Iran Air Flight 655

1988 airliner shootdown

Iran Air Flight 655 was an Iranian passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai. The aircraft was an Airbus A300 with 274 passengers and 16 crew members on-board. On July 3, 1988 the plane was shot down by the USS Vincennes in the Persian Gulf during the Iran–Iraq War.[1] At the time the Vincennes was exchanging fire with small Iranian gunboats.[1] During the skirmish, flight 655 took off from Bandar Abbas International Airport.[1] The airport was used by both civilian and military flights.[2]

Iran Air Flight 655
Iran Air Flight 655
Date3 July 1988
SummaryShot down by USS Vincennes
SitePersian Gulf
Aircraft typeAirbus A300B2-203
OperatorIran Air
Flight originMehrabad International Airport
Tehran, Iran
StopoverBandar Abbas Int'l Airport
Bandar Abbas, Iran
DestinationDubai International Airport
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Fatalities290 (all)

The Vincennes mistook the civilian aircraft for an Iranian Air Force Grumman F-14 Tomcat fighter on an attack run.[3] The Vincennes attempted to warn the aircraft several times but received no reply. However, the warnings were sent on a military frequency to a non-existent F-14 Tomcat.[3] The Airbus crew did not have access to those channels and would not have heard the warnings.[4] The Vincennes fired two missiles which both struck the fuselage of the plane.[5] All 290 occupants on-board were killed.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Max Fisher (October 16, 2013). "The forgotten story of Iran Air Flight 655". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  2. Alicia Perez (July 17, 2014). "6 Worst Civilian Airliner Shootdowns In The Last 40 Years". IBT Media Inc. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Shapour Ghasemi (2004). "Shooting Down Iran Air Flight 655 [IR655]". Iran Chamber Society. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  4. John F. Burns (December 4, 1988). "World Aviation Panel Faults U.S. Navy on Downing of Iran Air". The New York Times. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  5. "Airspace violations – Episode 8 – Iran Air Flight 655 shot down by USS Vincennes". The Aviationist. Retrieved February 8, 2017.

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