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Service Saturday for aviator

| August 6, 2004 12:00 AM

A Troy man declared missing in action when his plane was shot down in Vietnam in 1972 will be given a funeral with full military honors on Saturday, Aug. 7, at the Troy Cemetery.

Graveside services for Lt. Col. Randolph A. (Larry) Perry Jr., U.S. Air Force, are scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

Perry, 35, was a navigator on a B-52 bomber hit by a surface-to-air missile over Hanoi during the 1972 Christmas bombing campaign. His plane was one of six B-52s shot down out of nearly 100 that bombed North Vietnamese targets on the night of Dec. 20-21.

Two of the six men on Perry¹s plane bailed out and were captured. The rest remained missing but presumed dead.

Perry¹s unidentified remains were turned over to the United States by Vietnam in 1985. Advances in DNA technology made positive identification possible in 2003.

A full honor guard from Fairchild Air Force Base, including a chaplain, pallbearers, a flag handler and a bugler, will participate in the services for Perry. A B-52 bomber is scheduled to perform a flyover during the ceremony.

Perry was born on June 17, 1937, in California to Randolph and Hope Mayfield Perry. He came to Troy with his family in 1939 and graduated from Troy High School with the Class of 1956.

He attended college briefly before entering the Air Force, later becoming an officer and serving multiple tours of duty overseas.

He was the recipient of several distinguished service awards and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

Survivors include sons William Perry of Fresno, Calif., and Troy Perry, Olympia, Wash.; sisters and brothers Janet Pearson, Troy, Susan Jones, Grants Pass, Ore., James Perry, Fresno, Calif., and Gary Perry and Sharon Perry, both of Tucson, Ariz., and four grandchildren.