On May 17, 1987, the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Stark (FFG-31) was on patrol when it was struck by two Iraqi Exocet missiles in the midst of the Iran-Iraq War.
The missiles were fired from an Iraqi Dassault Mirage F1 by a pilot who thought the U.S. frigate was an Iranian tanker. “The first missile punched through the hull near the port bridge wing, eight feet above the waterline. It bored a flaming hole through berthing spaces, the post office, and the ship’s store, spewing rocket propellant along its path. Burning at 3,500 degrees, the weapon ground to a halt in a corner of the chiefs’ quarters, and failed to explode,” wrote Brad Peniston in his book No Higher Honor from the Naval institute Press. “The second missile, which hit five feet farther forward, detonated as designed. The fire burned for almost a day, incinerating the crew’s quarters, the radar room, and the combat information center.” Thirty-seven sailors died as a result of the missile strikes and the ship was sidelined for repairs for more than a year. #rip #usn #ussstark #ffg #perryclass #persiangulf #iraniraqwar #navy #military #remember #alwaysremember #veteran #shipmates #war #wartime #inremembrance #tbt #thursday #1987 #armedforces