Fighter pilot's helmet given to his family 36 years after his death

The helmet was found by a backpacker who shared a picture of it on social media.

Ophira Gori [R], widow of IAF pilot Daniel Gori who perished during an accident in 1984, being given the helmet of her late husband after it was found.   (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
Ophira Gori [R], widow of IAF pilot Daniel Gori who perished during an accident in 1984, being given the helmet of her late husband after it was found.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
The helmet of the late fighter pilot Daniel Gori, who died during a training mission in 1984, was returned to his widow Ophira and his daughter Dana on Wednesday, an IDF Spokesperson reported.
The helmet was found last weekend by a hiker who was walking in Nahal Paran in the Negev. The man took a picture of the helmet and shared it on Facebook after leaving it as he found it. In the post, he wrote that the name Gori was written on the inside of the helmet.
The Israeli Air Force sent a team to investigate the case and confirmed on Tuesday that the helmet did belong to Gori.
On Wednesday the helmet was returned to the family of the late pilot. The family decided to give the helmet to the Ramon Airforce base which serves Squadron 119. This was the airbase from which Gori and pilot Ilan Rosenthal embarked on their final mission.
Gori was drafted into the IDF’s pilot school in 1969 and graduated as a combat pilot, later joining the 119th Fighter Squadron. Throughout his service, he participated in a number of military operations and wars in the 1970s, including in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Following his release from conscripted service, Gori continued to play an important role in his reserve duty, serving as an instructor at the IAF pilot school, an emergency pilot and commander of the 140th Squadron.
On May 27, 1984, Gori, who was 32 at the time, was taking part in a training session with one of his students when his plane crashed. Gori and his student apparently failed to eject from the plane in time. He and his student, Ilan Rosenthal, perished.
In a press release, the IDF said that the effort to locate the remains of those who died during army service as well as those who are currently missing is an ongoing effort taken by the military and “part of the moral duty and the IDF values.”
The army is committed to “return to the hands of family members every shred of memory left by their loved ones,” the report concludes.
Dana wrote an emotional Facebook post on Sunday in which she slammed the hiker for leaving the helmet where he found it and taking selfies wearing it.
After he allegedly told her “it was there for 35 years, it’ll be there tomorrow” she wrote “I screamed at this man as I never screamed in my entire life.”
Her rage was due to the decision by the hiker to publish the finding on Facebook. “Then you tossed it back to the dessert sands and kept walking,” she wrote, “you got a like!”
She compared the man’s behavior to that of Israeli high-school students who tour the remains of the death camps used by the Nazis to murder the Jews in occupied Poland and take selfies.
She asked anyone reading her post that should they discover an item with such emotional worth, “take it to the nearest police station, the item will find its way to its final destination from there.”


Tags IAF family