PERRY, OTHA LEE Name: Otha Lee Perry Rank/Branch: W2/US Army Unit: Quartermaster School (QMC), Training Advance Detachment, Training Directorate, MACV Date of Birth: 11 May 1941 (Memphis TN) Home City of Record: Detroit MI Date of Loss: 14 December 1971 Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 151835N 1081635E (BU090050) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: U21A Refno: 1783 Source: Compiled 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. Other Personnel in Incident: Dwight A. Bremmer; Floyd D. Caldwell; Gregg N. Hollinger; Cecil C. Perkins Jr.; John G. Boyanowski (all missing) REMARKS: R/R CONT LOST - SEARCH NEG - J SYNOPSIS: On December 14, 1971, CW2 Otha L. Perry, pilot; Capt. Cecil C. Perkins, co-pilot; LtCol. John Boyanowski, Capt. Gregg N. Hollinger, SP4 Dwight A. Bremmer and SSgt. Floyd D. Caldwell, passengers; were aboard a U21A aircraft (tail #18041), call sign "Long Trip 041, which was lost while flying an administrative mission from Phu Bai to Da Nang, South Vietnam. During the flight, about 15 miles northeast of Da Nang, the aircraft experienced an inflight emergency. The pilot reported that he had lost his number 2 engine, and had a fire. Within minutes after the emergency, both radio and radar contact was lost. The aircraft was never seen or heard from again. Search aircraft proceeded to the last known location of Long Trip 041, but inclement weather and poor visibility curtailed the search. Extensive searches were conducted for the next three days, but no trace of the aircraft or personnel was ever found. The personnel aboard the aircraft were declared dead, bodies not recoverable. Sixty days of case study was conducted before declaring these men dead. Early along in the war, pilots and crew members had been declared dead because circumstances seemed to dictate that was the case. Later, however, some of these "dead" pilots turned up in POW camps in North Vietnam, causing a serious effort to commence NOT to declare a man dead if there was a reasonable chance (with or without evidence) that he survived. It is pretty clear that Long Trip ditched. What is not clear from public record, however, is that the crew died. With no proof of death, no proof of life, their families are suspended in tortured uncertainty. Jessie Edwards, mother of Otha Lee Perry says, "He told me if anything happened not to give up looking for him...no matter how long it's been, I cannot." Perry had been a former Green Beret who was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg. He had received 15 major decorations for Vietnam Service, and had served in both South Korea and the Dominican Republic. Like the families of all the crew of Long Trip 041, Jessie Edwards will never give up hope. Many authorities have examined the thousands of reports relating to Americans still missing in Southeast Asia, and have come away with the conviction that hundreds are still captive in communist prisons there. It would be kindest to hope that the crew of Long Trip 041 died on December 14, 1971. If they didn't, what must they be enduring? What must they think of their country?