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On the 3rd. of July 1988 a missle shot from navy vessel USS Vincennes hit the Iranian Airliner. The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed and all 290 people on board, including 66 children, were killed. The jet was hit while flying over Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. The Navy crew of the ship had incorrectly identified the Airbus as an attacking F-14 Tomcat, while not been able to communicate with the aircraft. The Iranians claimed that the navy vessel shot down the airliner on purpose.
Some analysts blamed the captain of Vincennes, William C. Rogers III, for overly-aggressive behavior in a tense and dangerous environment. In the days immediately following the incident, U.S. President Ronald Reagan issued a written diplomatic note to the Iranian government, expressing deep regret.
After the hit from the missle the plane disintegrated immediately. The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were never found.