PERRINE, ELTON LAWRENCE Remains Identified 01/2010
Name: Elton Lawrence Perrine Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: Date of Birth: 06 January 1935 Home City of Record: Pittsford NY Date of Loss: 22 May 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 213300N 1063000E (XJ553835) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C Refno: 0706
Other Personnel In Incident: Kenneth F. Backus (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 30 June 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 2010.
SYNOPSIS: The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2), and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. The F4 was selected for a number of state-of-the-art electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around.
1LT Kenneth F. Backus and Capt. Elton L. Perrine were F4 pilots assigned a combat mission over North Vietnam on May 22, 1967. At a point near the city of Nam Dinh, their F4C aircraft was struck by enemy fire and crashed. Because of the probability that both men safely ejected from the crippled aircraft, they were both classified Missing in Action.
Who was piloting and who was co-pilot remained a myystery until 2005. Defense Department records indicate that both Backus and Perrine were pilots. Usually, one is coded as the rearseater and the other is coded as the pilot. During a conversation in Washington DC in May 2005, former POW Dave Gray stated Ken Backus was the backseater on this flight.
591 American Prisoners of War were released in Operation Homecoming in the spring of 1973, but Backus and Perrine were not. Thousands of reports have been received by the U.S. Government that indicate hundreds of Americans are still alive and held captive in Southeast Asia, yet the government seems unable or unwilling to successfully achieve their release. Policy statements indicate that "conclusive proof" is not available, but when it is, the government will act. Detractors state that proof is in hand, but the will to act does not exist.
Henry Kissinger has said that the problem of unrecoverable Prisoners is an "unfortunate" byproduct of limited political engagements. This does not seem to be consistent with the high value we, as a nation, place on individual human lives. Men like Perrine and Backus, who went to Vietnam because their country asked it of them, are too precious to the future of this nation to write them off as expendable.
During the period they were maintained missing, Elton L. Perrine was promoted to the rank of Colonel and Kenneth F. Backus was promoted to the rank of Captain.
|From: "roy edwardsen"
Subject: Recovered Remains Located and Identified
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 11:44:52 -0500
My name is Roy Edwardsen, from Northville N.Y. and I am a Viet Nam Vet U.S. Navy. In 1972 I purchased a POW bracelet and have worn it for 37 years. I contacted the family of my POW many years ago and they sent me a photo of him. The POW is Elton Lawrence Perrine, USAF, date of loss 5-22-67, dob 1-6-35, location Nam Dinh North Viet Nam. Yesterday I received notification from his brother that Elton Perrine's remains had been located and identified through DNA, there will be a memorial service at Arlington May 24, 10. I can't describe the feeling, after 37 years of looking at my bracelet never having had it off that the day has come. I would imagine you can verify this information through your contacts. Then you can update his status. Never give up I swore I would wear the bracelet until he came home and I did.
Heights woman wore bracelet for Vietnam MIA whose remains were recently identified; plans to attend Washington, D.C. memorial with family May 24
Friday, March 12, 2010
By Ben Baird, Press & Guide Newspapers
DEARBORN HEIGHTS -- Leave no man behind.
....After the identification of the remains of Col. Elton Lawrence Perrine in January, one more lost soldier has come back. ......
ARLINGTON, Va. - When Col. Elton Lawrence Perrine of Pittsford, N.Y. was laid to rest Monday at Arlington National Cemetery, 43 years after he was shot down over Vietnam, his family and friends finally experienced a sense of closure......