Documented Coalition Losses in the III Persian Gulf War

As of April 18th, 2003


Supplement from Col. David Hackworth writing in May 24, 2003

Col. Hackworth says almost all kills/damage result of RPG; accuses US DOD of hiding loss/damage because DOD wants to push 20-ton family of AFVs capable of being transported rapidly by air [estimated 4 versus 1 M-1 in C-5; 2-3 vs 1 M-1 in C-17; 1 versus none in C-130]. Many analysts have also been wondering how US Army can justify light AFVs to replace heavy ones when casualties would have been much heavier in Iraq had light AFVs been used.


Tom Cooper []


Air Forces and Air Arms



- not all data about the units were confirmed so far;

- SMAF = small arms fire

- W/o = written off

- RTB = returned to base



19th March:


-          MH-53 Pave Low III, USAF; hard landing inside Iraq; helicopter destroyed, crew and passengers “self-recovered”;

-          AH-64, 11th Aviation Brigade, US Army; hard landing inside Iraq; helicopter and crew recovered; non-combat related accident;

-          CH-46, USMC; crashed in Kuwait, 12 KIA; non-combat related accident;


20th March

-          2 Sea King ASaC.Mk.7s; NAS 849; collided, 7 KIA;

-          AH-64, 11th Aviation Brigade, US Army; hard landing inside Iraq; helicopter and crew recovered; non-combat related accident;


23rd March

-          Tornado GR.Mk.4; shot down over southern Iraq by US Army PAC-3 Patriot SAM; crew of two confirmed KIA;


24th March

-          AH-64D 99-5135, 11th Aviation Brigade (C Company, “Vampires”, 1-227 Attack Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cav Division), US Army; damaged by RPG-7 and landed in the field near Karbala, Iraq; crew captured;

-          AH-64D, 11th Aviation Brigade, US Army; damaged by RPG-7 and SMAF; RTB, but probably w/o;

-          AH-64, 11th Aviation Brigade, US Army, damaged by RPG-7 and SMAF; RTB;


26th March

-          Phoenix UAV, ZJ300, British Army; shot down near Basrah;

-          Phoenix UAV, ZJ393, British Army; shot down near Basrah;


27th March

-          RQ-1B Predator UAV, 95-014, USAF; shot down over Baghdad;


29th/30th March

-          AH-64, unit unknown, US Army; crashed in “brown-out” conditions, probably w/o; crew OK; non-combat related accident;

-          UH-60, US Army; damaged by crashing AH-64; helicopter and crew fate unknown; non-combat related accident;

-          UH-60, US Army; crashed in brown-out conditions; crew fate unknown; non-combat related accident;

-          OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, 11th Aviation Brigade, US Army; damaged by SMAF;

-          OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, 11th Aviation Brigade, US Army, damaged by SMAF;


30th March

-          UH-1N, HMLA-169/MAG-39, USMC; crashed in southern Iraq; 3 KIA;

-          S-3B, VS-38/CVW-2, USN; rolled off deck after landing aboard USS Constellation; crew recovered; non-combat related accident;

-          AH-64, 1-3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd ID (Mech), US Army; crashed in “brown-out” conditions, w/o; crew (? Mike Carman and C.W. Cathy Jarret) recovered; non-combat related accident;


1st April

-          AV-8B, HMM-263 USMC; crashed during attempted landing aboard USS Nassau; pilot recovered; non-combat related accident;

-          F-14A, VF-154/CVW-5, USN; crashed due to engine malfunction during strike against enemy positions in southern Iraq; crew recovered; non-combat related accident;


2nd April

-          UH-60A, B Company 2nd Battalion 3rd Aviation Regiment, US Army; shot down by SMAF near Karbala; 6 KIA;

-          F/A-18C, VFA-195/CVW-5, USN; shot down by US Army PAC-3 Patriot SAM while on a bombing run against targets near Karbala; pilot Lt. Nathan “O.J.” White KIA;


4th April

-          AH-1W, HMLA-267/MAG-39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, USMC; crashed in southern Iraq; 2 KIA (Capt. Benjamin W. Sammis, Capt. Travis A. Ford); non-combat related accident;

-          Phoenix UAV ZJ402, British Army; shot down over Basrah;

-          Phoenix UAV ZJ417, British Army; shot down over Basrah;


7th April

-          F-15E, (Squadron unknown; reported not 336th FS) 4th FW, USAF; went missing over the Tikrit area (some claims say by truck-mounted Roland 2 or truck-mounted SA-3; sources close to USAF deny this F-15E to have been shot down by a SAM); pilot meanwhile declared KIA (name remains unknown), WSO MIA;


8th April

-          A-10A, 173rd FS/Miss. ANG, USAF; shot down by truck-mounted Roland 2 during attacks against target near the Baghdad International Airport; pilot recovered;

-          A-10A, USAF; heavily damaged by SMAF and MANPAD over Baghdad; aircraft and pilot (Capt. Kim “Killer Chick” Campbell) recovered;

-          CH-46E, USN; crashed in Eastern Mediterranean during VERTREP-operation for USS Truman; crew recovered;


14th April

-          AH-1W, HMLA-?/MAG-39, USMC, declared missing somewhere in central Iraq; crew should be OK; no other details known;





Ground Forces

Note: the total Iraqi and Arab media claims for US and British losses are for at least 70 M-1 Abrams and Challenger 2 tanks, and over 400 other US and British vehicles; the following list was compiled on the basis of photographic and written reports by open-source media;


US Army

-          1 M-1A1 Abrams by Hellfire from USMC AH-1W near Basrah; recovered;

     3 M-1A1 Abrams 3-7th Cav by Iraqi RPG-7 shots from the rear near Karbala; fate unknown;

-          1 M-1A1, probably 3-7th Cav, US Army; captured almost intact; date and place unknown (video released by Iraqi TV after the same battle near Karbala in which 3-7th Cav lost three M-1A1s, and together with the video of the M-9 captured intact);

-          2 M-1A1s of 3rd BCT/3rd ID (Mech) on 3 April; some 10km south of Baghdad; fate of crews unknown;

-          1 M-1A1 “Cojone EH”, 2nd BCT/3rd ID (Mech), on 6 April, during the raid into Baghdad downtown; set afire after RPG-7-damage to a fuel cell; wrecked by Coalition air strike; wreck recovered;

-          1 M-113A-3 (fitter’s vehicle) of 3rd ID (Mech), on 3 April; fate of crew unknown;

-          1 M-109A6 Paladin by ammo explosion; burned out;

-          1 M-9 (captured together with three M-1A1s of the 3-7th Cav);

-          there are claims for up to five M-2 and M-3 Bradleys being lost during the fighing so far, but none were confirmed by photographic evidence.






-          2 AAV-7s by Iraqi RPG-7 shots in an-Nassiriyah; both destroyed; number of casualties unknown (several other AAV-7s god bogged down in the mud or fell into irrigation ditches so far, but all were recovered);

-          1 AAV-7 of USMC on 1 or 2 April, place unknown; 1 KIA;

-          1 AAV-7 of 3-4 Marines on 7 April near Baghdad; 1 KIA;

-          1 M-1A1 fell from bridge when driver was shot by Iraqis; crew KIA; not recovered;

-          2 M-1A1s on 5 April, four kilometers south of Baghdad; two crew KIA, several injured;

-          1 M-1A1 2nd Tank Battalion/1st MARDIV near Sayyid Abd, on 6 April; disabled, crew fate unknown;


-          there are rumors about one LAV-25 of the USMC being destroyed as well; there is no confirmation except this blurred picture, which seems to be showing the “fitter’s vehicle” version that fell into a ditch (and was certainly recovered):



British Army


(with additional informations from Johann Price)


On 25th March a Challenger 2 from C Sqn, Queen’s Queen's Royal Lancers (part of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Battle Group) has got the turret and glacis severely damaged when another Challenger 2 attached to the Black Watch Battle Group mistakenly engaged it in the middle of s series of night contacts with Iraqi forces
along the Shatt-al-Basra canal. The driver and tank commander were killed, but the gunner and loader while seriously injured are recovering.

On 28th March a Scimitar CVR(T)s from D Squadron of the Household Cavalry Division (attached to 16th Air Assault Brigade) was destroyed in a daylight blue-on-blue engagement by a USAF A-10 on a road along the Shatt-al-Arab, north-west of ad-Dayr. One British soldier was killed and four wounded.


A picture of a Challenger 2 with a damaged track was published, and there are also reports about a Warrior or Scimitar AFV damaged after driving over an unexploded 60mm mortar shell.



The US Army and USMC also lost between 25 and 30 Hummer “jeeps” (including at least five by RPG-7s), as well as up to 20 different trucks so far. Also damaged was an US Army Patriot fire-control radar: this was hit by an AGM-88 HARM, fired from an USAF F-16C on a patrol over southern Iraq, when the radar established a lock-on on the fighter.


So far no losses of Coalition vehicles are known to AT-14 Kornet ATGMs, although delivery of 200 rounds and 12 launchers to Iraq by Syria (in autumn 2002) was now confirmed. Except the one M-1 that fell into the Euphrates River after the driver was shot while crossing the bridge, no M-1s were destroyed to direct enemy fire so far. All the losses of M-1 MBTs initially occurred to RPG-7/16 hits into the engine compartment, open turret hatches, or fuel cells: in most cases, tanks were abandoned and left to burn out; in one case a tank was set afire and then hit by Coallition air. The Iraqis probably captured a total of seven M-1A1s – of which only three were intact – so far, but it is questionable if they managed to tow any of them away, due to the lack of time and heavy equipment needed for such tasks: certainly, one of the burned-out M-1s initially captured by the Iraqis (“Cojone EH”) was later confirmed as recovered by US Army.

Dozens of other Coalition vehicles, especially M-1A1 Abrams MBTs, were damaged by Iraqi fire, foremost by RPG-7s, but not disabled.