MORIARTY, PETER GIBNEY Name: Peter Gibney Moriarty Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: 615th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phan Rang AB SV Date of Birth: 15 July 1941 Home City of Record: Newington CT Date of Loss: 22 March 1971 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 163758N 1061359E (XD634395) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category:2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F100D Refno: 1732 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 May 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: When North Vietnam began to increase their military strength in South Vietnam, NVA and Viet Cong troops again intruded on neutral Laos for sanctuary, as the Viet Minh had done during the war with the French some years before. The border road, termed the "Ho Chi Minh Trail" was used for transporting weapons, supplies and troops. Hundreds of American pilots were shot down trying to stop this communist traffic to South Vietnam. Fortunately, search and rescue teams in Vietnam were extremely successful and the recovery rate was high. Still there were nearly 600 who were not rescued. Many of them went down along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the passes through the border mountains between Laos and Vietnam. Many were alive on the ground and in radio contact with search and rescue and other planes; some were known to have been captured. Hanoi's communist allies in Laos, the Pathet Lao, publicly spoke of American prisoners they held, but when peace agreements were negotiated, Laos was not included, and not a single American was released that had been held in Laos. Capt. Peter G. Moriarty was a pilot trained on the F100D Super Sabre fighter aircraft. The aircraft had first seen action in Southeast Asia in northwest Laos in May 1962. F100 operations in Vietnam began in 1965, and took part in Operation Flaming Dart, the first U.S. Air Force strike against North Vietnam in February of that year. Further deployments of the aircraft to the area left just five F100 squadrons in the United States. Various modifications were made to the aircraft affectionately called "Hun" or "Lead Sled" by its pilots and mechanics over the early years, gradually improving night bombing capability, firing systems and target-marking systems. The single-seat model D was good at top cover and low attack, and could carry a heavy load of munitions. Moriarty was attached to the 615th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Phan Rang Airbase in South Vietnam. On March 22, 1971, Moriarty was assigned a mission over Laos in Savannakhet Province. During the mission, about 5 miles south of the city of Sepone, Moriarty's aircraft was struck by hostile ground fire while over the target and exploded in a burst of fire. According to the Department of the Air Force, "evidence of death was received..on 23 May 1972 and [Moriarty's] status was changed to killed in action at the time of the incident." The nature of the evidence received is not specified, but Moriarty's remains were never recovered. Moriarty was listed as killed, body not recovered. He is among nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. The cases of some, like Moriarty, seem clear - that they perished and cannot be recovered. Unfortunately, mounting evidence indicates that hundreds of Americans are still captive, waiting for the country they proudly served to secure their freedom. In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears we abandoned some of our best men. In our haste to heal the wounds of this same war, will we sign their death warrants? Or will we do what we can to bring them home?