"On 17 June 1968, [HMAS] Hobart was in the vicinity of Tiger Island [map below] when she detected an aircraft approaching her from the vicinity of Cap Lay. Although the aircraft was evaluated as friendly it continued to close and fired a missile that struck Hobart amidships on her starboard side. The warhead passed through the main deck, seriously damaging several compartments, while the body of the missile passed through the outer skin of the after funnel before ending up in the forward funnel. In its passage the missile killed Ordinary Seaman R.J. Butterworth  [only one year in the navy] and wounded Able Seaman J.R. Parker and Ordinary Seaman R.F. Davidson.
As Hobart's crew raced to action stations a second and third missile hit the ship. The second missile entered the transom without detonating, destroying the gunner's store before breaking up in the engineer's workshop and penetrating the after seaman's mess.
The third missile hit the ship in the same area as the first, passing through one of the ship's fan spaces, the missile director equipment room and Tartar checkout room. Chief Electrician R.H. Hunt  was killed in this attack and several sailors injured.
...En route [Hobart's crew] begain clearing away debris, finding and collecting pieces of the missiles which were later identified as being of US origin. It transpired that Hobart was one of several ships mistakenly attacked by US 7th Air Force jets on the nights of 16-17 June..."
ROLL OF HONOUR ENTRIES
Ordinary Seaman Ray Butterworth. First to die from an American missile. (Photo courtesy Royal Australian Navy archives)
(Photo on left) holes in HMAS Hobart caused by US aircraft missile splinter damage.
(Map on left) Tiger Island. The vicinity in which Australia sailors on HMAS Hobart were killed by friendly American missiles (Photo and Map courtesy Royal Australian Navy archives)