United Way of the Midlands celebrates First Lieutenant D. Murray Price’s dedication to this country, his community impact, and wisdom shared, as the Lexington, SC native turned 100 years old, Feb. 24, 2021.
Two years after graduating from Lexington High School, Price felt his service was needed in the U.S. Army Air Corps, so he volunteered for enlistment in August of 1942, instead of waiting for the draft. After training for nine months in flight school at Fort Jackson, Price earned his pilot wings and served as “copilot of a 10-man B-24 bomber crew joining the air war in the Pacific Theatre,” as stated in SC State House Bill No. 5279. Later, he became pilot and led a crew of members representing 10 states.
He and his crew completed 40 missions flying over Japanese territory and named their bomber Complete Miss. Although Japanese zero fighters struck their plane 15 consecutive times, Price’s crew survived the war, and he’s since received multiple awards in honor of his selfless contributions, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Oak Leaf clusters, and two battle stars. In 2015, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce awarded him with the Sergeant William Jasper Freedom Award; and the following year, he received the Annual Military Veterans Award from the Blue Star Mothers.
Life as a Civilian
Price returned home in August of 1945. He married the love of his life, the late Frances Addy Price (2015), and they were married for 69 years and had four children. His family has since expanded to include nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He instills in them the value of “ your neighbor as yourself” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
When he returned, Price also started his career at PYA/Monarch, a food service distribution center, and advanced within the company. He retired as the executive vice president and CEO in 1984.
Price devoted his civilian life to helping his community by serving as a board and foundation member of several companies, organizations, and institutions, including Crime Stoppers, YMCA of the Midlands, Rotary Club, Lexington County Health Education Foundation, Midlands Technical College, Franke Home, and the Lexington County Arts Association.
He’s also donated to and advocated for United Way of the Midlands for over 20 years. Price said he believes United Way is an “organization that is representative of helping the community,” which he is proud to be a part of.
Price stated that he didn’t attend college, so it was a great honor for him to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Newberry College in 2016 as part of the college’s Founders Day ceremonies.
These days, Price spends most days watching television—mostly news—and taking catnaps. He’s “grateful for what life has given him,” and he credits his health and longevity to having “moderation in all things.”
Join United Way of the Midlands in wishing First Lieutenant D. Murray Price a Happy 100th Birthday, and thank him for his contributions to the city, state, and nation!