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1LT Laura Ashley Piper

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1LT Laura Ashley Piper

Birth
Colorado, USA
Death
14 Apr 1994 (aged 25)
Iraq
Burial
Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA GPS-Latitude: 39.0150922, Longitude: -104.8541951
Plot
Lot 6, row F, site 13
Memorial ID
View Source
Laura Ashley Piper
March 18,1969-April 14,1994

1st Lt. Piper was a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, class of 1992. She was fluent in German and Russian, ran track and played for the rugby team at the Academy. She was selected to attend flight school in 1995, already being flight qualified. After intelligence training at Goodfellow AFB, she was stationed at Ramstein AFB, Germany. From there, she was given a TDY assignment to Turkey for duty in Northern Iraq with "Operation Provide Comfort". This mission was aimed at supporting Kurdish refugees in the region. Unfortunately, she, along with 25 passengers and crew, were killed by "friendly fire" while flying on U.S. Army Blackhawk U-60 helicopters. The Army helicopters were attacked and shot down by two U.S. Air Force F-15s (of Incirlik AB) in the "no-fly zone" of Northern Iraq. Apparently, misidentifying the American helicopters as Russian made "Hinds", the pilots of the F-15s attacked and launched their missiles. Laura was the first female Air Force Academy graduate to be killed in combat and awarded the Purple Heart. Laura was interred in the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, Plot: Section 6, Row F, Grave 13.
Laura Ashley Piper
March 18,1969-April 14,1994

1st Lt. Piper was a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, class of 1992. She was fluent in German and Russian, ran track and played for the rugby team at the Academy. She was selected to attend flight school in 1995, already being flight qualified. After intelligence training at Goodfellow AFB, she was stationed at Ramstein AFB, Germany. From there, she was given a TDY assignment to Turkey for duty in Northern Iraq with "Operation Provide Comfort". This mission was aimed at supporting Kurdish refugees in the region. Unfortunately, she, along with 25 passengers and crew, were killed by "friendly fire" while flying on U.S. Army Blackhawk U-60 helicopters. The Army helicopters were attacked and shot down by two U.S. Air Force F-15s (of Incirlik AB) in the "no-fly zone" of Northern Iraq. Apparently, misidentifying the American helicopters as Russian made "Hinds", the pilots of the F-15s attacked and launched their missiles. Laura was the first female Air Force Academy graduate to be killed in combat and awarded the Purple Heart. Laura was interred in the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, Plot: Section 6, Row F, Grave 13.

Inscription

1st Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force, Class of 1992; Killed in Action, Friendly fire over Iraq, Love, Mom, 3 Dans and Sean


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  • Created by: David Goltry
  • Added: Aug 30, 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID:
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/151484200/laura_ashley-piper: accessed ), memorial page for 1LT Laura Ashley Piper (18 Mar 1969–14 Apr 1994), Find a Grave Memorial ID 151484200, citing United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA; Maintained by David Goltry (contributor 47177571).