List of U.S. friendly-fire incidents since 1945 with British victims

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Camera footage from a U.S. A-10, as it begins an attack on a British vehicle squadron, March 2003.

This is a list of friendly fire incidents by the U.S. Military on allied British personnel and civilians. The topic has become prevalent in British culture due to some recent incidents, and is often satirically portrayed in the media.[citation needed]

Korean War[edit]

Gulf War[edit]

War in Afghanistan[edit]

  • 5 December 2006: Royal Marine Jonathan Wigley's death was caused by gunfire from a U.S. F-18 aircraft.[4]
  • July 2007: British Guardsman Matthew Lyne-Pirkis, of the Grenadier Guards, was wounded along with three other allied soldiers of the Afghan National Army after being hit by gunfire from a U.S. Apache helicopter gunship.[5]
  • 23 August 2007: A bomb dropped by an F-15 killed three soldiers of the Royal Anglian Regiment and wounded a further two.[6] During the subsequent inquest, issues such as inadequate communication equipment and incorrect coordinates from a British forward air controller were raised.[7] The coroner finally stated it was down to the "flawed application of procedures" rather than individual errors or "recklessness".[8]
  • 21 December 2009: 7 British soldier were fatally shot by a US helicopter crew in Afghanistan who thought they were attacking an enemy base. Gunfire from the helicopters left 11 injured on the ground.[9] The coroner criticised the British commanders for the fact Patrol Base Almas was not marked on military maps, for the 'unprofessional' use of grainy images and for insisting there were no friendly forces in the area to the Apache crew.[10]
  • 5 December 2010: Private John Howard was killed by American troops after soldiers called for backup. Private Howard is understood to have died as the low-flying pilot attempted to strafe an enemy target with cannon fire.[11][12]

Iraq War[edit]


  1. ^ "Friendly Fire on Hill 282". Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Friendly Fire Incidents (Hansard, 24 July 1991)". Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  3. ^ "Soldiers' Deaths (Gulf War) (Hansard, 19 May 1992)". Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  4. ^ "Pilot error led to marine death". BBC. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  5. ^ Kay, John (15 January 2008). "New friendly fire shock: Brit hit". London: The Sun. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 
  6. ^ "'Friendly fire' kills UK soldiers". BBC News. 24 August 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "'Grid mix-up' before Afghanistan 'friendly fire' deaths". BBC. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  8. ^ "'Flawed' actions led to fatal 'friendly fire' bombing". BBC. 26 April 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  9. ^ "Christopher Roney in US 'friendly fire' Afghanistan death". BBC News. 3 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Officers' errors 'killed soldier in friendly fire gunship attack': Coroner condemns 'unprofessional' use of grainy images from drone aircraft
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Two die as Patriot missile takes down RAF jet". Stars and Stripes. 24 March 2003. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Pilot 'dreamed of RAF career'". BBC News. 26 March 2003. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  15. ^ "The Iraq friendly fire incident". BBC News. 7 November 2003. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "'This is just a scene from hell'". BBC News. 6 April 2003. Retrieved 8 May 2010.