Captain Otis Oscar Perkins
L-4 Grasshopper Pilot,
75th Joint Assault Signal Company
Missing In Action (MIA) over Okinawa Island
Otis Oscar Perkins was born on July 29, 1917 in Lawrence, Kansas. He enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as an aviation cadet and earned his wings. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with serial number O-374949.
On December 7, 1941 during the Japanese attack against Pearl Harbor and Oahu he was stationed at Hickam Field. Afterwards, assigned to the
75th Joint Assault Signal Company, Army Air Force as a liaison pilot flying the Piper L-4 Grasshopper in New Guinea, Philippines, Saipan, Leyte and Iwo Jima.
By 1945, promoted to the rank of Captain and during late March 1945 embarked aboard USS Natoma Bay (CVE–62) for the invasion of Okinawa Island. During the Battle of Okinawa, flew the Piper L-4 Grasshopper as a "bird-dog" spotting enemy troop concentrations for U. S. Army artillery. He also volunteered for missions over enemy territory, dropping leaflets assuring the Okinawan populace that it was safe to surrender.
On April 29, 1945 took off piloting L-4 Grasshopper on a mission over Okinawa Island. His last words heard
over the radio was "Here we go". When this aircraft failed to return, it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Perkins was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, posthumously. Perkins is memorialized at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) on the courts of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas.
Jeff Myers (great-nephew)
Pacific Wrecks - L-4 Grasshopper piloted by Perkins
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Otis O. Perkins
Muster Roll of the Crew of the USS Natoma Bay (CVE–62) March 31, 1945 page 26
World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel from Kansas, 1946 page 10
FindAGrave - Capt Otis Oscar Perkins (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Capt Otis Oscar Perkins (memorial marker photo)
Do you have photos or additional information to add?