"Where the Fleet Goes,
We've Been"

“A people who do not honor the deeds of their worthy dead will do nothing worthy of being honored by their descendants.” - Macaulay

Ensign Harry Carol Price

Receiving the Navy Marine Corp Medal

Harry was born the 13th of 13 children on September 13, 1918 in Inwood, Iowa. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy two days after his 18th birthday and served until August of 1940 detaching as a Machinist’s Mate second class. After Pearl Harbor (he had served on the U.S.S. California and had shipmates lost), he was recalled to active duty in February of 1942.

Harry was a warrant machinist serving as the engineering officer on the U.S.S. Swerve when it struck a mine July 9, 1944. Trapped in a wrecked compartment after the Swerve hit the mine, he made his way clear and directed damage control. When all hope was lost for the ship, he “worked fearlessly to assist in evacuating the wounded and aided in procuring medical assistance after they had entered the water”. For his actions that day, he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the U.S. Navy’s second highest non-combatant medal to those who distinguish themselves by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy (if you call a mine non-actual enemy conflict!). His citation stated he was awarded the medal “for distinguishing himself by heroism” by his actions that day.

Navy Marine Corp MedalHarry served until September of 1945 and was an Ensign by the end of the war. He was once again recalled to active duty in September 1950 and served in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. His final duty was the Commanding Officer of the Naval Reserve Training Center in North Hollywood, California. In this capacity, he worked as a liaison between Hollywood and the U.S. Navy, meeting several movie and television starts such as Connie Stevens and Jackie Cooper. His Naval Reserve Construction Battalion Division was awarded Third Place among all Construction Battalion Division’s, active duty and reserve in the 1964 national competition. He finally retired as a Commander in 1964 after his wife Virginia passed away from cancer.

Remarrying, Harry moved the family to Port Orford, Oregon where he ran a motel/trailer park on the coast called the Anchor Inn and spent time doing odd carpentry jobs around the small town. The family moved to San Diego, California in 1969. He worked at Pacific Southwest Airlines, Cal Western, and was with Broadmoor Homes as a construction superintendent when he retired from civilian life.

Harry passed away exactly 52 years to the day that the Swerve sunk on July 9, 1996.


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