The Flying Grunt
The Story of Lieutenant General Richard E. Carey, United States Marine Corps (Ret)
240 Pages, 6 x 9 in, B/W and color
- January 2023
- In Stock
Richard Edward Carey came from a broken home. Enlisting in the Corps in 1946 he later earned a commission, fighting at Inchon and Chosin in Korea before becoming a pilot—flying every aircraft in the Marine arsenal. During his 38-year military career he witnessed and participated in major historical events, though a high school wrestling injury would eliminate him from the Mercury-7 space program.
As a second lieutenant, he tackled General Douglas MacArthur on the way to Seoul in 1950. Carey would provide critical intelligence decisions enabling the successful defense of the Chinese attack on Hagaru-ri at the Chosin Reservoir. In 189 days of combat, he escaped death seven times, and was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star Medals. In Vietnam, he flew 204 combat sorties, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and 16 Air Medals. In 1975, from Saigon, Carey led history’s largest helicopter evacuation of refugees.
Subordinates praised his leadership and courage. Never afraid to stand up for his principles, Carey faced down an Air Force general in Vietnam, and organized air defense for supply helicopters at Khe Sahn; he countermanded a senior Naval officer’s order during the 1975 Saigon evacuation, refusing to cease air operations and forcing a reluctant ambassador onto a flight.
In retirement, Carey served as a cabinet member for the governor of Ohio and ran the airport in his native home of Columbus. When the Careys moved to Texas, Carey continued supporting veterans, advocating for veterans’ health care, aiding the drive to build accommodation for families of hospitalized veterans, and was a leader in the effort to build a veterans’ cemetery in Dallas. He would lead the drive to build two Chosin Few memorials even as he cared for his ailing wife.
This biography is based upon hours of interviews with the general, his papers, speeches, and Marine Corps documents that captured an exceptional and inspiring life.
Chapter 1 The Early Years
Chapter 2 On to Korea
Chapter 3 A New Role—Chosin Reservoir Campaign
Chapter 4 Reflections on Chosin Reservoir
Chapter 5 After Chosin Reservoir
Chapter 6 Aviation Career Begins
Chapter 7 Mid 1950s to 1960s
Chapter 8 Fighter Pilot in Vietnam
Chapter 9 Vietnam Media Coverage
Chapter 10 Post-Vietnam War
Chapter 11 Evacuation from Vietnam
Chapter 12 General Carey’s Supplement to the Command Chronology on Frequent Wind
Chapter 13 Mayaguez Rescue
Chapter 14 Back to Headquarters Marine Corps (HMC)
Chapter 15 Atlantic Command
Chapter 16 Final Assignment Quantico
Chapter 17 A Brief Entry into Politics
Chapter 18 Aiding the Dallas District Courts
Chapter 19 General Carey Continues to Serve in Retirement
Chapter 20 The Chosin Few Monument Project
Chapter 21 Family
"The chapters dealing with the evacuation of Saigon are especially enlightening. Carey and Mesches offer arguments for readers to reach personal conclusions about the rights and wrongs of the withdrawal procedures." ~The VVA Veteran
"Carey’s contributions in and out of uniform are remarkable. Mesches has superbly captured these contributions and crafted them into a highly readable biography." ~Military Review
" In this fine, very, very good book, everyone who had been associated with Richard Carey was interviewed by colleague and friend, Alan Mesches." ~ARGunners.com
"This well written and researched book is replete with personal recollections and anecdotes faithfully recalled and recorded." ~The Journal of the Air Force Historical Foundation