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August 2nd, 2009
12:55 PM ET

Remains of Navy pilot found 18 years later

The remains of the first American lost in the Persian Gulf War 18 years ago have been found and positively identified. 


Remains of missing Navy pilot found

Remains of missing Navy pilot found

Military officials say they belong to Navy pilot Michael “Scott” Speicher.  Speicher’s jet was shot down on the first night of the 1991 war.

They say tips from Iraqi citizens helped them find Speicher’s remains last month, buried in the Iraqi desert.

Speicher crashed with the rank of Lt. Commander.  Until his remains were found, it was unknown whether he was killed in the crash, missing in action or taken prisoner.

If someone is listed as POW/MIA, they remain eligible to advance in rank as they normally would while serving.  During the last 18 years, Speicher's rank was advanced to Captain.

What are your thoughts about this discovery?




Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. J.S Gray

    I work in Al nbar province with these same Marines who found this pilots body. I am proud to be an American yet another day serving our troops in Iraq. Being inbetween Afghanistan and Iraq for many years and to hear this type of news and being on the ground in Anbar makes you feel so good. As we all wish he could be alive; I am sure our fellow troops and his family back home have closure now knowing he is a good example of a true soldier. Hello to my parents back home in Sauk Centre Minnesota 🙂

    August 2, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  2. Betty Phillips

    How sad, I am happy that his remains have been found and he can be brought home to have his eternal rest, I am sure he would not have wanted to be so far from home and his loved ones. May God bless his soul and comfort all of his loved ones who have waited so very long for his arrival at home. May God bless all who have been touched by this brave soldier!!! Rest in Peace. Betty Phillips

    August 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  3. Terrance

    I am glad that LT. Speicher's remains have been found and identified. I was in highschool when he was shot down and I remember the strory in the news and on tv. I left home for Navy bootcamp a few months later and this year is my 18th year in service. Bravo Zulu to the Navy and all those invovled in his recovery and for remembering the core values of Honor , Courage and Commitment.

    August 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  4. Scott Nelson

    The next time you report on the newly found remains of the pilot PLEASE make a special effort to give credit to the Bedouins who were so respectful of our forces. They should be rewarded in some way. Please communicate this to the White House or Senator Nelson. This is a golden opportunity to win friends in the region. I believe that even financial reward should be extended to the tribe that acted so respectfully.

    August 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  5. J. Yates

    Please talk on air about how the healthcare plan will affect seniors. Will we continue to get the same coverage as we get under Medicare.

    Thank you.
    J. Yates

    August 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  6. Vince Carbino

    Bless this patriot, his family and those that never allowed him to be left behind or forgotten. It should also be celebrated that Iraqi citizens helped in this cause to help a family gain closure....

    August 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  7. Varanasi


    Please forward to: Please advise as to delivery to President Bush, today. Thankyou
    Mr. G HW Bush
    Dearest Mr President,

    At the announcement of the finding of the remains of Michael Scott Speicher,
    on the lands of Iraq,he the only know missing person in action from Desert Storm.
    We wish you much strength of wisdom and reflection of reconciliation.

    Our hearts go out to you as commander in chief. our hearts and thoughts go out to the family of Michael Scott Speicher.

    Please consider recommendation to rename your aircraft carrier in the name of
    Capt.Michael Scott Speicher,
    This would be a great honor to our American airmen/woman and
    all service men and women who have died for our country.
    You have an opportunity to do this on the upcoming remembrance day of the military deceased as authorized by congress just recently.

    Thank you for your service and guidance on behalf of the people of the United states of America.


    Sebastian, florida 32958

    August 2, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  8. Jason Remnet

    Just a slight suggestion/correction the picture of the Navy pilot Michael “Scott” Speicher that has been shown on TV is a Lieutenant. The rank worn is the same for all of the branches just the name changes for the Navy. Captain in the Navy is an 0-6 full bird but called a Colonel in the other branches of service except the Coast Guard. Aside from that having served and still serving myself over 20 years in the Navy and Army I'm glad his remains have been located and identified. Never forget especially our fallen comrades.

    August 2, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  9. william johnson

    I think we should bring him home and give me the respect that is due as a fallen soilder and leave it as that and not some other reason why we have to stay in Iraq any longer.

    August 2, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  10. Jannet Smith

    Please note that Michael Speicher was NOT a Captain in the Navy. He was a Lt. Commander. Navy ranks do not track the same as Air Force or Army. A Lt. Commander would be equivalent to an Air Force Major. In one picture of Commander Speicher it showed his uniform collar with the rank of a navy Lt (two silver bars).

    August 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  11. Mark

    wow, I remember hearing about this in the 90's, I'm so happy he was finally found. The question on my mind is why did this take so long? Why couldn't he be recovered after the gulf war, and why couldn't we get these tips when we controlled the country in 2003?

    August 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  12. Mike

    Wow-The Scott Speicher story breaking today…is every military family's worst nightmare. Thank you all military families!
    I just read, “You Are Not Forgotten,”, Henry Kissinger writes the foreword, it reveals a record of history during the 1970’s and the Vietnam War that I did not know...what the families of POW MIA's endured and what they accomplished.
    Thank god for Scott’s family…there are thousands of families still suffering, not knowing…let’s not forget them.

    August 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  13. scott Patrick

    There are thousands of families like the Speicher family still suffering, not knowing…let’s not forget them.
    The wives and mothers of Vietnem POW Mia's created The National League of Families, they petitioned the United Nations regarding the Geneva Conventions, and created the POW/MIA flag as their banner and motto. Their story is so inspiring, they are also American Heroes!
    The National League of Families, 40 years later, is still fighting...thank you to all the families of our POW/MIA!

    August 2, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
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