In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Lincoln, Maine

A Town of Hearty, Resilient Souls

Gary Gordon

Responses from four students in Mrs. Harris' Social Studies class can be viewed below:

Sierrah Davis
"Research your topic and summarize the ‘who, what, when, and where’ in the form of a few paragraphs"


"Gordon" naming ceremony program, Newport News, Virginia, 1996

Item Contributed by
Lincoln Historical Society

Gary Gordon was born August 30, 1960 in Lincoln, Maine. He graduated from Mattanawcook Academy in 1978. At the age of 18, Gordon joined the U.S. Army as a member of the First Special Forces Operation Detachment. He was also the leader of the sniper team. He was married to Carmen and had two children. His family never saw him in any of his military uniforms, even on his wedding day, because he wanted to keep his military career separate from his home life as much as possible.

Gary died October 3, 1993, while trying to save people in a helicopter that went down. He was a well-known man in his hometown for doing such a heroic act. In 1996, the U.S. Navy named a Roll-on/Roll-off cargo ship U.S.N.S. Gordon in honor of Gary Gordon. He received many awards after he died, but the most important one was the Medal Of Honor. This is because it is the highest U.S. military award given to the ones who risk their lives in combat and go above the call of duty. Gordon was the only man from Lincoln who went to fight in Somalia. Today, most soldiers still look up to the brave and heroic soldier, Gary Ivan Gordon.

Shawn Kinkead
"Create a ‘why’ question, research the answer, and create response answering the question"

Why was Gary Gordon so important to Lincoln?

Gary Gordon Memorial
Gary Gordon Memorialin front of the Masonic Hall/Town Office

Gary Gordon is a well-known man in his hometown of Lincoln, Maine. He chose to serve his country right out of high school at the age of 18. Instead of going off for further education in college, he chose to serve on his own free will. He was a man from Lincoln that went to fight for the U.S. Army in Mogadishu, Somalia. He was riding in a helicopter and he gave his gun to the pilot to protect himself. He told the pilot to leave and he and his partner took enemy fire so the helicopter would be safe away from the area of fire. He gave his life to save the lives of others who went on to live for a longer period of time. He has now earned the highest medal, the Medal of Honor. Gary Gordon was the leader of a sniper team known as Detachment-Force, or also known as Delta Force. He was incredible and loyal to his country and the people he served with. As loyal as he was, he still died as a hero saving lives and doing what he wanted to do.

Molly Gordon
Personal response

The fact that Gary Gordon risked his life in Mogadishu, Somalia and lost it for the sake of one other man is very heroic. This definitely made me stop and think about how lucky I am to have a dad that isn’t a part of the war. Gary had a wife, Carmen Gordon, of Lincoln, and two children, Ian, 6, and Brittany, 3, at the time of his death on October 3, 1993 at the age of 33.

Gary Gordon Tribute
Gary Gordon Tributedrawing by Zach Perry

When I read about Gary, it also made me stop and think about what I would do if I were in Gary’s position. I would like to think I would have made the same choice if I had been in Gary’s shoes. The man that Gary saved was Michael Durant, the pilot of the Black Hawk helicopter. Gary’s last words to Michael were “Good luck” and Gary handed Michael his gun.

I think that this could impact our future by learning about this in school; it can encourage people to help others also. This might encourage others to show their bravery and serve our country. This event could impact my future because it make me stop and think maybe I would want to take risks to help others, just like Gary.

Works Cited

Day, John S. "Clinton Posthumously Honors 2 Soldiers for Bravery in Somalia." Bangor Daily News (Bangor) 5 April 2010.

"Gary Gordon." Lincoln, Maine. Lincoln, 11 Nov. 2003. Web. 5 Apr. 2010. <www.lincolnmaine.org/Gary20%Gordon/gary-gordon.htm>.

"Gary Gordon." Web. 6 April 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Gordon

PBS. "Gary Gordon." Web. Editorial. 9 April 2010. http://www.pbs.org/weta/americanvalor/stories/gordon.html

Tenggren, Kevin. "President Presents Medal of Honor to Lincoln Soldier's Wife." Lincoln News (Lincoln) 26 Feb. 1994: 1-3.

"USNS Gordon Delivered to United States Navy." Newport News (Newport) 5 Sept. 1996: 1.