#263 Woody Harrelson / Michael Durant – 23 July 1961

Woody Harrelson

Photo by David Shankbone

Woodrick TracyWoody” Harrelson (born July 23, 1961) is an American actor and comedian. Harrelson’s breakthrough role came in the television sitcom Cheers as bartender Woody Boyd. Notable film characters include basketball hustler Billy Hoyle in White Men Can’t Jump, serial killer Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers, magazine publisher Larry Flynt in The People Vs Larry Flynt, bounty hunter Carson Wells in No Country for Old Men and zombie killer Tallahassee in Zombieland. For The People vs. Larry Flynt and The Messenger, Harrelson earned Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.

Michael Durant

Michael J. “Mike” Durant (born July 23, 1961) is an American pilot and author who was held prisoner after a raid in Mogadishu. He was a member of the160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. He retired from the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 Blackhawk helicopter Master Aviator in the 160th SOAR after participating in combat operations Prime Chance, Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Gothic Serpent. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, POW Medal, and numerous others.

During Operation Gothic Serpent, Durant was the pilot of Super Six Four, the second MH-60L Black Hawk helicopter to crash during the Battle of Mogadishu on October 3, 1993. The helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in the tail which led to its crash about a mile southwest of the operation’s target. The movie Black Hawk Down chronicles the events of the raid.


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