Scott Speicher is still missing

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Scott Speicher is still missing

Michael Scott Speicher (born July 12, 1957) was a U.S. Navy pilot whose F/A-18 Hornet fighter was shot down the first day of Operation Desert Storm on January 17, 1991; since this time there has been no evidence of either his existence or his death. There has been much controversy over the possibility that he might have survived and been taken prisoner by Iraq. His uncertain status was referred to by George W. Bush in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly of September 12, 2002 as part of his case for war against Iraq.

At the end of the Gulf War, Speicher was listed as “killed in action”. In January 2001, the Secretary of the Navy changed his status to “missing in action”; according to Scott Ritter, this was “the first time the Pentagon ever made such a reversal”. His status was changed again, to “missing/captured”, on October 11, 2002, one day after the United States Congress authorized the use of military force in Iraq.

His possible situation became a more high-profile issue in the build-up to war. In March 2002, the Washington Times ran five successive front-page articles about it and on September 12, 2002 U.S. President George W. Bush mentioned Speicher in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. A lieutenant commander when shot down, he has been promoted to captain in his absence.

As of 2005, despite U.S. military control of Iraq and a major investigation on the ground in there, Speicher’s whereabouts have yet to be discovered. Though there has been a great deal of intelligence gathered, including Speicher’s E & E (Escape and Evade) sign left on the desert floor near the crash site along with the discovery of a flight suit believed worn by Speicher at the time of his crash, Speicher himself is still missing. While many believe he perished, no proof has been found of his death.

Memorials and dedications

The Florida State University has named their tennis center after Speicher, an avid tennis player and FSU graduate.

In effort to honor Speicher an American air base has been named after him in Tikrit, northern Iraq.

Reference

“Missing in Iraq” by Scott Ritter in the June 2004 issue of Harper’s (p.75-77).

External links

Free Scott Speicher – website of the Friends Working to Free Scott Speicher group.

POW Network – Bio on Scott Speicher, with information relating to his service.

National Review Online – Cmdr. Robert E. Stumpf on Speicher

National Alliance of Families For The Return of America’s Missing Servicemen – website with links to news articles on Speicher. Currently outdated.

INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT OF THE LIEUTENANT COMMANDER SPEICHER CASE – CIA Report on Speicher’s case.

The Only U.S. Soldier Still Unaccounted for in Iraq

US Army SGT Keith Matthew “Matt” Maupin

(13 July 1983?)

was captured by Iraqi insurgents on April 9, 2004 while serving in the Iraq after his convoy came under attack by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire near Baghdad, Iraq. On June 28, 2004, Al Jazeera reported he was executed by his captors who shot him in the head. On June 30, 2004, an Army spokesman said the video showing Maupin’s alleged death was “totally inconclusive.” [1]

Biography

Born on July 13, 1983 in Batavia, Ohio, Maupin was a 3.5 grade-point-average student and football player at Glen Este High School in Union Township, Clermont County, Ohio. He graduated in 2001 and enrolled in the University of Cincinnati Aerospace Engineering Program using a scholarship that Matt received from winning a writing competition. In 2002 Matt joined the United States Army Reserve and was stationed with the 705th Transportation Battalion based in Dayton, Ohio.

Maupin began basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and continued on to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for training as a Motor Transport Operator (88M). By the time he had completed training in Spring of 2003, the 705th Transportation Battalion had deployed to Iraq so Maupin was assigned to the 643rd Area Support Group out of Whitehall, Ohio.

While fulfilling his monthly obligations as a reservist, Maupin worked at Sam’s Club warehouse store and continued courses at the University of Cincinnati. In November 2003 Maupin was transferred to the recently mobilized 724th Transportation Company based out of Bartonville, Illinois. Maupin and the 724th arrived in Kuwait on February 20, 2004 and on March 5 proceeded to Camp Anaconda, Iraq to begin missions delivering fuel to various coalition installations.

On April 9, 2004, Maupin’s fuel convoy came under attack near the Baghdad International Airport. In what was described as a 5-mile long ambush, the 26-vehicle serial was pummeled by gunfire, mortar rounds and RPGs, disabling many of the civilian fuel tankers and Army vehicles. After the remnants of the convoy reached safe ground it was learned that around ten soldiers and civilian KBR contractors were wounded while one soldier and a civilian driver had been killed in the battle. PFC Maupin was among the nine people unaccounted for ? seven civilians and two soldiers. One of the missing civilian drivers, Thomas Hamill, had been taken hostage during the ambush and escaped his captors on May 2, 2004. The bodies of five other civilians and the second soldier were subsequently recovered (all are thought to have been killed in the ambush); Civilian driver Timothy Bell remains missing.

Maupin is seen on this undated image made from a video broadcast by the Arab television station Al- Jazeera on Friday, April 16, 2004. Maupin appeared alert and unhurt. AP/AlJazeera Photo.

On April 16, 2004, Maupin appeared on a videotape broadcast by the Arabic-language TV network Al Jazeera. The tape, reportedly delivered to the U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar, raised hopes that Maupin was still alive. In the video, the soldier identified himself as “Private First Class Keith Matthew Maupin”, a standard procedure followed by prisoners of war which protect their rights under the Third Geneva Convention.

On June 28, 2004, Al Jazeera reported that Maupin was executed by a group identifying itself as the Persistent Power Against the Enemies of God and the Prophet. The method of execution in the alleged report was a gunshot to the head.

Maupin has been promoted twice since he was declared missing in action, first from Private First Class to Specialist, and then to Sergeant. As of June 18, 2006 he is the only U.S. soldier still unaccounted for in Iraq.

 

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