When a 2,000-pound “Smart bomb” veered off course and landed 100 yards away from friendly troops Dec. 5, it killed three U.S. Green Berets and wounded 20 soldiers.
One of the wounded is Master Sgt. James Price, 34, son of Williams City Council member Cary Price.
“He was in the situation where the 2,000-pound bomb landed near U.S. troops,” said Cary. “He has some shrapnel wounds, broken ribs and some hearing loss.
“We thank God he’s alive. There were three that were killed.”
The bomb was dropped from an American B-52, which had been deploying bombs to the same location throughout day.
“They think it was a technical problem with the equipment, which caused it to go off course,” Cary said.
Price is a U.S. Air Force Forward Air Controller positioned with the 19th Support Group and is assigned to the Army’s 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group. These soldiers are positioned on the front line of the War on Terrorism.
“Jimmy is with the 5th special operations group of the Army — the Green Beret guys,” Cary said proudly about his son.
Stateside, Price is stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. During the accident, Price was working in Oman, southwest of Afghanistan.
“We sort of had a premonition,” said Cary about the day of the accident. “We knew something happened and we knew he was over there.”
The call, came early in the morning Thursday.
“The Air Force called and notified us,” Cary said. “They let me know (the situation with James) right off the bat.”
Cary said he was worried, but added if his son had died, the government would have sent a person to his home to inform him.
“We’re awfully glad he’s O.K. and gets to come home,” Cary said.
The three dead Green Berets were identified as Staff Sgt. Brian Prosser, 28 of Frazier Park, Calif.; Master Sgt. Jerrerson Davis, 39, of Watauga, Tenn.; and Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Petithory, 32 of Cheshire, Mass. Five Afghan soldiers were also killed in Wednesday’s accident.
For serving in the armed forces and for being wounded in action, Price will probably receive the Purple Heart.
“I think he’s a hero,” Cary said. “Everybody that does that is a hero and a lot of them don’t get the recognition they should. We’re proud of those guys over there.”
If all goes well, Price will make a full recovery and will return to service soon.
“He loves it and he loves working with the people,” Cary said. “He’s really proud.
“It’s been something real positive for him — he’s my hero.”
The last time Price was in Williams was for last year’s Christmas holiday.
“He’s in Germany now and he’s scheduled to go to Walter Reed (U.S. Army Medical Center) in Washington, D.C., by the end of the week to repair his ear,” Cary said.
For Christmas, Cary and/or his wife, Linda, plan to travel to Fort Campbell to see their son once he’s released from the hospital.