Dire Dawa

Caught in the eastern Ogaden near the Somalia border during the fall of Mengistu. After our Lama was shot down with two flight crew killed we were ordered by Maxus Petroleum to demob men and gear to Dire Dawa. A Twin Otter picked up the 2000 pounds of exploration gear and the crew. We also flew the remaining 206 and 212 to Dire Dawa. While trying to move the gear from Dire Dawa to Djibouti rebels attacked the airport. Shooting down an Mi8 full of Ethiopian generals trying to escape, killing all on board. Gunfights and motor rounds broke out while our crew hid in the back of the terminal. All the while the airport was closed our rescue aircraft circled above waiting for clearance to land. Finally after a period of negotiation our aircraft was allowed to land and we were able to escape to Djibouti were we were met by American authorities, who ushered is through immigration and set us up in the Manylik Hotel. The Sheraton was full up with all the Ethipoian corrupt officials running with their stolen wealth. So happy to be alive we all got extremely drunk that night. It was also cool meeting the local French Foreign Legion troops in the local bars. These were some tough looking hombres.

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