On 3–4 October 1993, 19 U.S. servicemembers were killed and many more wounded in the Battle of Mogadishu—a raid on a Somali marketplace to capture two lieutenants of warlord Mohamed Farrah Hassan Aidid that went horribly wrong. United Nations Operations in Somalia had been ongoing since early 1992 in an effort to stabilize the region wracked by civil war, but the fallout from the mission, chronicled in Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, ultimately led to the reevaluation of the United Nations Operation in Somalia and to the eventual discontinuation of that international intervention. The instability and civil war there have been ongoing ever since.
Recently, the U.S. Naval Institute found a cache of more than 400 long-forgotten digital images from that mission in its photo archive. These early digital images, transmitted out of Somlia via INMARSAT satellite transmission terminals, were later compiled onto a CD album and distributed by the Department of Defense. A selection of these images, recovered with their full descriptions, are presented here online as close in their appearance as they would have originally been presented in 1994.