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 2020.


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.




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On January 18, 1964, a UH-1B Iroquois (tail number 62-01880) carrying five crew members took part in a tactical operation over South Vietnam. After making a firing pass on Viet Cong positions in the target area, the Iroquois experienced total rotor failure and crashed into the South China Sea. Two helicopters hovered over the crash site and sighted four to five personnel in the water. Each helicopter managed to rescue one man from the water. Another helicopter dropped life vests to the swimmers, but the survivors in the water were too weak to hold onto them. The survivors soon disappeared beneath the water, and were not seen again. An extensive search of the area was conducted, resulting in the recovery of the remains of a British wing commander who had been aboard the Iroquois. The other two men from the helicopterís crew are still unaccounted for.

Private First Class John Leroy Straley, who joined the U.S. Army from Pennsylvania, was a member of the Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter Company, 145th Combat Aviation Battalion, and was a crew member aboard the Iroquois when it went down. He was not rescued following the incident, and his remains were not located. Today, Private First Class Straley is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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