On that day, 1988, the USS Vincennes in the Strait of Hormuz shot down an Iranian Airbus A300 passenger plane in Iran territorial waters, killing 290 innocent men, women and children. Surprisingly, the usa military later honored the ship’s crew. The cruiser negligently shot down the aircraft, which was transmitting IFF squawks in Mode III, a signal that identified it as a civilian aircraft, and not Mode II as used by Iranian military aircraft. The event generated a great deal of criticism of the United States. In the days immediately following, President Ronald Reagan issued a written diplomatic note to the Iranian government, expressing deep regret, but never accepted the crime.