The National Geographic Channel launches No Man Left Behind on Tuesday with an episode called “The Real Black Hawk Down.” You can watch the first 4:40 in the video below.
The six-episode series uses interview and reenactment to tell the stories of modern war heroes and special agents who overcame the odds to survive in some of the most hostile environments on earth.
The premiere episode tells the extraordinary true-life story of the downing of two Black Hawk helicopters during a deadly battle in Mogadishu between U.S. special forces and Somali militia, an incident that inspired a best-selling book and feature film. Reunited for the first time on camera, the pilot of the downed helicopter and two of the soldiers involved in the battle recount the intense details of one of the most horrific scenes in U.S. military history since the Vietnam War.
Former U.S. Ranger Randy Ramaglia, former U.S. Ranger Keni Thomas and former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant describe their terrifying battle for life in the 1993 operation gone horribly wrong.
The show airs Tuesday 6/28 at 9/8c on the NatGeo Channel.
Check out descriptions of the other five episodes below.
2. Colombia Vice
Premieres Tuesday, July 5, at 9/8c
It’s 1982, and America’s war on drugs is in full swing. In Colombia, DEA agents Charlie Martinez and Kelley McCullough’s routine surveillance operation becomes a mission to stay alive when they are ordered to go after drug kingpin Rene Benetiz. Kidnapped from their hotel, they are driven into the jungle, where they are shot and separated while trying to escape. Martinez runs off to hide, assuming McCullough is dead. But in fact, McCullough manages to escape as well, and returns to the jungle to find his wounded partner. Martinez and McCullough reunite to recount the terrifying ordeal in heart-pounding detail.
3. To Hell and Back
Premieres Tuesday, July 12, at 9/8c
Six years into the Afghan War, a select group of U.S. Green Berets attempts a daring raid on a Taliban mountain stronghold in the infamous Shok Valley. Dropped into the bottom of the steep valley, they are lured into a deadly trap, ambushed and pinned down on a ledge by fire on all sides. Heavily outgunned and outnumbered, the Green Berets sustain serious casualties. Two of the soldiers involved in the battle share their unbelievable story of survival, recalling how, both severely wounded, they managed to hold off the enemy for seven hours until they finally evacuated the wounded and returned to safety.
4. The One That Got Away
Premieres Tuesday, July 19, at 9/8c
In a covert operation during the Gulf War, eight British Special Air Services soldiers are dropped 140 miles behind enemy lines to take out a network of Saddam Hussein’s Scud missile launchers. But the mission goes terribly wrong and within days, three men are dead and four are captured. Only one man escapes. British Special Forces operative and solider Chris Ryan shares his unimaginable and harrowing journey to freedom, walking 200 miles and surviving for eight days without supplies.
5. Stealth Bomber Down
Premieres Tuesday, July 26, at 9/8c
March 27, 1999, the Kosovo War — for the first and only time in military history, a state-of-the-art U.S. Air Force F-117 stealth fighter is shot down. Pilot Dale Zelko manages to eject, moments before his plane crashes. Deep behind enemy lines and hunted by hostile forces desperate to capture him, he spends seven tense hours pinned down in a dark ditch, while a daring helicopter rescue team races to find him first. Zelko opens up about the horrifying ordeal and his struggle for survival, and his rescue team recounts their harrowing effort — and duty — to bring him back to safety.
6. Memories of Hell
Premieres Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 9/8c
Lt. Charles Klusmann was the first U.S. Navy pilot to be shot down and captured during the Vietnam War; he was also the first to escape. Klusmann opens up about the reconnaissance mission gone wrong and his near-death journey to freedom. When his plane was shot down over central Laos, seriously injured, he endured three months of brutal captivity before engineering a daring escape. Klusmann recalls how he trekked over 25 miles and evaded recapture for over three days before being reunited with his comrades.