Tongo Tongo Ambush: Bravery Under Fire

By Ethan Cole on
 September 15, 2023

On October 4th, 2017, eight heavily armed pickup trucks left a small village, the beginning of the infamous Tongo Tongo Ambush.

This ominous event took place in a shadowy corner of Niger, the homeplace of elusive IS leader Dundu Shefu.

An Unavoidable Encounter

Like a wolf pack stalking its prey, the soldiers advanced with vigilance, navigating their way through the treacherous terrain. Little did they know that danger was already upon them.

They became the hunted, victims of an ambush that turned a simple search operation into a battlefield.

Ambushed and Outnumbered

Under the leaden African sky, an eruption of gunfire shattered the silence.

As the ambush unfolded, our valiant Green Berets and their African counterparts found themselves outnumbered, engaged in a David versus Goliath standoff. Michael Perazzini and Brent Bartles, the shepherds of the squad, expertly coordinated their forces, bearing the weight of their soldiers' lives on their shoulders.

Overrun, But Never Surrender

Against the surmounting enemy forces, the team faced an uphill battle. Three Green Berets - Brian Black, Jeremiah Johnson, and Dustin Wright - were isolated and subsequently overrun. Like true warriors, they faced their fate head-on, choosing valor over fear.

A Desperate Stand

A shocking reality unfolded. Staff Sergeant La David Johnson, along with a handful of survivors, found themselves left behind. Taking a courageous stand, they returned fire, standing their ground with a spirit that refused to surrender. Their brave fight against an approaching wave of adversaries was a testament to the unyielding spirit of the soldier.

Alone, But Unyielding

La David Johnson, the team's mechanic, found himself alone. Outgunned and outnumbered, he chose not to run, standing firm against the storm of enemy fire. His heroic last stand was a testament to the indomitable will of the American soldier.

Watch the Tongo Tongo Ambush Unfold


The Aftermath

The Tongo Tongo Ambush claimed the lives of four Green Berets, four African soldiers, and a translator. Each of the fallen was posthumously awarded Medals of Valor, a testament to their heroism and selflessness on the battlefield. Johnson and Wright were awarded the Silver Star, while Black and Johnson received the Bronze Star.

Remembering the Heroes

Thousands attended the funeral of the fallen soldiers, offering their final salutes to the brave souls who laid down their lives in the line of duty. Their stories continue to inspire future generations, a reminder of the courage, sacrifice, and honor of our servicemen and women.

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