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HomeCommunity GroupsHonoring Service: Fallen Veteran Vaughn Dale Prunier, Korean War

Honoring Service: Fallen Veteran Vaughn Dale Prunier, Korean War

Our reporting on local veterans is a collaboration with RyeVets.org to highlight those from Rye who have served our country across times of war and peace. There are over 2,100 veterans from the City of Rye. Learn more about how you can help research and write biographies of those that have served.

Honoring Service - 06 2023 - Vaughn Dale Prunier
Vaughn Dale Prunier

Vaughn Dale Prunier, born on April 28, 1929 in Port Chester, NY, was the son of Earl and Emilee Prunier. His family resided at 60 Sound View Avenue in Rye, where he grew up alongside his brother Lawrence and his two sisters, Alma and Willa. Vaughn completed his education in Rye public schools and graduated from Rye High School in the Class of 1947.

Date of Birth: 28-Apr-29
Died On: 15-Nov-52
Street Address: 60 Sound View Avenue
Branch of Service: U.S. Air Force – 311th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 58th Fighter-Bomber Group

During his time in high school, Vaughn excelled as an athlete, participating in three sports: Baseball, Basketball, and Track. He was also actively involved in student government, a member of the Self Reliant Club, and played in the Dance Band.

In 1950, Vaughn enlisted in the Air Force for a four-year term after completing a two-year aeronautical course at Stevens Technical Institute. Following his training at the Officers Training School in Phoenix, Arizona, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in April 1952.

Before departing for active Air Force duty in Phoenix, Vaughn married Mary Vallace, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mariano Vallace from Port Chester, at 10 Clinton Street.

Lieutenant Prunier became a member of the 311th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 58th Fighter-Bomber Group. He flew a total of forty combat missions over Korea in a Republic F-84 Thunderjet . The Thunderjet earned a distinguished reputation during the Korean War, with the USAF crediting F-84s for 60% of all ground targets destroyed in the conflict.

After his missions in Korea, Vaughn underwent self-rescue training in Japan, which involved utilizing self-propulsion seats from disabled jet fighter planes. Additionally, he was scheduled for a three-day course in the forests of Korea.

Tragically, on November 15, 1952, Vaughn was a passenger aboard a C-46D Commando transport from the 34th Troop Carrier Squadron, 315th Troop Carrier Wing. The aircraft was en route from Kangnung Airfield (K-18) to Pohang Airfield (K-3) in South Korea when it crashed into the Sea of Japan shortly after takeoff.

Initially reported as one of eleven missing individuals from the C-46 crash off the Korean East coast, Vaughn was later confirmed to be among the ten fatalities, as no survivors other than the initial seven were found. His remains were not recovered. More on Prunier.

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