Is Shane Patton Based on a Real Soldier? What Happened to Him?

In the biographical war filmLone Survivor,’ many lives are at stake as a group of Navy SEALs decides to secretly enter Afghanistan’s war zone to confront Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. The 2013 film, directed by Peter Berg and based on a novel by Marcus Luttrell, the only survivor of the mission, follows four soldiers as they undertake a difficult journey in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province. Apart from them, there are many soldiers behind the scenes trying to keep in constant touch with them and preparing to reach the location for help if they need it. One such soldier is Petty Officer Second Class Shane Patton.

From the very beginning, Patton is determined to make an impression on his seniors, but no one feels he’s experienced enough to go for the mission. They make him dance around for entertainment, which he takes in good humor, all for a chance to contribute somehow. He even gives a moving yet funny speech right before they head for the mission. When the four soldiers are in desperate need of help, Patton feels grateful for having a chance to serve his country and joins a 16-member rescue team in excitement.

Who Was Shane Patton?

Born on November 15, 1982, in San Diego, Shane Patton was always good at everything he did. He played many sports and wanted to be a Navy SEAL like his father. He graduated from Boulder City High School, which taught him a lot about discipline, hard work, and the importance of being in a team through basketball. He graduated in 2000 and soon enlisted in the Navy in 2001. He wanted to be good at everything he did and felt the need to fight for his country. Those who knew him remember him as someone whose laugh was infectious and had a very pleasing personality.

Image Credit: Greg Peters/Universal Pictures

During his time in Afghanistan, he participated in combat operations and was the most eager to help his fellow teammates. Shane cared about everything and everyone and put all his efforts into training. His friend claimed that Shane joined the Navy with a lot of confidence, knowing that he’ll be good at what he does. Another friend of Patton, Joel Pepper, felt that Patton getting a prominent role in the 2013 film was amazing because there are many other stories still untold. “If you really look at how many people died that day, there are really five or six people that have real roles in the movie that died,” said Pepper.

How Did Shane Patton Die?

On June 28, 2005, Shane Patton, along with the others who were part of the Quick Response Team aboard an MH-47 Chinook helicopter, were killed by a rocket-propelled grenade. After receiving a call from Lieutenant Michael Murphy, the team preparing rescue operations at the base knew things were critical in the area. The team, comprising 16 members, still decided to take the trip to rescue four of their Navy SEALs from an active war zone, as a result of which enemy forces attacked them. When their helicopter was shot down, none of the passengers survived.

Image Credit: Greg Peters/Universal Pictures

In total, apart from this 16-member team, which included Shane, 19 of them died that day. This includes Danny Dietz, Michael Murphy, and Matt Axelson, who were all in Luttrell’s team. The mission to rescue the four Navy SEALs was undertaken over a very rugged terrain with the possibility of enemy fire. Luttrell himself later claimed that he did not know about the helicopter being shot down while he was in hiding and learned about losing more of his teammates much later. Nevertheless, Shane is now remembered as a veteran of the war on terrorism, who was reportedly also the second person to board the helicopter. Shane is survived by his parents, and his brothers Jimmy, Dean and Chase.

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