Vietnam War

Oral History Interview: Gary Price


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.

Courtesy Gary Price

Gary Price was born on October 7, 1948 in Fresno, California. He moved to a gold rush town called Sonora as a child, where he and his friends often panned for gold.

A few years after Price graduated high school, he signed up for the Marine Corps in 1971. He attended basic pilot training for six months in Pensacola, Florida.

Price went on numerous missions, from escorting VIP figures to transporting troops, and manned a variety of different helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. He spent about a year in California before he went on a thirteen-month unaccompanied tour in Okinawa. He participated in the evacuation of refugees and military personal toward the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

Later on, Price taught Marine aviation doctrine at the airbase in Yuma, Arizona. He helped develop and write manuals for air combat maneuvering and assault support.

On August 13, 1990, Price and his unit were in Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield. After adapting to the debilitating desert sand and executing several missions around the border between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, he flew back to El Toro in the March of the following year and was greeted by a heroes’ welcome organized by the soldiers’ wives.

He taught at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia until September 2001. Since then, Price has worked for Ducks Unlimited as a regional director and is a helicopter pilot for Air Evac Lifeteam.