Name: Floyd Dean Caldwell npa
Rank/Branch: Staff Sergeant/US Army
Unit: 220th Aviation Company
11th Aviation Group
1st Aviation Brigade

Date of Birth: 15 August 1934 (Jonesboro, AR)
Home of Record: St. Louis, MO
Date of Loss: 14 December 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 151835N 1081635E (BU090050)
Click coordinates to view maps

Status in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: U21A
Other Personnel In Incident: Dwight A. Bremmer; John G. Boyanowski; Gregg N. Hollinger; Cecil C. Perkins Jr.; Otha L. Perry (missing)


SYNOPSIS: The Beech U21A was a low-wing, twin engine executive aircraft used primarily for liaison flights for staff-level personnel that served with the Pacific Air Forces in Vietnam. The US Army also used it as a personnel and light cargo transport before it was reassigned to Air America, the CIA airline in Southeast Asia.

On December 14, 1971, CW2 Otha L. Perry, pilot; Capt. Cecil C. Perkins, co-pilot; Lt. Col. John Boyanowski, Capt. Gregg N. Hollinger, SP4 Dwight A. Bremmer and SSgt. Floyd D. Caldwell, passengers; were aboard a U21A aircraft (tail #18041), call sign "Long Trip 041." They were conducting an administrative mission from Hue/Phu Bai Airfield to DaNang Airbase, South Vietnam, which was located 42 miles southeast of their base of departure.

The planned flight path was to take Long Trip 041 24 miles due east of Hue/Phu Bai into the Gulf of Tonkin, then the aircraft would make a 90 degree right turn and continue the remaining 19 miles into DaNang Airbase. During the flight, the aircraft experienced an in-flight emergency. CW2 Perry reported to ground control that he had lost his number 2 engine and had a fire. He gave their location and requested search and rescue (SAR) be launched in case they had to ditch. Within minutes after the emergency was declared, both radio and radar contact was lost with the U21A. By the time SAR personnel arrived at the aircraft's last known position, there was no sign of the U21A or its crew and passengers.

Due to inclement weather and poor visibility all search efforts were curtailed. However, extensive searches were conducted for the next three days, over water and the adjacent shore area, but no trace of the aircraft or personnel was ever found. The last known position placed Long Trip 041 approximately 7 miles east-northeast of Hon Son Cha Island, which is located 1 mile east of the tip of the Vung DaNang peninsula, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. At the time the formal search effort was terminated, Otha Perry, Cecil Perkins, Jon Boyanowski, Dwight Bremmer, Floyd Caldwell and Gregg Hollinger were listed Missing in Action.

Sixty days after Long Trip 041 disappeared, a case study of the loss incident was completed. After careful review, the board of inquiry determined the aircraft was lost at sea and the crew and passengers died in the mishap. Under the circumstances of loss, it was further determined the remains of all six men were probably not recoverable. At the conclusion of the hearing, the status of Otha Perry, Cecil Perkins, Jon Boyanowski, Dwight Bremmer, Floyd Caldwell and Gregg Hollinger was changed to Killed, Body Not Recovered.

While there is little doubt about the fate of the men aboard Long Trip 041, they do have a right to have their remains returned to their families, friends and country if at all possible. However, for other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, their fate could be quite different.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, over 21,000 reports of American Prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE American Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

Military personnel in Vietnam were called upon to under many dangerous circumstances, and were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.