TERRY, ORAL RAY
|Name: Oral Ray Terry
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Date of Birth: 25 January 1945 (Lenzburg IL)
Home City of Record: Mascoutah IL
Date of Loss: 03 May 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 102535N 1062137E (XS489258)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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 2017.
SYNOPSIS: PFC Oral R. Terry was a radio operator/seaman aboard a maintenance
boat. On May 3, 1968, the craft was on a damage control mission on the Ham
Luong River in South Vietnam. On the mission, Terry's job was radio guard.
About 4:45 a.m. a splash was heard by two members on the boat. They did not
investigate. PFC Terry was to have awakened his relief at 5:00 a.m., but his
relief awakened himself at 0700 hours. He did not question why Terry had
failed to awaken him.
Normal activities were carried on the remainder of the day until
mid-afternoon, when the crew noticed that Terry was not present. A search of
the area was conducted without success. Terry was a non-swimmer, and was
last seen wearing a flak jacket and a steel helmet. Because there was no
proof that Terry died, he was classified Missing in Action.
591 American Prisoners of War were released in 1973, but nearly 2500
remained missing, prisoner or unaccounted for. 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.
Whether Oral R. Terry survived to be captured is not known. Whether he is
among those believed to be still alive today is uncertain. What cannot be
questioned, however, is that America has a moral and legal obligation to
secure the freedom of those who may still be illegally held by the communist
governments of Southeast Asia. It's time we brought our men home.