The Flying Grunt

Being there . . . to do honor and credit to one of the great icons of the United States Marine
Corps. Yes, military enthusiast, take a moment to be proud and grateful of a 17-year-old who, in
1946, became a “grunt” rifleman, later earning a commission fighting at Inchon and Chosin in
Korea before becoming a pilot, flying every aircraft in the Marine arsenal. In a career spanning
five decades, Richard Edward Carey rose to become a lieutenant general in the Corps,
witnessing and participating in every major American historical event during that period. Even
in his later years, Carey, by then a high-ranking officer, attempted to enter the Mercury – 7
space program, only to be turned down because of a dormant high-school wrestling injury. In
short, meet a true American warrior who was baptized under fire during 189 days of Korean
combat. Escaping death seven times, he was awarded the Silver Star for leadership after being
wounded in one of them. Know and understand this front-line exemplar-mentor officer who
completed 204 combat sorties in Vietnam, during which he earned the Distinguished Flying
Cross and 16 Air Medals.
“The efforts of General Carey during the evacuation of Saigon in 1975 have never been fully
recognized. His leadership helped bring 100,000 people to the United States safely,” praised
Major General James E. Livingston, United States Marine Corps (ret.), a recipient of the Vietnam
War Medal of Honor recipient.
from brilliant CASEMATE MILITARY PUBLISHING, a biography of General Richard Edward Carey,
his severe ordeals and trials amid amazing experiences and achievements, all adding up to
being a true American solider-hero . . . .
“THE FLYING GRUNT – – The Story of Lieutenant General Richard E. Carey, USMC (ret)”, by Alan
E. Mesches. CASEMATE PUBLISHERS: 2023, 278 pages, 7” x 9”, hardcover, $37.95. Visit,
Reviewed and Highly Recommended by Don DeNevi
As war readers know, accurate, well written biographies of America’s foremost military
leaders of the past century have been rare and far between, whether written by historians,
commanders of forces involved in battles won or lost, or by nearby correspondents as they
observed fighting as commanded. As such, no biography of a soldier-leader experienced in
years of conflict, one after the other, i.e., WW II, Korean, Vietnam, could have been written
without the cooperation of so many subordinates and superiors. In this fine, very, very good
book, everyone who had been associated with Richard Carey was interviewed by colleague and
friend, Alan Mesches. They wanted the biographer to write the absolute truth him, that it be
known how kind and generous and compassionate their commander was. They wanted the
truth of his internal administrative fights to be known, for all who read his story to profit from
this honesty and candor, as all the other good soldiers in the various services had since the birth
of America. In short, Mesches, and those interviewed, hope friend Carey’s biography is read
more for Richard’s inspiring vision and spirit, the quality of them, the sound, smell, and
behavior of each lingering throughout life. Well, reader, you have them all here in 278 pages.

Mesches, a former sales and marketing executive from western New York state turned author
who now resides in Frisco, Texas, is the biographer of, “Major General James A. Ulio”, another
fierce, persevering American fighting star.
“General Carey combined drive, resilience, commitment, Christian faith, and strong
convictions in building a life of achievement in the USMC and beyond. While he made
significant achievements in aviation and senior leadership roles, he always came back to his
time spent in the Korean War. Carey learned from Marine Corps leaders such as O.P. Smith and
Chesty Puller. The skill and professionalism of World War II officers and NCOs stayed with him.
Carey’s Korean battlefield experiences influenced his decisions and command philosophy
throughout his career,” Mesches magnificently points out. “There is so, so much to this kind,
gentle, but no no-nonsense man. After all, he was, by every possible definition, a brave
American soldier.”