Vietnam War, Asia
How did F-4s mistake U.S. ships for North Vietnamese targets?
Here's What You Need to Remember: Simple courtesy should demand that pilots tasked to missions over water should be trained to identify the difference between an American heavy cruiser and a North Vietnamese patrol boat (or helicopter for that matter). At the very least, pilots operating over water in the same area as friendly surface vessels should have had a sense of the danger implicit in launching...
Read this story at The National Interest