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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Israeli pilot helmet found in Iraq
US soldier with machine-gun in Iraq
The helmet was recovered by US forces in Iraq
Israeli armed forces are investigating the discovery of an Israeli air force helmet in Iraq.

The helmet, reportedly found either at a Baghdad museum or at a memorial for Iraqi soldiers several weeks ago, was handed to the Israeli embassy in Jordan by US forces last week.

US military forces discovered the helmet next to a scrap of metal bearing the traditional blue Star of David insignia of the Israeli air force.

The helmet may come from one of four pilots shot down in the country during the Six Day War in 1967, Israeli National News website reported.

"Holding something like this in your hands makes you shiver," a senior official at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the site.

"You can actually see the blood stains."

Historical object

On the third day of the 1967 war, Israeli fighter planes were sent on a mission to attack an Iraqi airfield after intelligence reports said Egypt had called for an Iraqi air attack on Israel.

However Jordanian radar spotted the jets and alerted Iraqi forces, who attacked and shot down some of the planes.

Two pilots were killed in the air attack, while two others were captured but later released by Iraq. It is thought the helmet is from one of the pilots who died.

Surviving pilot Gideon Dror, now 61-years-old and a pilot for Israel's El Al airlines, told Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot the discovery meant little to him.

"I don't get sentimental about objects," he told the paper.

"That period did not leave me with any memories, for better or for worse. In fact, it's been totally erased from my memory."

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