Remains Returned, Buried April 11, 2015

Name: Bunyan Durant Price, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army
Unit: HHC, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor, 25th Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 09 February 1950 (Monroe NC)
Home City of Record: Belmont NC
Date of Loss: 02 May 1970
Country of Loss: Cambodia
Loss Coordinates: 114512N 1060827E (XU243013)
Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War
Category: 1
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H

Other Personnel In Incident: Michael Varnado; Robert M. Young; Rodney L.
Griffin; Dale W. Richardson (all missing);  Frederick H. Crowson; Daniel F.
Maslowski (returned POWs); - Tommy Karreci (evaded and escaped)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Date Compiled: 01
January 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2020.


SYNOPSIS: On May 2, 1970 a UH1H helicopter from Company B, 229th Aviation
Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division flown by WO1 Michael B. Varnado was hit by
ground fire and forced to land just over the border of South Vietnam near
the city of Memot, Cambodia. The aircraft was transporting members of HHC,
34th Armor, 25th Infantry Division, SP4 Rodney L. Griffin; SP4 Bunyan D.
Price, Jr.; WO1 Daniel F. Maslowski; Capt. Dale W. Richardson; and Capt.
Robert M. Young. Also aboard were Tommy Karreci, SP4 Frederick H. Crowson,
and CW2 Daniel F. Maslowski, crew members of the aircraft.

The men were part of an attempt to stop North Vietnamese forces from gaining
strongholds in Cambodia. President Nixon announced the request by Cambodia
for American assistance on April 30. Had we not assisted, the North
Vietnamese, in addition to having an effective sanctuary to which they could
retreat without retaliation, would also have South Vietnam completely

The crew all survived the crash, and had only 30-40 seconds on the ground to
decide what to do. They all attempted to evade, each in different
directions. Only 18-year-old Karreci managed to make it back to U.S. lines
in 2 or 3 days. Crowson, Maslowski, Varnado and Young went in one direction
and were all captured by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces. Price,
according to Defense Department records, was also captured. Griffin and
Richardson took off in another direction and were never seen again.

Crowson and Maslowski were released in 1973 and in their debriefings stated
that WO1 Varnado and Capt. Young had died in captivity, while detained in
Cambodia. The Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam (PRG)
officially acknowledged their deaths, listing Varnado's death as 21
September 1970, and Young's death as 17 November 1972.

According to Dan Maslowski, Bob Young died of illness in Dan's arms in the
fall of 1972. Maslowski saw Varnado about two months after capture. "Vito"
had been shot in the leg and in the side when he was captured, and according
to Dan, "looked like hell". His side wound had healed, but the wound in his
leg, in the kneecap, was badly infected. He could not walk, and told
Maslowski that the Viet Cong had been transporting him in a hammock. The
Viet Cong had told Varnado that he was to be taken to a hospital to have his
leg taken care of. The Vietnamese state that he died two months after Dan
saw him in camp (about 4 months after capture).

On August 1, 1989, it was announced that the Vietnamese had "discovered" the
remains of Michael Varnado, returned them to the U.S. His remains were
positively identified, much to the relief of family and surviving comrades,
and Michael Varnado could finally be buried with the honor he deserved. The
remains identification did not contradict that Vietnamese' statement that
Varnado died four months after capture.

The fate of Price is uncertain. Maslowski always believed Price had been
captured, but never saw him in camps he was held in. One report from escaped
ARVN POWs stated that he was captured by the Khmer and because the ethnic
groups normally did not cooperate, the Khmer would not likely have given
Price over to the Vietnamese, who had captured the other four.

Since 1973, nearly 10,000 reports have been given to the U.S. Government
regarding Americans still missing in Southeast Asia. Some, according to U.S.
State Department sources, have withstood the "closest scrutiny" possible,
and cannot be disputed. There is very strong reason to believe that
Americans are still held captive in Southeast Asia today, yet President
after President has failed to would bring them home.


March 9, 2000

I have obtained copies of the battalion daily journal for my unit 1/5 (Mech)
Infantry, 25th InfDiv. My copies cover the period 27 Feb through 31 May,
1970. Our unit was the group that found the wreckage of this helicopter in
Cambodia on May 17th.

Doug Huffman

Network note ---  The journals relate:

Daily Staff Journal or Duty Officer's Log

1st Bn 5th Inf (Mech)
25th Inf Div
Location: WT261033
From Hour: 0001
Date: 17 May 70
To: 2400
Date: May 17 70

68 cont: Chopper & will send 2 fc to ck out

69 1450: BB: UT 237001 Believed saw sniper in a tree, fired & saw something
fell/Will ck out. // Also have 2 pc's stick and 1 piece threw track

70 1452  Ref 69 - Neg findings

71 1453  Dustoff 160 complete Dest Med T.N.

72 1520  A1/5 at chopper

73 1521  B1/5 Moving to S again Fm 237007

74 1550  A1/5 spot report at downed chopper: 24009. Tail number 16542, found
         neg - bodies, neg bones  Believed was shot down by 51 cal - 51 cal
         hole in blade - both front seat belts were unfastened and armour

74 cont  pushed back - found numeruos FT prints (NVA type) around area - 2
         rm attempts had been made to conceal the aircraft - Also found 2
         sets of burned fatigues but was able to distinguish laundry mark
         (XA/12/c) // Tail section was abt 50' fm aircraft intact  10' fm
         tail section was an American Express banking statement w/name, rank
         & serial number awaiting rtn of A1/5 for ID.

Item 89 1940
American Express ID -- HARTKE, James L PFC HHC 2/34 Armor
Account number (shown in record)

All records indicate Hartke returned alive from Vietnam.   
APRIL 8, 2015

Bunyan Durant Price Price Jr.

Bunyan Durant Price, Jr. BELMONT - Bunyan Durant Price, Jr., 20, of Belmont, was killed in action May 2, 1970 in
Vietnam while fighting for our freedom. He was born February 9, 1950 in Union County, son of the late Bunyan
Durant Price, Sr. and Virginia Carter. Bunyan was serving in the US Army.

- See more at:
Gail Chandler: Closure and a bracelet for fallen Vietnam vet
... on me that the subject of the article, Specialist Bunyan Price Jr., was the same person whose name was on the POW bracelet I wore in high school.
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Barbara Fassig of Weddington, N.C., was 23 when she was given a bracelet bearing the name Dan Maslowski, a Vietnam War co-pilot who was a ...

Local woman gives up bracelet after POW comes home     04/26/2015
Constance Barna-Voorhees holds up a photograph taken last week of her handing over the POW-MIA bracelet she wore for
45 years honoring ...
The U.S. Department of Defense and POW/MIA have identified Army Maj. Dale W. Richardson, Staff Sgt. Bunyan D. Price Jr., and Sgt. Rodney L. Griffin ...



For years, Junior was listed MIA. Some reports said he was a POW like his uncle. Since the 1970s, teams from the federal Defense POW/MIA ...




The local Vietnam veteran had been wearing a Prisoner of War/Missing In Action, or POW/MIA, bracelet for more than a decade engraved with the ...




Return to Service Member Profiles

On August 21, 2015, the Department of Defense announced that it identified the remains of Staff Sergeant Bunyan Durant Price Jr., missing from the Vietnam War.

Staff Sergeant Price, who joined the U.S. Army from North Carolina, served with Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. On May 2, 1970, he was a passenger aboard a UH-1H Iroquois (serial number unknown) that carried eight in total and flying to Fire Support Base Katum, South Vietnam. At some point, the helicopter was diverted due to bad weather. It flew into Cambodian air space where it was hit by enemy ground fire. The pilot made an emergency landing in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia. The four crew members and four passengers survived the crash landing, but three, including SSG Price, died in a firefight with enemy soldiers that occurred after the landing. One U.S. soldier escaped, but the rest were taken as prisoners of war. The bodies of the three men killed in the firefight were not recovered until February 2012, when a Joint U.S./Cambodian team located the crash site and recovered human remains, and forensic analysis identified SSG Price among the remains recovered from the site.

Staff Sergeant Price is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, you may contact your casualty office representative to learn more about your service member.