Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dragon "Danny McKnight" Comdr 3rd Bn, 75th Ranger Regt

During an operation in October 1993 to capture Mohamed Farrah Aidid's foreign minister, Omar Salad Elmi, and his top political advisor, Mohamed Hassan Awale, McKnight was in charge of the HMMWV and truck convoy ordered to bring up the rear of Task Force Ranger and Delta Force to evacuate the prisoners and soldiers. After an MH-60 Black Hawk providing air support was shot down by Somali insurgents, McKnight's convoy made several attempts to reach the crash site and evacuate the casualties and soldiers who had moved to secure the crash site on foot. Due to confusing conditions on the air and ground, and heavy casualties taken by the convoy (including McKnight, who was hit in the neck by a bullet), the convoy was unable to reach the crash site and had to return to Task Force Ranger's base with the prisoners and its own wounded and killed soldiers. Another evacuation convoy was organized with support from U.N. troops of the U.S. 10th Mountain Division and the Pakistani and Malaysian armies. Eventually, the reinforced convoy reached and evacuated the elements of Task Force Ranger who had held out against Somali insurgent forces for the entire night. Once the convoy returned to the Pakistani's base, McKnight allowed treatment of his wound. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor device for his actions during the battle.

In the 2001 film "Black Hawk Down", McKnight was portrayed by actor Tom Sizemore. While McKnight and Sizemore never met personally, they had several telephone conversations during the filming and McKnight indicated that he was quite satisfied with Sizemore's performance and the movie as a whole. [source: wiki]

This is the Dragon 10th Anniversary Commemorative Edition 1/6 scale 12-inch "Danny McKnight" military figure, released in 2003 depicting the lieutenant colonel as the commanding officer of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, who led the "Lost Convoy" during the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia on October 3, 1993. He comes with PASGT helmet with camouflage cover, combat goggles, woodlands body armor, tan t-shirt, desert BDUs, US flag insignia patch, name tape, web belt with LC-2 Y harness, compass pouch, two M16 ammunition pouches with two spare M16 magazines, two M67 fragmentation grenades, the M9 .45 Automatic Pistol in M9 holster, two water bottles with pouches, M1967 buttpack, PRC-126 radio in pouch, watch, M16A2 assault rifle, and combat boots.

Here's a close-up of Lieutenant Colonel Danny McKnight wearing 6-color "chocolate chip" desert camouflage pattern cloth cover over his helmet, the 3-color desert camouflage pattern BDUs and woodlands camouflage pattern body armor. No error on Dragon's part, simply a mix of materials due to the unavailability of parts / equipment at the point of deployment.

The issue of the first US desert camouflage clothing, a six color Desert Battle Dress Uniform (DBDU), had been originally designed in 1962. With a base pattern of light tan overlaid with broad swathes of pale olive green and wide two-tone bands of brown, the clusters of black-on-white spots scattered over it resulted in it being nicknamed the "chocolate chip" pattern. Troops deployed to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War of 1990-1991 wore the six color DBDUs during the campaign. The new Desert Camouflage Uniform (DCU) was officially issued in 1993, consisting of a subtle blend of large pastel green and light tan shapes, with sparsely placed, narrow, reddish brown patches, leading the design to be unofficially nicknamed the “Coffee Stain” pattern. This remained in service for over a decade, most notably during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

I had covered in greater detail the "Battle of Mogadishu (1993)" as depicted in the film "Black Hawk Down (2001)" in an earlier post HERE
There's also a post on the 1/6 AH-6 Little Bird attack helicopter HERE
In the previous post, I'd reviewed Dragon's Commemorative Edition 1/6 scale 12" Gary Gordon, Sniper Team Leader Delta Force - Task Force Ranger.


Anonymous said...

Nice figure, might get one... ebay!
Are the pouches really colored red/orange included in the box figure? I like the pistol holster.
That M16 is hard to find nowadys!
need a second look at past Dragon Figures they do have correct gears historically good for kitbash.
- AL

alex teo said...

hi AL, the ammo pouches, cloth holster (i much prefer this version to their earlier rubberised ones which weren't very well produced), canteen covers and buttpack were originally GREEN but have faded over time and turned "orange" (i'll like to say they are COYOTE brown - ha! ha!). used to be there were a lot of M16s, now just M4s and M249s every which way you turn.

Anonymous said...

huh? thats only a natural fade? i was thinking you painted them or was a limited released version!
yep! those M16's i just ignored before but now when i needed one they jack-up all the prices!
what's exciting about this hobby is when looking for those hard-to-find items! :)

alex teo said...

yup AL, can you believe it? i'm quite pleased with how it turned out - ha! ha! agreed about finding hard-to-find items - makes it FUN :)

Unknown said...

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thank you