This criticism of Williams makes no sense to me:
That’s partly because his fake anecdotes made it seem like he was trying to claim the bravery of other people who really did come under fire. After all, one of the Chinooks did get hit by an RPG. The story Williams told was theirs, not his.
Lance Reynolds, who was the flight engineer on the helicopter that got hit with the RPG, told Stars and Stripes, “It was something personal for us that was kind of life-changing for me. I know how lucky I was to survive it.” For Reynolds, the incident was “a personal experience that someone else wanted to participate in and didn’t deserve to participate in.”
If two aircraft took ground fire and two didn’t, the reason for the variance likely has very little to do with the personal bravery of any of the pilots or occupants. Everyone involved was lucky to survive; the occupants of the helicopter that got hit, but also the occupants of the helicopters that didn’t take direct fire despite being in the same formation or on the same flight path. In other words, everyone was a “participant,” whether their helicopters were hit or not.