PERRY, OTHA LEE
Name: Otha Lee Perry
Rank/Branch: W2/US Army
Unit: Quartermaster School (QMC), Training Advance Detachment, Training
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
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 2020.
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
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.