ⓘ List of combat losses of United States military aircraft since the Vietnam War

                                     

ⓘ List of combat losses of United States military aircraft since the Vietnam War

This is a list of notable fixed-wing military air combat losses since the end of the Vietnam War grouped by the year that the loss occurred. This list is intended for military aircraft lost due to enemy action during combat. For military aircraft lost due to accidental causes, refer to the list of notable incidents and accidents involving military aircraft. For civil aircraft losses, refer to List of accidents and incidents involving commercial aircraft.

                                     

1. 1983 Multinational Force in Lebanon

  • December 4 – An A-6 Intruder Bureau Number: 152915 and an A-7 Corsair II Bureau Number: 157468 were shot down while attacking Syrian armys SAM batteries in Lebanon in the mountains east of Beirut by Syrian 9K31 Strela-1 or Strela 2 infrared homing missiles. The pilot of the A-6, Lieutenant Mark Lange flying from USS John F. Kennedy, was killed; his Bombardier/Navigator, Lieutenant Bobby Goodman, ejected and was captured by Syrian soldiers. Lt. Goodman was held for 30 days before his release was facilitated by Jesse Jackson. Lt. Langes body was returned. From the USS Independence CV-62, the A-7, Commander Edward Andrews managed to guide his failing Corsair over coastal waters before ejecting; he was rescued by a Lebanese fishing boat and safely returned to the U.S. Marines.
                                     

2. 1986 Operation El Dorado Canyon

  • April 15 – An F-111F Aardvark Serial Number: 70-2389 was shot down by anti-aircraft artillery AAA over Libya. The pilot Major Fernando L. Ribas-Dominicci and weapon systems officer Captain Paul F. Lorence were killed. Major Ribas-Dominiccis body was returned to the US in 1989. Captain Lorences body was never found. He is still listed as killed in action, body not recovered KIA-BNR.
                                     

3. 1991 Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm

  • January 17 – An F/A-18C Hornet Bureau Number: 163484 was shot down by an Iraqi Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 in an air-to-air engagement. The pilot Lieutenant Commander Michael Scott Speicher of VFA-81 was killed but his body was not found until July 2009.
  • January 17 – An A-6E Intruder Bureau Number: 161668 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over western Iraq. The pilot Lieutenant Robert Wetzel and navigator/bombardier Lieutenant Jeffrey Norton Zaun were captured. They were released on March 3.
  • January 17 – An F-15E Strike Eagle Serial Number: 88-1689 was shot down by anti-aircraft artillery AAA. The pilot Major Thomas F. Koritz and WSO Lieutenant Colonel Donnie R. Holland were killed. Their bodies were recovered.
  • January 18 – An A-6E Intruder Bureau Number: 152928 was shot down by anti-aircraft artillery two miles from the Iraqi shore after dropping mines on a waterway linking the Iraqi naval base of Umm Qasr with the Persian Gulf. The USN package was engaged by ZU-23-2 ground anti-aircraft guns and Iraqi naval vessels. The pilot Lieutenant William Thomas Costen and navigator/bombardier Lieutenant Charlie Turner were killed. Their bodies were recovered.
  • January 18 – An OV-10 Bronco Bureau Number: 155435 was shot down by surface-to-air missile. The pilot Lieutenant Colonel Clifford M. Acree and observer Chief Warrant Officer Guy L. Hunter Jr. were captured. They were released on March 6.
  • January 18 – An F-4G Wild Weasel Serial Number: 69-7571 crashed in the Saudi Arabian desert after attacking Iraqi air defenses. An investigation found that a single enemy 23 mm anti-aircraft artillery AAA round had punctured the fuel tank, causing fuel starvation. The pilot Capt. Tim Burke and EWO Capt. Juan Galindez ejected over friendly territory and were rescued.
  • January 19 – An F-15E Strike Eagle Serial Number: 88-1692 was shot down by a V-750AK SA-2E surface-to-air missile. The pilot Colonel David W. Eberly and WSO Major Thomas E. Griffith were captured. They were released on March 6 and March 3 respectively.
  • January 19 – An F-16C Fighting Falcon Serial Number: 87-0228 was shot down by a 2K12 Kub SA-6 surface-to-air missile. The pilot Captain Harry Mike Roberts was captured. He was released on March 6.
  • January 19 – An F-16C Fighting Falcon Serial Number: 87-0257 was shot down by a S-125 SA-3 surface-to-air missile. The pilot Major Jeffrey Scott Tice was captured. He was released on March 6.
  • January 21 – An F-14A+ Tomcat Bureau Number: 161430 was shot down by a V-750AK SA-2E surface-to-air missile while on an escort mission near Al Asad airbase in Iraq. The pilot Lieutenant Devon Jones was rescued by USAF Special Operations Forces but the RIO Lieutenant Larry Slade was captured. He remained a POW until his release on March 3.
  • January 24 – An AV-8B Harrier II Bureau Number: 163518 was shot down by MANPADS. The pilot Captain Michael C. Berryman was captured. He was released on March 6.
  • January 31 – An AC-130H Spectre Serial Number: 69-6567 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile during the battle of Khafji. The entire crew of 14 were killed. Their bodies were recovered.
  • February 2 – An A-6E Intruder Bureau Number: 155632 was shot down by anti-aircraft artillery AAA. The pilot Lieutenant Commander Barry T. Cooke and navigator/bombardier Lieutenant junior grade Patrick K. Connor were killed. Connors body was recovered and Cookes body was never found officially listed as KIA-BNR.
  • February 2 – An A-10A Thunderbolt II Serial Number: 80-0248 was shot down by an Igla-1 SA-16 surface-to-air missile. The pilot Captain Richard Dale Storr was captured. He was released on March 6.
  • February 5 – An F/A-18A Hornet Bureau Number: 163096 crashed in the Persian Gulf. The pilot Lieutenant Robert Dwyer was lost over the North Persian Gulf after a successful mission to Iraq. Dwyer served in Carrier Air Wing 8 CVW-8. His body was never recovered officially listed as KIA-BNR.
  • February 9 – An AV-8B Harrier II Bureau Number: 162081 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. The pilot Captain Russell A.C. Sanborn was captured. He was released on March 6.
  • February 13 – An EF-111A Serial Number: 66-0023, callsign Ratchet 75, crashed into terrain while maneuvering to evade a missile fired by an enemy Mirage F1 fighter killing the pilot, Captain Douglas L. Bradt, and the EWO, Captain Paul R. Eichenlaub.
  • February 15 – An A-10A Thunderbolt II Serial Number: 78-0722 AAA ground fire 60 miles northwest of Kuwait city while attacking Republican Guard targets. Thought to have been engaged by SA-13 Gopher SAM. Pilot Lieutenant Robert Sweet ejected and made POW; released on March 6.
  • February 15 – An A-10A Thunderbolt II Serial Number: 79-0130 Hit by ground fire approx 60 miles northwest of Kuwait city while attacking Republican Guard targets. Thought to have been engaged by SA-13 Gopher SAM. Pilot Captain Steven Phyllis killed in action. Phyllis died while protecting his downed wingman 1st Lieutenant Robert James Sweet. Phyllis body was later recovered.
  • February 19 – An OA-10A Thunderbolt II Serial Number: 76-0543 was shot down by a Strela-1 SA-9 surface-to-air missile 62 nm North West of Kuwait city. The pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffery Fox call sign "Nail 53", was injured as he ejected, captured and held as a POW, until his release on March 6.
  • February 22 – An A-10A Thunderbolt II Serial Number: 79-0181 Wheels up, hard stick landing after being hit by a SAM. Captain Rich Biley brought 79-0181 in at King Khalid Military City, Forward Operating Location 1 where the CLSS team stripped it of parts, some sent to King Fahd International Airport, Main Operating Base for use on other birds, and then buried it in the desert. Biley was unhurt during the crash-landing.
  • February 23 – An AV-8B Harrier II Bureau Number: 161573 crashed when it failed to recover from a high angle dive during a night attack on a tank park in Ali Al Salem, Kuwait, possibly hit by AAA or a MANPAD. The pilot Captain James N. Wilbourn was killed and his body was later recovered.
  • February 25 – An AV-8B Harrier II Bureau Number: 163190 hit by MANPADS, crashed while trying to land at Al Jaber airfield, Kuwait. The pilot ejected safely.
  • February 25 – An OV-10 Bronco Bureau Number: 155424 was shot down by surface-to-air missile. The pilot Major Joseph Small III was captured and observer Captain David Spellacy was killed. Major Small was released on March 6 and Captain Spellacys body was recovered.
  • February 27 – An AV-8B Harrier II Bureau Number: 162740 was shot down by MANPADS. The pilot Captain Reginald Underwood was killed and his body was later recovered.
  • February 27 – An OA-10A Thunderbolt II Serial Number: 77-0197 crashed killing pilot Lieutenant Patrick Olson posthumously promoted to Captain after a reconnaissance mission over Kuwait on 27 Feb 1991, call sign Nail 51. Aircraft had been hit by surface-to-air missile and was attempting a landing at KKMC FOL in Manual Reversion after losing all its hydraulics, in extreme weather conditions and with only one engine.
  • February 27 – An F-16C Fighting Falcon Serial Number: 84-1390 was shot down by an Igla-1 SA-16 MANPADS. The pilot Captain William Andrews was captured. He was released on March 6.


                                     

4. 1995 Operation Deny Flight

  • June 2 – An F-16C Fighting Falcon Serial Number: 89-2032 was shot down by a Serb 2K12 Kub SAM NATO reporting name: SA-6 Gainful near Mrkonjic Grad, while on patrol over Bosnia. Its pilot Captain Scott OGrady ejected and later rescued by a USMC CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter on 8 June.
                                     

5. 1999 Operation Allied Force

  • May 2 – An F-16C Fighting Falcon Serial Number: 88-0550 was shot down by a Yugoslav SA-3 SAM. The aircraft crashed near Sabac, in a rural area of Serbia; the pilot survived and was subsequently rescued.
  • March 27 – An F-117 Nighthawk Serial Number: 82-0806 stealth ground-attack jet was shot down by a Yugoslav SA-3 surface-to-air missile during the Kosovo War; the pilot Lieutenant Colonel Dale Zelko survived and was subsequently rescued.
                                     

6. 2003–2011 Operation Iraqi Freedom

  • April 7, 2003 - An F-15E Strike Eagle Serial Number: 88-1694 was shot down over Tikrit. The pilot Eric Das and WSO William Watkins were killed. Their bodies were recovered.
  • April 8, 2003 – An A-10A Thunderbolt II Serial Number: 78-0691 was shot down over downtown Baghdad by an Iraqi Roland surface-to-air missile. The pilot survived.


                                     
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