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, a 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.