A war hero, whose courageous combat was illuminated in the book “Black Hawk Down,” died Nov. 5, at age 64.

Sgt. Major James McMahon was laid to rest on Saturday, Nov. 16, at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Durand, Illinois, according to his obituary.

In the book by journalist Mark Bowden called “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War.” It introduced McMahon by describing his face as so battered and cut that “he looked like he was wearing a fright mask” as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

The book is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in 1993 that claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers, the Rockford Register Star reported.

McMahon, who was aboard one of two Black Hawk helicopters shot down by rocket-propelled grenades, was severely wounded but he continued fighting to protect his fallen comrades until reinforcements arrived.

The 16-year veteran Army Ranger was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for distinguished valor.

McMahon retired in 2002 with the rank of sergeant-major and continued to serve his country as a defense contractor and since 2013 was a special operations instructor at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


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