STRALEY, JOHN LEROY Name: John Leroy Straley Rank/Branch: E3/US Army Unit: US Army Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter Company, US Army Support Group, Vietnam Date of Birth: 18 May 1939 Home City of Record: Beaver Falls PA Date of Loss: 18 January 1964 Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 095652N 1064925E (XR700836) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1B Refno: 0028 Other Personnel In Incident: Bryford G. Metoyer (missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 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 1998. REMARKS: AC IN SEA - 3 RECVD - NOT SUBJ - J SYNOPSIS: 1Lt. Bryford Metoyer was the pilot and PFC John L. Straley was the co-pilot of a UH1B helicopter flying a tactical operation over South Vietnam. The helicopter made a pass into some enemy positions, then experienced a tail rotor failure and crashed over water. The operation was being conducted along the shoreline of the South China Sea in the Kien Hua Province region. Three of the crew were rescued or recovered, and a search for Metoyer and Straley was conducted for about 10 days with no results. Metoyer and Straley are listed among the missing because their remains were never found to send home to the country they served. For their families, the case seems clear that they died on that day. The fact that they have no body to bury with honor is not of great significance. For other who are missing, however, the evidence leads not to death, but to survival. Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports received relating to Americans still held captive in Indochina have convinced experts that hundreds of men are still alive, waiting for their country to rescue them. The notion that Americans are dying without hope in the hands of a long-ago enemy belies the idea that we left Vietnam with honor. It also signals that tens of thousands of lost lives were a frivolous waste of our best men.