SSgt. Mercedes Perez Salinas
A burial and memorial service for SSgt. Mercedes Perez Salinas will be held Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Hill Crest Memorial Park with Reverend Mimi McDowell officiating. There will be a visitation on Friday, June 24 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
SSgt. Salinas was born September 24, 1928 in Mission, Texas. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1945. SSgt. Salinas received the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign medal. He was posthumously awarded the Air Medal. His name is located on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC (Panel 4E, Line 13).
SSgt. Salinas served as a crew member (mechanic) aboard a C-123B. The plane was a military transport with the 309th Air Command, 315 Air Commando Group, 13th Air Force. The plane was stationed at Pleiku Air Base, South Vietnam. On a mission to Tuy Hoa, South Vietnam the plane struck trees and crashed on December 11, 1965. Crew member remains were not recovered until June, 1974. Identification of most of the remains was completed in 1979. A group burial for all four crew members including Major Robert Horsky, Captain George McKnight and SSgt. Donald Stewart was at Arlington National Cemetery (Section 46). The final remains are to be transported from Mortuary Services in Hawaii and will be interred at Hill Crest next to his wife, Suzanne, on June 25.
SSgt. Salinas married Suzanne LeFloch in France in 1950. He had two children, Veronique Canterbury (Lloyd) and Dominic Salinas. He was survived at the time of his death by his parents Elias and Nestora Salinas. His siblings are Manuel (Melcohora), Isidora, Juana (Raymundo) Jimenez, Eustolio (Zulema), Antonia, Crescentio (Alicia), Maria de Jesus, Maria de Guadalupe and Elias Salinas, Jr. Grandchildren after his death were MSgt (Ret) Trenton Canterbury (Jori), Officer Travis Canterbury (Felicia) and Aaron Canterbury. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews and five great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Yellow Ribbon Scholarship at Centenary College (for veterans or dependents of active military) Air Force Aid Society http://www.afas.org/ways-to-give (the official USAF Aid Society) or thank a veteran for their service to our country.
The guestbook may be signed online at www.hillcrestmemorialfh.com
Hill Crest Memorial Funeral Home