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Operation Praying Mantis

IS Joshan - guided missile gunboat

The IS Joshan, (Combattante II Kaman-class fast attack craft,) challenged the USS Wainwright (CG-28) and Surface Action Group Charlie, firing a Harpoon missile at them. The USS Simpson (FFG-56) responded to the challenge by firing four Standard missiles, while USS Wainwright (CG-28) followed with two Standard missiles. The attacks destroyed the Iranian ship's superstructure but did not immediately sink it, so USS Bagley (FF-1069) fired a Harpoon of its own, which missed. The three ships of SAG Charlie closed on the Joshan, destroying it with naval gunfire. Fighting continued when the Iranian frigate IS Sahand departed Bandar Abbas and challenged elements of an American surface group.

French built Combattante II Kama similar to the Joshan.jpg

French built Combattante II Kama similar to the Joshan

Combattante II Kama
Another Combattante II Kama

Historical Perspective

Operation Praying Mantis is one of five American naval engagements cited by United States Naval Academy Prof. Craig L. Symonds in his book Decision at Sea (2005) as being decisive in establishing U.S. naval superiority. The others were the Battle of Lake Erie (1813), the Battle of Hampton Roads (1862), the Battle of Manila Bay (1898), and the Battle of Midway (1942).