NBC News anchor Brian Williams on Wednesday admitted that he was not on a helicopter that hit with enemy fire during the Iraq invasion in 2003, a story he has told numerous times, including last week.
Williams blamed the error on the “fog of memory,” but as Stars and Stripes pointed out, the NBC anchor told a different story in 2007 than he did in 2015.
In a blog post on July 19, 2007 about General Wayne Downing, Williams recalled his experience aboard a helicopter during an RPG attack:
On one particular occasion, he talked me into going on a “day trip” with an Army Reserve Unit — a flotilla of four twin-rotor Chinook helicopters on a mission we couldn’t discuss. Each chopper carried a heavy section of a military bridge, flying slowly and at only 100 feet above the desert terrain.
Williams noted that a helicopter in front of his was hit:
Not long after Wayne’s warning, some men on the ground fired an RPG through the tail rotor of the chopper flying in front of ours. There was small arms fire. A chopper pilot took a bullet through the earlobe. All four choppers dropped their heavy loads and landed quickly and hard on the desert floor.
After Williams’ most recent account of the story, crew members on the 159th Aviation Regiment’s Chinook told Stars and Stripes that Williams was not on board the helicopter that was hit.
They said that Williams arrived an hour after the helicopter that was hit had landed. Williams did not specify in 2007 how far he was from the aircraft hit with enemy fire or when exactly the helicopter he was on landed.
Williams apologized on Wednesday for his error in a Facebook comment and then later on-air.
“I would not have chosen to make this mistake,” he wrote on Facebook. “I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”
Read Williams full response to his error here.