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An artists depiction of the incident.

In the Persian Gulf on this day in 1988, the U.S. Navy cruiser Vincennes
shoots down an Iranian passenger jet that it mistakes for a hostile Iranian
fighter aircraft. Two missiles were fired from the American warship–the
aircraft was  hit, and all 290 people aboard were killed. The attack came
near the end of the
Iran-Iraq War, when U.S. vessels were in the gulf
defending Kuwaiti oil tankers. Minutes before Iran Air Flight 655 was
shot down, the Vincennes had engaged Iranian gunboats that shot at
its helicopter.

Iran called the downing of the aircraft a “barbaric massacre,” but U.S.
officials defended the action, claiming that the aircraft was outside the
commercial jet flight corridor, flying at only 7,800 feet, and was on a
descent toward the Vincennes. However, one month later, the United
States acknowledged that the airbus was in the commercial flight
corridor, flying at 12,000 feet, and not descending. The U.S. Navy
report blamed crew error caused by psychological stress on men
who were in combat for the first time. In 1996, the U.S. agreed to pay
$62 million in damages to the families of the Iranians killed in the attack.       


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posted by Bob Karm in Actors,AIRCRAFT,ANNIVERSARY,Aviation disaster,Battle,BIRTHDAY,Continental Army,CURRENT EVENTS,DEATH,HISTORY,Independence,Singers and have No Comments

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