3rd July
It was on this day...
1988 US Warship Shoots Down Iranian Airliner

Almost 300 died on the Iranian Airbus 300, a passenger airliner. The USS Vincennes, a warship, believed it was an F-14 fighter.

The plane was flying from Bandar Abbas, in Iran, to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The 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.

President Reagan told the Iranians that the Vincennes had taken "a proper defensive action", although he regretted the loss of life.

Admiral 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.

An hour earlier, the Vincennes had been engaged in a gun battle with three Iranian gunboats, after a helicopter from the Vincennes was fired on.

US warships were tasked to keep the Straits of Hormuz open during the Iran-Iraq war and was escorting Kuwaiti tankers at the time.

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