Just before 5 p.m. on April 14, 1988, the guided-missile frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) struck an Iranian M-08 naval mine while participating in Operation Earnest Will in the central Arabian Gulf.
The explosion blew a 21-foot hole in the side of the ship and nearly sank it. After the crew saved the ship and Roberts was towed to Dubai, Navy divers were sent to recover the remaining mines in the area. When the serial numbers on the mines were found to match those of mines seized from an Iranian minelayer the previous September, U.S. military officials planned a retaliatory operation against Iranian targets in the region. This led to the biggest surface-warfare battle since World War II, Operation Praying Mantis, 25 years ago today. (Reference: Operation Praying Mantis by Bradley Peniston)
The following video was released by Navy News shortly after the battle and recounts the events.
For more information on Navy History and Heritage visit, http://www.history.navy.mil/.