300 died on the Iranian Airbus 300, a passenger airliner. The USS Vincennes, a
warship, believed it was an F-14 fighter.
plane was flying from Bandar Abbas, in Iran, to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
USS Vincennes claims to have sent a warning message to the jet telling it to change
course, before launching two surface-to-air missiles, one of which hit the target.
Reagan told the Iranians that the Vincennes had taken "a proper defensive
action", although he regretted the loss of life.
William J Crowe junior, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Airbus
was 4 miles west of the usual commercial airline route and had not responded to
requests by the Vincennes to change course.
hour earlier, the Vincennes had been engaged in a gun battle with three Iranian
gunboats, after a helicopter from the Vincennes was fired on.
warships were tasked to keep the Straits of Hormuz open during the Iran-Iraq war
and was escorting Kuwaiti tankers at the time.