Mine holes USS Sa­muel B Roberts in Ara­bian Gulf

The National - News - The Review - - Time Frame -

The 1980s were a tu­mul­tuous decade in the Mid­dle East, with the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) in par­tic­u­lar in­flam­ing ten­sions and lead­ing to the deaths of hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple.

The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity was also in­volved. One of these in­ter­ven­tions was Op­er­a­tion Earnest Will – a United States at­tempt from 1987 to 1988 to pro­tect Kuwaiti-owned tankers from Ira­nian at­tacks in the Ara­bian Gulf.

In this pho­to­graph, from April 15, 1988, we can see the crip­pled USS Sa­muel B Roberts be­ing towed to shore by a Kuwaiti minesweeper. The US frigate struck an Ira­nian mine on April 14 in the cen­tral Ara­bian Gulf. The ex­plo­sion blew a huge hole in the side of the ship and it was towed to Dubai and then to Maine, on the US eastern seaboard, for re­pairs.

The US re­tal­i­ated with the fierce one­day Op­er­a­tion Pray­ing Man­tis on April 18. Marines, ships and air­craft de­stroyed Ira­nian oil plat­forms and a frigate.

The USS Sa­muel B Roberts, mean­while, re­turned to ser­vice in 1989 and was de­ployed in Op­er­a­tion Desert Storm to as­sist in ex­pelling Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

John Den­nehy

Time Frame is a se­ries that opens a win­dow into the na­tion’s past. Read­ers are in­vited to make con­tri­bu­tions to [email protected]­ational.ae

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