The Mystery of Missing Gulf War Navy Pilot Michael “Scott” Speicher Shot Down in 1991 is Over … Remains Identified in Iraq
The mystery of what happened to Michael “Scott” Speicher is over …
The 18 year mystery into what happened to missing US Navy Captain Michael “Scott” Speicher is finally over. Speicher was shot down on January 17, 1991, the very first night of the Iraq Gulf War, “Operation Desert Storm,” in his F/A-18 Hornet. Michael “Scott” Speicher was the first combat casualty for American forces in the war. From that point forward, his status and whereabouts remained a mystery, until today.
May Navy Captain Michael “Scott” Speicher finally rest in peace and his family have some form of closure.
Navy Capt. Michael “Scott” Speicher, the F/A-18 “Hornet” pilot who was shot down over Iraq on the opening night of Operation Desert Storm in Jan. 1991
The remains of Michael “Scott” Speicher have been positively identified according to the Pentagon by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. After more than 18 years of speculation as to if Speicher was dead or alive, had survived the crash, died, was MIA, died in captivity or was still alive and being held captive, the mystery is over. The remains recovered included bones, skeletal fragments and a jaw bone. Dental records were used to positively ID the missing Navy pilot.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Captain Speicher’s family for the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country,” said Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy. “I am also extremely grateful to all those who have worked so tirelessly over the last 18 years to bring Captain Speicher home.”
“Our Navy will never give up looking for a shipmate, regardless of how long or how difficult that search may be,” said Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations. “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Captain Speicher and his family for the sacrifice they have made for our nation and the example of strength they have set for all of us.”
According to CNN, an Iraqi civilian told US forces in early July 2009 about the location of the crash site of US Navy Captain Michael “Scott” Speicher. US forces then went to the remote Anbar province in Iraq and spoke to others who witnessed Bedouins burying Speicher’s remains in the desert after the crash.
A search of the area uncovered the remains, which were flown to Dover Air Base last week and positively identified as Speicher’s by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the statement said.
Recovered remains included bones and skeletal fragments, and positive identification was made by comparing Speicher’s dental records with a jawbone recovered at the site, the statement said.
He was originally listed as “Killed-In-Action/Body-Not-Recovered” in May 1991. That status changed in 2001 to “Missing in Action,” and then to “Missing/Captured” in 2002 based on sighting reports in Iraq. Those sightings have since been discredited.
A statement from Speicher family spokesman:
“The family’s proud of the way the Defense Department continued on with our request” to not abandon the search, she said. “We will be bringing him home.”
Laquidara said the family would have another statement after being briefed by the defense officials, but she didn’t know when that would be.
A statement from Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations:
“we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Captain Speicher and his family for the sacrifice they have made for our nation and the example of strength they have set for all of us.”
Update I: Michelle Malkin, R.I.P. We never forgot. We’ll never forget