A 28-year-old soldier from Lightcliffe who showed ‘great courage in extreme danger’ while on duty in Afghanistan has been commended for heroic service.
Lance Corporal Daniel Goshawk was leading his men when he became engulfed in a firefight lasting more than an hour.
He serves with the Royal Logistics Corps and is based in Germany. It was during Operation Herrick last January that he showed great courage while under enemy fire, for which he has now received a Brigade Commander’s Commendation for Distinguished Service.
He found out about the commendation when he returned from exercises in Canada.
“It was quite a shock to come back from exercises in Canada to find it waiting there for me,” said LCpl Goshawk whose sister Natasha lives in Brighouse.
He was on patrol driving an army vehicle across the Western Dashte desert during a routine patrol when it came to a halt following an explosion. The patrol then came under heavy fire and LCpl Goshawk ordered his top cover to locate the enemy fire. But, with a colleague covered in dirt and sand and in a state of shock from another round of fire, LCpl Goshawk took over the job, engaged the enemy and radioed for support.
He then identified and engaged two insurgents who could have destroyed the vehicle and its occupants. As the patrol came under further attack, LCpl Goshawk noticed a family cowering behind a wall and immediately called a cease fire from all his troops to enable the family to move to a safe area.
The brave soldier then identified the enemy position but was unable to take a clean shot so called up an Apache Attack helicopter which destroyed the enemy.
Finally the patrol was able to continue its mission to deliver vital stores to troops on the front line.
LCpl Goshawk said it was the worst day of his tour in Afghanistan but his Army training kicked in.
“My sole focus was the protection of the men in the vehicles. Fear was not a factor at the time - that came afterwards when we were back at base,” he said.
“When the enemy is shooting you, you have to get the rounds back.”
LCpl Goshawk, a father-of-one, is due to marry his German fiancee this year. He is based in Gutersloh.
His mum Susan lives in Northowram, his dad Mark in Mirfield and his brother Richard in Ovenden, Halifax.