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Gary Price - Gulf War

Gary Price joined the Marine Corps in 1971.  By 1975, he had completed flight training and had become a pilot.  He supported the evacuation of U.S. personnel from South Vietnam in 1975.  Following this assignment, Price returned to the United States, where he became involved in developing Marine aviation tactics in the 1980s.  In August of 1990, Lieutenant Colonel Price led his unit, HMM-161, into Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield.  In early 1991, Price's unit was involved in Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

"Oil Fields Burning"

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Initial aviator training, and evacuation of Saigon

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Aviation training during Reagan build-up and command during Gulf War

Related Materials

Gary Price

See also Gary Price's interview in our Veterans Remember - Vietnam War collection

Videos

Session 02

Session 01

Photos

Caption

Gary Price as he leaves the squad bay for a little fun in the field during Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia in 1971.

Where:

Quantico, Virginia

When:

1971

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lieutenant Price proudly displaying his solo certificate that he received at Saufley Field, Florida in 1972 while in Primary Flight School. He trained on T-34 trainer.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1972

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lt. Gary Price’s wife, Susie, pins on his wings after completing flight training at the Naval Air Station in Whiting Field, Florida in November, 1972.

Where:

Whiting Field, Florida

When:

November 1972

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lt. Price’s first solo flight in a T-28 at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Florida, circa June, 1972.

Where:

Milton, Florida

When:

Circa June 1972

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gary Price is at the controls of an H-1 Huey helicopter as it makes a turn for the approach during carrier qualification in 1972. Carrier training was also conducted at Whiting Field in Florida.

Where:

Whiting Field, Florida

When:

1972

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Price poses next to a CH-46 helicopter at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, in Ginowan, Okinawa, February 1975 while assigned to HMM-165, a Marine Medium Helicopter unit.

Where:

Ginowan, Okinawa

When:

February 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lieutenant Price stands next to the helicopter, a CH-46 which he co-piloted while with HMM-165 in early 1975. The unit was stationed at Air Station Futenma, in Ginowan, Okinawa.

Where:

Ginowan, Okinawa

When:

Early 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The USS Essex was one of three ships that supported Lt. Price’s helicopter squadron as the unit made it’s way to the South China Sea to support ‘Frequent Wind,’ the evacuation of South Vietnam, in late April, 1975. Price’s aircraft was on the USS Dubuque.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Late April, 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The helicopters sported an olive drab paint scheme while involved with ‘Operation Frequent Wind. Lieutenant Price co-piloted a CH-46 during the operation during April, 1975.

Where:

Unknown

When:

April 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A refueling vessel is in the process of refueling the USS Dubuque while Lieutenant Price’s unit sailed toward South Vietnam, circa late April, 1975.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa late April, 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

During the early stages of the evacuation of Saigon in April, 1975, the USS Dubuque was tasked with assisting merchant ships fleeing South Vietnam, most of which were overflowing with refugees. They were prohibited from taking refugees on board.

Where:

South Vietnam

When:

April 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Huey helicopters from the USS Dubuque picking up Vietnamese refugees. Circa late April-May 1975.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa late April-May 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Barges were used to transport refugees when they could not be moved by helicopter during the evacuation in late April-May, 1975. The tub boat on the side is pushing the barge toward Phu Quoc Island, off the coast of South Vietnam.

Where:

Off the coast of South Vietnam

When:

Late April-May 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Security and medical teams were sent out to assist the merchant ships by the USS Dubuque and other ships involved in the evacuation of South Vietnam in late April-May, 1975, with many refugees headed to Phu Quoc Island.

Where:

Off the coast of South Vietnam

When:

Late April-May 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Refugees board the USS Dubuque and are escorted below deck during the evacuation. Only a few refugees landed on the Dubuque, but Price does not know what happened to them. He heard rumors that high ranking officials carried suitcases filled with gold.

Where:

Off the coast of South Vietnam

When:

Late April-May 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Refugees were loaded onto helicopters to quickly and easily move them between ships during ‘Operation Frequent Wind’ in late April, 1975.

Where:

Off the coast of South Vietnam

When:

Late April 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Refugees were moved between ships to accommodate the large number of incoming refugees during ‘Operation Frequent Wind’ in late April, 1975.

Where:

Off the coast of South Vietnam

When:

Late April 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lieutenant Gary Price’s T-34 Solo Flight Certificate. Price received this while stationed at Saufley Field, near Pensacola, Florida in February, 1972.

Where:

Saufley Field, near Pensacola, Florida

When:

February 1972

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

According to Price, Captain Gerry Berry (pictured) flew more hours than any other pilot during the evacuation of Saigon and piloted the last helicopter to land at the conclusion of the evacuation in late April, 1975.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Late April 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lieutenant Price is standing on the deck of the USS Dubuque, likely while en route to Vietnam in April, 1975.

Where:

En route to Vietnam

When:

April 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Several CH-46 helicopters have their blades folded and parked while the USS Dubuque is en route to South Vietnam in April to support the evacuation of South Vietnam in the spring of 1975.

Where:

En route to South Vietnam

When:

Spring of 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lieutenant Colonel Gary Price’s change of command ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin, California. Price took command of HMM-161, a medium helicopter squadron.

Where:

Tustin, California

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

LTC Price with his Executive Officer, LTC Larry Underwood at Jubail Air Field in Saudi Arabia, late 1990 during Operation Desert Shield.

Where:

Jubail Air Field, Saudi Arabia

When:

Late 1990

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

An Iranian CH-53 helicopter which was temporarily stranded at the Saudi’s Jubail Airport in late 1990. The pilot had defected to Saudi Arabia prior to Operation Desert Shield.

Where:

Jubail Airport, Saudi Arabia

When:

Late 1990

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jubail International Airport in October, 1990, which had never been used until Operations Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

Where:

Jubail Air Field, Saudi Arabia

When:

October 1990

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A Prepositioned Logistic ship

Where:

Jubail Harbor, Saudi Arabia

When:

August 1990

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

LTC Price talking to a reporter at the Jubail Airport in late 1990. Reporters were not directly attached to military units during the Gulf War. The practice of embedding journalists did not become widely practiced until the occupation of Iraq in 2003.

Where:

Jubail Airport

When:

Late 1990

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lieutenant Colonel Price and his men are putting up GP

Where:

Jubail Airfield, Saudi Arabia

When:

August 13, 1990

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lieutenant General Fred McCorkle (center), Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation in Saudi Arabia before invasion, was Price’s mentor ever since 1973 when McCorkle was Price's flight instructor at Marine Corps Air Station Tustin in California.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A Marine Corps band entertains the troops at Jubail Airfield in the fall of 1990.

Where:

Jubail Airfield, Saudi Arabia

When:

Fall of 1990

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lieutenant Colonel Price’s CH-46 featured a desert camouflage pattern while the unit operated out of Jubail Airfield in the fall of 1990.

Where:

Jubail Airfield, Saudi Arabia

When:

Fall of 1990

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

During the air war in January, 1991, Lieutenant Colonel Price’s helicopter transported a naval gunfire team to the USS Wisconsin, landing on its deck. The Wisconsin was shelling enemy positions in Kuwait during that stage of the operation.

Where:

Near Kuwait

When:

January 1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This CH-46 crashed in February 1991 when the crew lost sight of the ground during a severe dust storm. The aircraft hit the ground and rolled over, but was quickly repaired and flew again.

Where:

Unknown

When:

February 1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The terminal at Jubail International Airport, part of which was used by Price’s headquarters and maintenance personnel.

Where:

Jubail Airfield, Saudi Arabia

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A Saudi oil rig in the Persian Gulf; Iraqis attempted to float mines into the rigs. Price’s unit flew a British representative of an oil company to check out the rig.

Where:

Persian Gulf

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This berm marked the border between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The Marines breeched the barrier at the beginning of the ground phase of Operation Desert Storm in February, 1991.

Where:

Border between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

When:

February 1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This Iraqi ZPU-1 anti-aircraft gun (Soviet made) was obtained in February, 1991 by Gary Price’s unit as a war trophy to be shipped back to the U.S. for later display.

Where:

Unknown

When:

February 1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lieutenant Colonel Price in an AR-5 gas mask. This mask, created by the British military, was used by Price’s unit throughout the Gulf War in early 1991.

Where:

Jubail Airfield, Saudi Arabia

When:

Early 1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A Kuwaiti oil field on fire in late February, 1991. The photo was taken by a Huey crew member. The Huey was an escort aircraft to Price’s CH-46.

Where:

Kuwait

When:

Late February 1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Price sits in his cockpit of the CH-46. The skies are darkened by burning oil wells that dotted the north Kuwaiti desert in late February, 1991.

Where:

Kuwait

When:

Late February 1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A collection of captured guns that Marines infantry collected during Operation Desert Storm, were then put on display at Kuwait City International Airport.

Where:

Kuwait City International Airport

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

One of the many American propaganda leaflets that were dropped on the Iraqis soldiers in Kuwait in the lead-up to the Allied ground offensive in late February, 1991.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Late February 1991

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

The back side of a propaganda leaflet that was dropped on the Iraqis soldiers in Kuwait in the lead-up to the Allied ground offensive in late February, 1991.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Late February 1991

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Lieutenant Colonel Price’s unit, HMM-161, participated in an Air Show at Marine Corps Air Station EL Toro in April-May 1991. The CH-46s sported a new paint job.

Where:

Near Irvine, California

When:

April-May, 1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lieutenant General Fred McCorkle, Deputy Chief of Staff of Aviation, attended Colonel Gary Price’s retirement at the Virginia Military Institute in May, 2001. Gary’s wife Susie is also pictured. VMI was Price’s last assignment.

Where:

Virginia Military Institute

When:

May 2001

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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