Marines in the western Iraqi province of Anbar have found remains that have been positively identified as those of Navy fighter pilot Capt. Michael Scott Speicher, a Florida State alumnus who was shot down in the opening hours of the first Persian Gulf war in 1991.
Florida State named its tennis center, which opened in 1993, the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. Speicher was an avid tennis player as well as a member of Florida State’s swim team.
“Our hearts go out to the Speicher family. Although this is a sad time for them, we hope that these findings will help bring some resolution and comfort after so many years of hope that he would be found alive and come home,” said Florida State President T.K. Wetherell.
“His name will live on at Florida State, where we are honored to remember his heroism and courage.”
Speicher was the only American missing in action from that war, and “efforts to determine what happened to him after his F/A-18 Hornet was shot down by an Iraqi warplane on Jan. 17, 1991, had continued despite false rumors and scant information,” according to The New York Times (August 2, 2009).
He earned a degree in business administration at The Florida State University in 1980 and then enlisted in the Navy. At Florida State he met his wife, Joanne, of Fort Lauderdale, and they had two children.
Editor’s Note: Please note that Capt. Speicher was not a member of the FSU swim team as initially reported in this story in 2009.