Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Swings From The Gallows! Remember the USS Stark!

Stark listing following 2 hits by Iraqi Exocet missiles

Finally, justice is done for the Sailors of the Stark!

I may be a paranoid, conspiracy theorist but I always thought Saddam took a cheap shot at our fleet in the Gulf back when he was supposed to be our ally!! I was not in the Gulf when this went down, I believe we (USS Enterprise) were working up for our 88 Gulf tour at the time...........

Here is a description of the incident from Wikipedia!

"Stark was deployed to the Middle East Force in 1984 and 1987. The ship was struck on May 17, 1987, by two Exocet antiship missiles fired from an Iraqi Mirage F1 fighter during the Iran-Iraq War. The fighter had taken off from Shaibah at 20:00 and had flown south into the Persian Gulf. Shortly after being routinely challenged by the frigate around 22:10, the fighter fired two Exocet missiles. The frigate did not detect the missiles, and both struck without warning. The first penetrated the port-side hull; it failed to detonate, but spewed flaming rocket fuel in its path. The second entered at almost the same point, and left a 3-by-4-meter gash—then exploded in crew quarters. Thirty-seven sailors were killed and twenty-one were injured.
Stark listing following 2 hits by Exocet missiles

Afire and listing, the frigate was brought under control by its crew during the night. The ship made its way to Bahrain where, after temporary repairs by the tender USS Acadia (AD-42) to make her seaworthy, she returned to her home port of Mayport, Florida, under her own power. The ship was eventually repaired at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi for $142 million.

This has been called the U.S. Navy's deadliest peacetime disaster before the gun turret explosion onboard the battleship Iowa.

Because the U.S. and Iraq were not at war at the time, the attack was likely not authorized. According to Iraqi officials, the pilot who attacked the Stark was not punished. Though American officials believed he had been executed, journalist Robert Fisk, in his book The Great War For Civilisation, quotes an ex-Iraqi Air Force commander who says the pilot is still alive.

1 comment:

Harold said...

I have written a book about the U.S. military in the Persian Gulf during the years 1987-1988. It includes all the events from Stark through Vincennes, including Operation Praying Mantis which was America's largest sea battle since WW2.