Warship Eilat Is Sunk

October 21, 1967

The Israeli destroyer INS Eilat is sunk in the Mediterranean in international waters off Port Said by Soviet-made missiles launched by Egyptian missile boats.
The Eilat originally was the HMS Zealous, a Z-class British destroyer during World War II. The United Kingdom sold the ship to Israel in 1955.
The Eilat saw action during the 1956 Suez Crisis, responding to Egyptian shelling of Haifa’s oil installations, and was active during the Six-Day War in 1967.
In July 1967 the Eilat encountered two Egyptian torpedo boats during a patrol north of Sinai. The Israeli warship gave chase and eventually sank both boats, but only after they reached Egyptian waters. Israel celebrating the double sinking, which was condemned in Egypt.
On October 21, a day after setting out from Haifa for a routine patrol under the command of Lt. Col. Yitzchak Shushan, the Eilat and its 199-man crew come under attack from Egyptian Komar-class missile boats within the harbor at Port Said. Two missiles strike the hull, which is almost cut in half. A fire breaks out in the center of the destroyer, and it sinks two minutes later. The attack kills 47 Israeli sailors and wounds more than 100 others.