Specialist Jeffery A. Conn was the medic on top of Shal Mountain during an eight day battle to control the summit. Conn earned the Silver Star for his actions on the mountain. The men of Bastard Company 2-27th Infantry Regiment decided to finally take the mountain after insurgents used it to attack two Bravo convoys. The climb began on October eighth. A dozen men ran up the mountain to start constructing an outpost, but Conn and the rest of the platoon didn’t arrive until three days later, fighting all the way up the mountain with the platoon’s heavy weapons and special equipment. The night of October 11th when the outpost was established the insurgents attacked hard to try to keep the Americans and their Afghan counterparts from digging in.
They closed within five meters of the perimeter and opened fire with 12 machine guns and RPGs. Conn began throwing grenades and initiating claymores. When the platoon was ordered to collapse the perimeter Conn saw RPGs strike the platoon’s MK-19 and rushed in to aid the wounded. Conn’s actions are credited with preventing the southern flank from collapsing and saving the lives of 30 defenders. October 12th, the main attack again came at night. After the opening salvo Conn realized the platoon’s radio was unmanned and rushed over to send reports to HQ. Then he saw the enemy maneuvering into the outpost and Conn immediately moved to a nearby 60 millimeter mortar tube, put it in direct fire mode, and engaged the fighters killing 12 of them. Another US soldier struck two insurgents with a TOW missile. One of these men was the enemy commander. October 13th, the enemy launched it’s strongest attack after a funeral for their dead commander. Mortar and machine gun fire rained down onto the base striking the northern flank and wounding eight defenders.
Conn ran over and tended to the worst casualty, then engaged the enemy with grenades before popping smoke and pulling the wounded back to the collection point. He was able to stabilize all of his patients and once again Conn was credited with preventing the collapse of the flank. Late in the evening an air ambulance tried to evacuate the wounded. The flight medic, Staff Sergeant Cowdrey, was struck by the rotor blade from the helicopter while bringing in casualties. Conn stabilized him before loading the other wounded. He kept the injured medic alive while waiting for another medevac. Unfortunately, Cowdrey later died of his wounds. October 14th first platoon was getting relived, but while the platoon sergeant was supervising the removal of equipment ten suicide bombers ran in under machine gun and sniper cover fire. Conn made a circuit around the platoon to check for wounded. He moved to the mortar pit to help fire on enemy and threw grenades when he could. Between Conn and the platoon sergeant’s M-4, all the suicide bombers were killed before they could breach the perimeter. The enemy soon began retreating. In total during the Battle of Shal Mountain 115 enemy fighters were confirmed killed.
The US only lost two men thanks to the efforts of Specialist Conn. Like, share, and comment below. Be proud of the fighting never give up spirit of the men like Specialist Conn who have more than earned their title “Doc”..
As found on Youtube