Mock Iranian Carrier Claimed to Be Set for Movie About Downing of Iran Air Flight 655

Photo by Al-Alam

Photo by Al-Alam

Lights, camera, mock aircraft carrier.  We posted the other day about a strange mock Nimitz aircraft carrier apparently under construction in an Iranian shipyard.  The Iranian-owned Al-Alam News Network is reporting that the mock-up is being built for a film titled “Airbus,” about the 1988, downing of civilian passenger plane Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes.  The film is reported to be a joint Iranian-Canadian production, being co-directed by Nader Talebzadeh and Paxton Winters and will star both Iranian and American actors, most prominently Sean Ali Stone, the son of American filmmaker Oliver Stone.  It is unclear what role a mock aircraft carrier would play in the account of the shooting down of the passenger plane by a US guided missile cruiser.

Iran Air Flight 655 was on scheduled service from Tehran to Dubai on July 3, 1988, flying over Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, when it was shot down by the US Navy guided missile cruiser, USS Vincennes.  290 passengers and crew, including 66 children, were killed in the attack. Even though the plane’s transponder was operating, identifying the plane as a civilian aircraft, the personnel aboard the USS Vincennes, Ticonderoga-class Aegis guided missile cruiser, mistook the Iranian Airbus A300 for an attacking F-14 Tomcat fighter plane.

The US later paid $138 million in reparations for the attack but never admitted responsibility.  The officers and crew of the Vincennes were all awarded Combat Action Ribbons for completion of their tours in a combat zone. Lt. Cmdr. Scott Lustig, the air-warfare coordinator, received the Navy Commendation Medal.  In 1990, William C. Rogers, captain of the ship at the time of the attack, was awarded the Legion of Merit “for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer … from April 1987 to May 1989.”

The USS Vincennes was decommissioned in 2005 and scrapped in 2011.

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8 Responses to Mock Iranian Carrier Claimed to Be Set for Movie About Downing of Iran Air Flight 655

  1. DAVID RYE says:

    IRAN AIR 655 – It is now being claimed that the Iranians actually organised the downing of PA103 in revenge?

  2. Rick Spilman says:

    There is an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to summarizing PA 103 conspiracy theories. In addition to the Libyans who were found guilty, there are theories involving Iranians, Syrians, Palestinians, the Mossad, the CIA, the IRA and the government of South Africa. Lots of conspiracy theories to choose from. None seem to have much evidence to support them, but that is what makes for good conspiracy theories.

  3. NavyDavy says:

    Medals awarded[edit]The men of the Vincennes were all awarded Combat Action Ribbons for completion of their tours in a combat zone. Lustig, the air-warfare coordinator, received the Navy Commendation Medal, often given for acts of heroism or meritorious service, a not-uncommon end-of-tour medal for a second tour division officer. According to the History Channel, the medal citation noted his ability to “quickly and precisely complete the firing procedure.”[5] However, in 1990, The Washington Post listed Lustig’s awards as one being for his entire tour from 1984 to 1988 and the other for his actions relating to the surface engagement with Iranian gunboats. In 1990, Rogers was awarded the Legion of Merit “for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer … from April 1987 to May 1989.” The award was given for his service as the commanding officer of the Vincennes, and the citation made no mention of the downing of Iran Air 655.[34] The Legion of Merit is often awarded to high-ranking officers upon successful completion of especially difficult duty assignments and/or last tours of duty before retirement.
    The above from Wikipedia.
    Not sure why you mentioned the awards given to the skipper of the Vincennes and it’s crew. Our Sailors are deploying for 6-9 months defending our country and keeping the sea lanes open. Away from their families and friends, families who for the most part are on food stamps. The Navy has been cut to pre WWI levels and these deployments will be longer in the future. Our Navy will keep those sea lanes open even with your negative innuendos.

  4. Rick Spilman says:

    The officers and crew of the Vincennes killed 290 civilians on a commercial airliner, including 66 children. Iran Air 655 was on a scheduled flight in Iranian airspace and the plane’s transponder was operating, identifying the plane as a civilian aircraft.

    The captain and senior officers should have been brought up on charges not given medals. Killing innocent civilians traveling on scheduled air flights is not OK. Handing out medals for negligence and incompetence dishonors the finest traditions of the Us Navy.

  5. NavyDavy says:

    The US Government has vigorously prosecuted military atrocities against civilians and would have done so in this case if there had been proof that the Vincennes had deliberately and knowingly shot down a civilian airliner.
    The Wicki article states that the ribbons/medals were not awarded for shooting down Iran Air flight 655.
    Unfortunately but typically you took the Anti American/ Anti Military stance and turned your excellent post into a political rant. Too bad.

  6. Rick Spilman says:

    Davy,

    Give me a break. If the captain of an Aegis missile cruiser cannot tell the difference between an F14 Tomahawk and a civilian airliner on a scheduled flight, he has no business being in command of the ship with such a high tech weapons system. If he is so negligent and incompetent that he slaughters 290 civilians, he should be held accountable for his actions, not given the Legion of Merit.

    To suggest that it is necessary to have “proof that the Vincennes had deliberately and knowingly shot down a civilian airliner” is mind numbingly stupid. A captain who runs his ship aground on a sand bar doesn’t get a free pass if there is no proof that he did it intentionally. Intent should not the standard of competence.

    The claim that the medals awarded to Rogers and the others “were not awarded for shooting down Iran Air flight 655″ is equally stupid. The medals were awarded for the tour of duty in which Flight 655 was shot down. Apparently you think the death of 290 civilians is not important enough to mention.

    And suggesting that I am un-American because I do not support the slaughter of innocent men, women and children is insulting, both to me and to all naval personal who do their jobs well. Defending the actions of those on the Vincennes dishonors the Navy, the nation and our most sacred principles.

  7. NavyDavy says:

    A minor point: It’s the F-14 Tomcat not the Tomahawk.
    In regards to my stupidity I find myself in the good company of the then Chief of Naval Operations, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of Defense and the Commander in Chief. Anyone of them could have caused the removal of the skipper from his command and initiated disciplinary action against the crew. That did not happen. One of these days “The rest of the story” will come out, it always does.
    Have a good day.

  8. Rick Spilman says:

    If you think that the slaughter of 290 civilians due the incompetence of the commanding officer is not the basis for the removal of that officer, that is all that need be said. The fact that others chose to engage in a cover up for political expediency is shameful, though sadly not unusual.

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