Airman’s Remains Laid to Rest

The remains of Col. Elton L. Perrine, an airman missing in action since his F-4C Phantom fighter went down over North Vietnam on May 22, 1967, have been recovered and returned to his family, the Defense Department announced Wednesday. Last week, Perrine was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. A native of Pittsford, N.Y., Perrine and his crewmate Capt. Kenneth F. Backus had completed a nighttime strike against the Cao Nung Railroad Yard near the town of Kep when their aircraft was lost. Heavy anti-aircraft fire in the area prevented search and rescue attempts. Between 1999 and 2008, joint US-Vietnam teams excavated four sites, leading to the recovery of aircraft wreckage, human remains, and personal effects. Helping in the identification of Perrine’s remains was mitochondrial DNA recovered that matched that of Perrine’s mother. No remains connected to Backus were recovered.