A recognized hero, Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Wayne Bray, 49, a Randolph County, N.C. native, died Oct. 24 at Columbus Regional Healthcare.
You might not know his name, but his actions in Somalia in 1993 earned him a Silver Star —and those actions were later portrayed in the movie, “Black Hawk Down.”
Bray was born in Randolph County in 1966, the son of Martha Woodell Lindsey of Asheboro and the late John Franklin Bray.
Bray was a decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force, a Senior Airman who served with a Combat Control Team.
According to a 1994 article in Air Force Magazine, a Somali gunman firing a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher shot down a U.S. Army MH-60 helicopter, sending the aircraft and its load of Rangers plummeting into the streets of Mogadishu in October 1992. Bray, a combat controller, along with TSgt. Timothy A. Wilkinson and MSgt. Scott C. Fales, both pararescue technicians, played a major role in sustaining the wounded and beating back the attacks of the surrounding Somali forces.
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Image courtesy of the Bray family via Stars and Stripes