At 0115hrs on April 5th 1991 the harbour was hit by a British Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) armed with a 20 kiloton nuclear warhead. The attack was in response to US nuclear attacks against Canada and the United Kingdom.
The weapon exploded at the mouth of the harbour and the blast consumed the entire wharf. Two US Navy ships were obliterated along with the port facilities and much of the surrounding area. Estimates made some years later speculated that around ten thousand people were killed either at the port or in the surrounding areas.
Three US Navy warships had set sail just a matter of hours before the missile hit and were bound for Iceland in an attempt to disrupt Commonwealth shipping across the Atlantic. Among them was the USS Robert E. Peary whose crew later mutinied.