!!!


  9. metoo Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 9:15 am

    He is a true hero although i am sure he would tell us he was just doing his job. He did one heck of a job!

  10. Rick Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    One tough SOB

  11. comatus Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    If this man ever has to pay for a beer for the rest of his natural days, the Western World has not a hair on its lily-white arse.

    Stout Bulldog. There must be a shortage of VC’s, or Brown would have “dropped one off.” In my own personal Court of St. James, he would now be hearing, “Arise, Sir Ian.” Think Harry knows him, yet?

  12. Wyatt Earp Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    John D – I would have been asking for my mommy.

    Old NFO – He done AWESOME.

    Minuteman – He was probably freaking out as well.

    Ingineer66 – He’s probably very popular with the ladies back home.

    RT – Nothing short of fantastic.

    Lergnom – No doubt about that.

    Skip – And he’s not afraid to show them.

    Danny – Big time hero, and I’m glad he received some recognition.

    MeToo – Probably right.

    Rick – Eats nail for breakfast . . . without milk.

    Comatus – Harry should seek him out. And yes, this man should never have to pay for a pint again.