Mayport Remembers USS Stark, 37 Killed in 1987 Iraqi Attack

An aerial view of the Naval Station Mayport, Florida (USA). In port are the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-60, left) and USS Constellation (CV-64). (Photo: U.S. Defense Imagery)
An aerial view of the Naval Station Mayport, Florida (USA). In port are the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-60, left) and USS Constellation (CV-64). (Photo: U.S. Defense Imagery)

Today the U.S. Navy is remembering the 29th anniversary of the Iraqi attack on the guided-missile frigate USS Stark at the base where the 3,900-ton ship was berthed — Mayport Naval Station.

While the ship was decommissioned in 1999, the Naval Order of the United States, North Florida Commander and Mayport's Second Class Petty Officer Association is hosting a service to honor the 37 sailors killed aboard the USS Stark during the attack May 17, 1987.

The USS Stark was in the middle of a six-month patrol in the Persian Gulf when it was hit by two missiles fired from an Iraqi fighter plane. The ship received basic repairs to mend the 10- by 15-foot hole in its port side, then returned home before an extended renovation in a Mississippi shipyard.

The U.S. Navy established a memorial park at Mayport on Aug. 1, 1987, dedicating the USS Stark monument.

Several members of the 1987 crew of Stark and family members of the fallen planned to attend Tuesday's service featuring accounts of some of the events that occurred following the attack on board the ship and at Mayport.

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