The remains of Captain Michael ‘Scott’ Speicher have been identified through dental records after 18 years. Read his biography, the tragic story, and find photos below.
Navy pilot Captain Michael ‘Scott’ Speicher is believed to be the first casualty of Operation Desert Storm, 1990-1991. Initially classified as killed in action, he was later re-classified as missing in action, then missing-captured. The tenacious Florida Senator, Bill Nelson, is attributed with convincing the U.S. Navy to change his status.
Speicher was shot down over west-central Iraq on Jan. 17, 1991. Hours later, Dick Cheney who was Defense Secretary at the time, stated on TV that Captain Michael ‘Scott’ Speicher was the first U/S. casualty of the war, known as Desert Storm, even though there were no signs of Capt. Speicher’s remains.
The missing Capt. Speicher has long remained a mystery.
In 2002, citing absence of evidence that Speicher had died his status was changed from killed to missing-captured.
In 2003, after the War on Terror began, investigators finally had a chance to search inside Iraq. Based on numerous leads, they came upon what is believed to be the initials of Capt. Speicher,” MSS”, scratched into a wall inside of one of the many Iraqi prisons.
Capt. Michael Scott Speicher’s family was notified yesterday, and today, Sunday, August 2, 2009, officials stated they received new information from an Iraqi citizen last month that lead the U.S. Marines to what was believed to be the crash site of Speicher’s jet in Anbar province. The citizen said he knew of two other Iraqi’s who remembered the crash,as well as the burial of Captain Speicher in the desert.
Read Adm. Frank Thorp said that the remains found were identified as Capt. Speicher’s via dental records and a jawbone.
The family of Michael Scott Speicher, including his now grown children, believed more evidence would surface as Iraq became more stable.
“The family’s proud of the way the Defense Department continued on with our request” to not abandon the search for the downed pilot, 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.
“My heart goes out to the family, again,” said Sen. Bill Nelson. “We all clung to the slim hope that Scott was still alive and would one day come home to his family.”
I think most of us held on to that hope, too. My sister, nephew, and brother in law wear combat boots. She was there from start to finish and beyond, and I know how difficult this has been for the vast majority of our Military. I simply cannot imagine being in the Speicher family’s shoes.
“This is a testament to how the Navy never stops looking for one of its own. No matter how long it takes,” Commander Cappy Surette, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy, told FOX News.
Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, added, “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.”
I can’t add a word to that statement.
God Bless the Speicher’s, our Military, and the U.S.A. After almost 20 years, the remains of Capt.Michael ‘Scott’ Speicher, who served our country and gave his life during Desert Sand and Desert Storm, have been identified. He will, at last, be “coming home”. Captain Speicher is the epitome of ‘hero’.