Five days into the combat phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. Navy F/A-18s and an S-3B struck Saddam Hussein's prized presidential yacht, al Mansur (The Victor), in the port of Basra on the Shatt al Arab waterway.1 Local Shia would have seen a missile (a single AGM-65E laser-guided Maverick) streak in and hit the bridge of the vessel, turning much of the superstructure into a flaming wreck. Despite a direct hit and fires that burned unchecked for days, the massive pleasure craft stayed afloat.
Taking Out Saddam's Floating Pleasure Palace
Smart move or mindless destruction?
By Commander John Patch, U.S. Navy (Retired)