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Honoring Service: Veteran John F. Shaughnessy, Vietnam

Rye Vets 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.

Rye Vets John F ShaughnessyJohn F. Shaughnessy Jr. lived in Rye at 39 Grandview Avenue and graduated Rye High School, class of 1950. During the Vietnam War he served in the U.S. Air Force.

Date of Birth: 16 Jun 1932
Died On: 3 Feb 1963 (aged 30) Vietnam
Street Address: 39 Grandview Avenue
Branch of Service: U.S. Air Force

John F. Shaughnessy was born on June 16, 1932 to John F. Shaughnessy Sr. of Rye, New York and Nora Cronin Shaughnessy, born in County Cork, Ireland. “Jack” as he was known to his family and friends was the oldest of six children. His siblings included three sisters; Mary, Anne and Katherine, and two brothers Daniel and Joseph. The family originally lived at 42 Elizabeth Street before eventually moving to 39 Grandview Avenue. Jack and his siblings all attended Resurrection grammar school and were active members of the Church of the Resurrection Parish.

Jack was an outstanding athlete in football and track at Rye High School. He starred at left tackle on the football team during his sophomore, junior and senior years. He graduated in June 1950. He later played football at Colgate, graduating in 1954. Immediately after graduating Colgate College Jack enlisted with the Air Force on 9-1-1954 in Houston, TX. He married Sandra Laverne Dodson on 9 Nov 1957 in Harris, Texas. Jack was a career air force pilot and Captain when sent to Vietnam in December 1962.

Captain Shaughnessy was shot down while on a strafing run in the Mekong Delta on 2-3-1963 in his B-26D A/C as a Navigator with DET 2A, 1st Air Commando Group, 2nd Air Division, 13 Air Force. It was believed his plane was shot down while strafing Communist sampans along a canal. A government spokesman said 58 guerrillas and 10 defenders were killed in the action 110 miles southwest of Saigon. The Communists were driven off by air strikes and a helicopter born company of Rangers. The crash brought the total of American servicemen killed in Viet Nam to 57, 29 of them in combat. Captain Shaughnessy was on his first overseas assignment according to his father. He had been in Viet Nam only about two months. He was navigator on the fatal mission.

At the time of his death Capt. Shaughnessy was 30 years old and survived by his parents Mr. & Mrs. John F. Shaughnessy of Rye, N.Y. In addition to his parents, he was survived by his wife Sandra, a native of Houston, Texas, two daughters, four and two years old, a brother, Daniel, in the Air Force at Cape Canaveral; a brother, Joseph, at Iona College. Also among the survivors at the time of death were his three sisters; Mary in Warminster, PA and Anne and Katherine in Rye, N.Y..

John F Shaughnessy, Captain U.S. Air Force, {AO2206429}, Vietnam War

Awards: Purple Heart Medal, Air Medal, Navigator Wings, Vietnam Service Medal with One Service Star, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Air Force Longevity Ribbon.

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