Pilot's Remains Found in Iraq After 18 Years

Speicher was first casualty of 1991 Persian Gulf War
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 2, 2009 7:14 AM CDT
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. His remains were found recently in Iraq.   ((AP Photo/US Navy Photo))
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(Newser) – The remains of the first American lost in the 1991 Persian Gulf War have been found in Iraq, the military said today. The disappearance of Navy Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher has bedeviled investigators since his fighter jet was shot down on the first night of the war. He was positively identified through a jawbone found at the site and dental records. Several Iraqis said they remembered the crash and that Bedouins had buried his remains.

The Pentagon initially declared Speicher killed, but uncertainty—and the lack of remains—led officials over the years to change his official status a number of times to "missing in action" and later "missing-captured." The 2003 invasion led to a number of leads, including what some believed were the initials "MSS" scratched into the wall of an Iraqi prison.