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A Sea Harrier FRS.1

On this day 16 April 1994

Published: 16 Apr 2014

On this day 16 April 1994 Sea Harrier shot down in Bosnia

Nick Richardson was a Sea Harrier pilot serving with 801 Naval Air Squadron aboard HMS Ark Royal in the Aegean. He was shot down over Gorazde, Bosnia, hit by a SA-16 shoulder launched surface-to-air missile fired by the Serbian Army while attempting to bomb two Bosnian Serb tanks on 16 April 1994.

Two Sea Harriers were guided onto Bosnian-Serb armour on the outskirts of Gorazde by SAS forward air controllers. These were stationed on top of the Hotel Gardina which has a commanding view of the town. The Sea Harriers, under the rules of engagement, were to make a low pass over the area to try and stop the armour advancing on the city. It was on this pass that Richardson's Sea Harrier FRS1, XZ498 was hit. 

Richardson ejected and landed in the Muslim held lines of the city. He was later handed over to the SAS team in the city. They and the pilot subsequently escaped and evaded and were picked up by a French forces Puma. 

He wrote of his experience in the book ‘No Escape Zone’ by Nick Richardson.


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