AURORA, CO, US
U. S. Army
SSG, CO E 160TH SPECIAL OPERATIONS AVIATION REGT AB), APO AP 96205
02/22/2002, NEAR BASILAN ISLAND, PHILIPPINES
February 22, 2002, Army Staff Sergeant James P. Dorrity died in an MH-47E Chinook crash during a training exercise off Negros Island in the southern Philippines. The Chinook is a long-distance, heavy-lift helicopter. SSG Dorrity was assigned to E Co, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. SSG Dorrity was one of eight Army and two Air Force members lost in the crash. SSG Dorrity and the Army personnel were members of the elite Night Stalker unit skilled for night vision specialty flight operations
He was part of a 660-member American force training Philippine soldiers to fight Muslim extremist guerillas. His 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment was featured in the well-known file “Black Hawk Down”. As a Flight Engineer, he had deployed with his unit to multiple locations across the Pacific Command in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
At the time of his death, thirty-seven year old James “Paul” Dorrity was from Goldsboro, North Carolina. But, he was also from Echo, Colorado. As the son of a military father he had lived in various places, but seemed to return to North Carolina for family gatherings and reunions. He was married with two children. Family members called him “Paul” and remember him as a man full of youthful energy and life. While he stayed connected to family members via phone and other media, he did not give any indications regarding his support to the global war on terrorism.
The Night Stalker’s acting commander said it best: “They represented all that was good in life and the tremendous cost of enduring our freedom. “