A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, August 03, 2009

Speicher Found/Identified

LtCdr. Michael Scott Speicher, of VFA 81, who was shot down over Iraq on the night of January 16, 1991, has been found. On August 2, 2009, the US Navy announced that his remains had been positively identified.

LtCdr Speicher was the first casualty of Operation Desert Storm. His F-18 Strike Fighter aircraft was shot down by a surface to air missle during the first manned air strike near an area known as Wadi Thumayal. Other intelligence gathering indicated his jet was shot down by a MiG-25 flown by Lt. Zuhair Dawood, 84th squadron of the IQAF. LtCdr. Speicher was declared "Killed-In-Action/Body-Not-Recovered" in May 1991. His status was changed in 2001 to MIA, and then to Missing/Captured in 2002 based on reported sighting in Iraq. Those sightings have since been discredited.

Acting on information provided by an Iraqi citizen in early July, US Marines stationed in Al Anbar Province went to a location in the desert which was believed to be the crash site of Captain Speicher's jet. The Iraqi citizen stated he knew of two Iraqi citizens who recalled an American jet impacting the desert and the remains of the pilot being buried in the desert. One of these Iraqi citizens stated that they were present when Captain Speicher was found dead at the crash site by Bedouins and his remains buried. The Iraqi citizens led US Marines to the site and they searched the area. Remains were recovered over several days during the past week and flown to Dover Air Force Base for scientific identification by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner. Positive identification was made by comparing Captain Speicher's dental records with the jawbone recovered at the site. The teeth are a match, both visually and radiographically.

He apparently was not captured, died at the crash site, and was buried by Bedouins. May God rest his soul and heal his family.



Anonymous Fox said...

Atleast they have closure now. He'll be remembered by those who knew him as a hero.

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless and many thanks LtCdr.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Bgg said...

I was not aware about the classification change from KIA to MIA and back. What a terrible emotional roller-coaster that must have been for the family.

A true hero...

11:51 AM  
Blogger Huey148 said...

rest in piece, I hope his family can finally put this behind them.

The fact that the Bedouins buried him there makes sense considering the Muslim practice of burying the dead on the same day before sundown.

I am glad he went out this way and not after years of torture and abuse at the hands of the Iraqi army.

12:20 PM  
Blogger R Ryan said...

God bless you LtCdr. Speicher. May you rest in peace and may the Lord console your family.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Carl H said...

God bless.

And a hat tip to the Iraqi folk's who led the Marines to him.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous DBC said...

There is a good degree of closure with Spike's remains being returned to his family, but...
many of the details of the cause of death and the discovery of his remains are being misreported/suppressed. There will be more to this story that will disappoint many Americans.


1:42 PM  

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