NAME: Roger P. Brilinski Jr.
PLACE OF BIRTH: Ossineke, MI
DATE OF BIRTH: 30 Apr 1966
DATES OF SERVICE: ?? ??? 1984 - 27 Feb 1991
UNIT ASSIGNED: C Company 509th Airborne (Pathfinder)
CAMPAIGNS: Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm
AWARDS: Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), Valorous Unit Award, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge,
SUMMARY OF SERVICE:
On 22 August 1990, five members of C Co (Pathfinders) stationed at Ft Rucker, AL were selected to go to the Persian Gulf attached to the 18th Airborne Corps, 101st Airborne Div (Air Assault). Their mission was to perform search and rescue for downed aviators, sling load operations, and set up Forward Arming and Refueling Points (FARP). For this deployment they received the Valorous Unit Award.
During a search and rescue mission with three 509ers aboard, their helicopter was shot down. Two were KIA and one became a POW.
Their names are:
SSG Larry Mike Richardson - AL left the service.
SGT (P) Dennis Lloyd Smith - went to 75th Rangers
SGT(P) Patbouvier E Ortiz - KIA
SGT Roger P(Paul) Brilinski - KIA
SGT Troy A. Dunlap - POW
SGT Brilinski was killed during the attempted rescue of a downed Air Force pilot, Capt. William F. Andrews.
Attempting a rescue of a downed USAF F-16 pilot while under heavy AAA fire. A/C was hit, pitched forward and crashed into an earthen berm, landing nose first, the A/C dug into the soft sand and flipped over and exploded. Mission was a flight of three (2 AH64s/1 UH60) being vectored to last known location of downed F-16 by AWACS. Flight was vectored directly over a heavily defended Iraqi Republican Guard position. A/C tail cone was severed by AAA (23 and 57MM).
Brilinski wanted to be a soldier from an early age. But he didn't like killing: "Even when there was a mouse, he would scare it away instead of killing it," says his mother.
Laid to rest German Cemetery - Sanborn Township, Michigan
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