DURAND, Ill. — A Durand native whose courageous combat was illuminated in the book “Black Hawk Down” has died.

The Rockford Register Star reports that 64-year-old retired Sgt. Maj. James McMahon died Nov. 5. A cause was not listed.

The 16-year veteran Army Ranger was aboard one of two Black Hawk helicopters shot down by rocket-propelled grenades in Somalia in August 1993. The book by Mark Bowden introduces McMahon by describing his face as so battered and cut that “he looked like he was wearing a fright mask” as he pulled the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

McMahon was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for valor.

McMahon retired in 2002, worked as a defense contractor and was a special operations instructor at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, since 2013.