22 March 1971 – 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. F-100 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 F-100 squadrons in the United States.
Captain Peter Gibney Moriarty, who joined the U.S. Air Force from Connecticut, was a member of the 615th Tactical Fighter Squadron. On March 22, 1971, he piloted a single-seated F-100 Super Sabre (tail number 3180, call sign “Blade 82”) on a combat mission against enemy targets in Laos (Savannakhet Province).
As Capt Moriarty made a pass over the target area, about 5 miles south of the city of Sepone, his aircraft was hit by ground fire, causing it to crash in the vicinity of (GC) XD 634 395. No parachutes emerged from the Super Sabre before it went down. Search and rescue teams were unable to investigate the crash area due to heavy enemy presence, Capt Moriarty was not seen again following the incident.
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 is among nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. Today, Captain Moriarty is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.