Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gulf War Aircraft Losses

We sometimes forget that the Gulf War/Desert Shield/Desert Storm were part of the Cold
War era. Short lived though it was, there were losses that could not be considered any different or account for less. Any loss is felt by all, we grieve along with the family of the who gave their all.

Iraq lost a total of 259 aircraft in the war, 122 in combat. They lost 36 aircraft shot down in aerial combat during Desert Storm.[48] 3 helicopters and two fighters were shot down during the invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Kuwaiti claims to have shot down as many as 37 Iraqi aircraft have not been confirmed[49] In addition, 68 fixed wing aircraft and 13 helicopters were destroyed on the ground, and 137 aircraft were flown to Iran and not returned.[50]

The Coalition lost 52 fixed-wing aircraft and 23 helicopters during Desert Storm, with 39 fixed-wing aircraft and 5 helicopters lost in combat.[50] Only one Coalition fighter was lost in aerial combat, with Iraqi pilots making a second, more dubious claim.[51] The rest of the Coalition losses came from antiaircraft fire. The Americans lost 28 fixed-wing aircraft and 5 helicopters, the British 7 fixed-wing aircraft, the Saudis 2, the Italians 1, and the Kuwaitis 1. [52] In addition, during the invasion of Kuwait on August 2 1990 the Kuwaiti Air Force lost 12 fixed-wing aircraft destroyed on the ground, 6 helicopters shot down and 2 destroyed on the ground.[49]

Coalition losses to enemy fire

190 Coalition troops were killed by Iraqi combatants, the rest of the 379 coalition deaths being from friendly fire or accidents. This number was much lower than expected. Among the American dead were three female soldiers.

This is a list of Coalition troops killed by country.

Flag of the United States United States - 293 (113 by enemy fire, 145 in accidents, 35 to friendly fire)

Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom - 47 (38 by enemy fire, 9 to friendly fire)

Flag of Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia - 18 [63]

Flag of Egypt Egypt - 11[64]

Flag of the United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates - 6[65]

Flag of Syria Syria - 2[66]

Flag of France France - 2

Flag of Kuwait Kuwait - 1 (as part of Operation Desert Storm)[67]

Friendly fire

While the death toll among Coalition forces engaging Iraqi combatants was very low, a substantial number of deaths were caused by accidental attacks from other allied units. Of the 148 American troops who died in battle, 24% were killed by friendly fire, a total of 35 service personnel. A further 11 died in detonations of allied munitions. Nine British service personnel were also killed in a friendly fire incident when a USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II attacked a group of two Warrior IFVs.

These brave men and women deserve our honor and respect, our thoughts and prayers.

They also deserve the Cold War Victory Medal, when it is issued.

Jerald Terwilliger, Chairman

American Cold War Veterans, Inc.


  1. Not only this medal but I would think that there are others that could be awarded I mean after all we had a joint force fighting a NATO force fighting we did Humanitarian work as well and the list goes on! Also what about Artillery Combat Badge etc...?

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