What Reagan Did When Iran Assaulted a Navy Ship

“They must know that we will protect our ships, and if they threaten us, they will pay a price.”

With those words, President Ronald Reagan justified his approval of Operation Praying Mantis, a day-long engagement in which U.S. Navy and Marine forces delivered a powerful response to the Iranian assault of the USS Samuel B. Roberts. A hidden Iranian mine had struck the frigate in the open waters of the Persian Gulf on April 14, 1988. No sailors died, but several were injured and the ship was severely damaged.

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