James W. Price – Private First Class, United States Army

NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 931-04

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Soldiers supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.  They died September 18, 2004, in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device hit their convoy vehicle.  Both were assigned to the 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Killed were:

Sergeant Thomas C. Rosenbaum, 25, of Hope, Arkansas
Private First Clas James W. Price, 22, of Cleveland, Tennessee

The incident is under investigation.

September 22, 2004
Cleveland man killed in Iraq
Private First Class James W. Price died Saturday in Baghdad, U.S. officials said.

A Cleveland, Tennessee, man was one of two U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq after an improvised explosive device hit their vehicle as they were on their way to the site of another blast, the U.S. Department of Defense said Tuesday.

Private First Class James W. Price, 22, a native of Grand Forks, North Dakota, who listed Cleveland, Tennessee, as his home of record and Sergeant Thomas C. Rosenbaum, 25, who was born in Prescott, Arkansas, but who listed Hope as his home, died Saturday in Baghdad.

Private Price was a Bradley Fighting Vehicle system mechanic and Sergeant Rosenbaum was a chemical operations noncommissioned officer. Both men were assigned to B Battery, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment of the 1 st Cavalry Division.

Private Price, who entered the Army in April 2001, had been assigned at Fort Hood since December 2001. Sergeant Rosenbaum, who entered the Army in May 1997, had been assigned at Fort Hood since July 2001.

5 October 2004:

At only 5 feet 6 inches, Army Private First Class James W. Price was far from a tall man.

But on September 18, 2004, the 22-year-old Price proved his stature when he volunteered for a risky mission while on duty with the United States Army in Iraq — a mission that would end his life.

“The night before he was scheduled for a two-week leave, he was asked to volunteer to rescue a vehicle on the streets of Baghdad,” said Katherine Ratliff-Dever, who knew Price when he lived in Sumter County from seventh grade through ninth grade.

Ratliff said Price, who was a communications specialist, was the first to volunteer to rescue the ambushed vehicle in Baghdad, and also volunteered to drive the first of four Humvees in the convoy.

But on the way, Price’s Humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device, which instantly killed both him and a soldier from Arkansas who was riding with him.

“He stayed an extra day to save the lives of troops who were in trouble. He didn’t have to go,” Ratliff said. “And there’s nothing more special than a volunteer.”


Though Price moved to Tennessee with his mother in tenth grade when his stepfather died, Ratliff said she remembers him as a fearless person with a quirky sense of humor.

“We grew up together,” she said. “He was just a very special, very kind, mischievous boy.”

She also said he was a Christian and loved music. He played multiple instruments in the school band.

“He was always switching from one to another,” she said. “He was a very talented musician.”

Sam Smart, 25, who now lives in Weirsdale, said he and Price were best friends when the two boys lived across a pasture from one another in Bushnell.

“He was fearless, and this is not just when he was in the military,” Smart said. “I think he lived every day like he didn’t have another day, and he was never afraid of anything.”

Smart said he met Price through another friend, Mike, and the three had plans to start a rock band when they were younger.

“We were gonna start our own little band,” Smart said. “I was going to be the drum player, James was going to play bass, and Mike was going to play guitar. We just needed a singer.”

Smart said he moved to Michigan shortly after joining the U.S. Army National Guard, and then he and Price lost touch. Smart said he served some time in Iraq, as well, and once he returned, Price had already gone overseas.

“It’s like a worst nightmare,” he said. “You lose touch with a friend, and you don’t think something like this could happen.”

A memorial service was held in Cleveland, Tennessee, on September 27, 2004, for Price’s family, and Ratliff was the only friend from Florida who was able to make it to the ceremony.

“I drove up Sunday through Hurricane Jeanne,” she said. “And I know he was sitting beside me the whole time because I drove through some very dangerous winds.”

She said the memorial service was highlighted by the presence of a rainbow surrounding the church.

“It had not rained that day, and there was no reason for there to be a rainbow,” she said. “He had been born under a rainbow in the hospital, so it was kind of magical.”

A local memorial for Price will be held at South Sumter High School Wednesday at 10 a.m. Ratliff said it will most likely take place outside the school.

Price will receive a 21-gun salute, a song will be played, and a tree will be planted in his honor. Though Price’s mother and grandmother, who live in Tennesee, will not be able to attend, Ratliff said Price’s aunt, Janet Flint of Leesburg, will be there to speak.

NOTE: Private First Class James W. Price was laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on 19 September 2005.

James William Price:

VINE GROVE PRICE, PFC. JAMES WILLIAM, 22, of St. Augustine, Florida, died Saturday, September 18, 2004, in Baghdad, Iraq. He attended Bushnell High School in Bushnell, FL, where he was a tuba player in the band and participated in track. He attended Chattanooga State Community College in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

He joined the Army as a communication specialist and served three-and-a-half years on active duty. He was preceded in death by his loving stepfather, Dudley J. Howell; his maternal grandfather, James Andies; and his paternal grandfather, Bill Price.

He is survived by his mother, Darlene Howell of Vine Grove; a sister, April Howell of Vine Grove; a brother, Joseph Howell of Vine Grove; his maternal grandmother, Joy Andies of Cleveland, TN; and his paternal grandmother, Freda Wender of Cleveland. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, September 25, 2004, at Nelson-Edelen-Bennett Funeral Home in Radcliff, KY, with military honors. Chaplain Col. Hugh L. Dukes will officiate. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to the Pfc. James Price Memorial Fund at Bank One, which will benefit his comrades of 1st Calvary B Battery, 4-5 ADA of Ft. Hood, TX, or something to live may be planted in his honor.

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