NBC News Event
NBC NewsWire—NBC NewsWire via Getty ImagesNBC News’ Brian Williams watches a video segment during the Teacher Town Hall

The news anchor claimed on a broadcast that his NBC News crew rode a helicopter hit by an RPG in 2003

Williams said in a news segment last Friday that soldiers rescued his NBC News team after their helicopter was hit by an RPG. The anchor told the story as part of a public tribute to the soldier who allegedly saved their lives, whom Williams took to a hockey game at Madison Square Garden last week. During the game, a picture of the two was displayed on the Jumbotron as an announcer retold the story of the soldier saving Williams.

But an independent investigation by military newspaper Stars and Stripes suggested that Williams’ version of the story was untrue. Soldiers present at the event said that Williams was in a different helicopter an hour behind those that were shot down. “No, we never came under direct enemy fire to the aircraft,” said Sgt. Joseph Miller, a flight engineer on the helicopter carrying Williams.

“It was something personal for us that was kind of life-changing for me. I’ve know how lucky I was to survive it,” said Lance Reynolds, a flight engineer who did come under fire. “It felt like a personal experience that someone else wanted to participate in and didn’t deserve to participate in.”

When asked about the incident by the paper, Williams apologized and said he confused the details of the incident. “I would not have chosen to make this mistake,” Williams said. “I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”

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