Lynn Dolph Vaughan, Jr. – Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy

A long life spent in the service of his country came to a peaceful close when Lynn Dolph Vaughan Jr., died at Tripler Army Hospital in Aiea on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, on December 31, 2001 after a brief illness.

He was born March 1, 1917, in the Coal Creek Community of Grayson County, adjacent to the city of Galax, Virginia.

At an early age he and his family, consisting of seven brothers and one sister, moved to Galax, where he attended elementary and high school. He was an intensely interested and active participant in all forms of athletics, endeavors which served him well throughout his physically demanding military and civilian career. In addition to serving as president of his senior class, he was chosen “best athlete” by his classmates. Because of his speed and agility on track and other teams, he was given the name “Banty”, which became his lifelong nickname.

Despite the extreme difficulty of obtaining financial assistance for higher education during the Great Depression, he was able, by his own efforts, to attend Emory and Henry College for a brief period. After passing competitive examinations, he gained admission to the U.S. Marine Academy, located at New London, Connecticut.

With the clouds of World War II looming on the horizon, he was often heard to say that he “preferred to play with airplanes rather than ships”, and he entered the Naval Aviation Flight School. After serving almost 30 extremely active and colorful years as a Naval Aviator during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Conflicts, he retired from the Naval Service as Lieutenant Commander. The term “well done” which was included on so many of his commendations, both as a Naval Aviator and as an Air Traffic Control Specialist, attests to the excellence of his performance during his outstanding career. Planning to settle down to an enjoyable life of retirement, he and his wife purchased a home on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii.

However, his reputation for successfully carrying out difficult assignments and the government's search for experienced aviation personnel at that time cut short his “retirement” to less than one year. In his reentry into federal service, he became a member of the U.S. Military Advisory Group to the Philippines, an element of the U.S. Embassy. The nature of his work required almost continuous association with high level government officials of both countries. To facilitate his performance and to “level the playing field,” he was awarded the prestige, privileges, and responsibilities of diplomatic status.

After about 12 years of rewarding and productive federal service, he and his wife returned to their established residence in Hawaii. Throughout his retirement years, he remained active in many civic, charitable, and military organizations such as the Shriners, York Rite Masonic Bodies and the Elks Fraternity. Indicative of his continuing fondness for his home town in the mountains of Virginia and the friends of his youth, was his continuous membership for more than 50 years in the Old Town Masonic Lodge in Galax.

He is survived by his devoted wife of more than 50 years, the former Mary Winifred Patton, who grew up near Galax and followed him wherever his assignments took him.

Also surviving are a brother, Willard Vaughan and his wife, Alhambra, California; three sisters-in-law, Alma B. Vaughan, Louise C. Vaughan and Ethel P. Carico, all of Galax; and a host of nieces and nephews.

A funeral service, with full military honors, was held at Arlington National Cemetery at 3 p.m. on February 4, 2002. A memorial service honoring this distinguished patriot will be held at the Galax Masonic Temple, Febuary 16, at 2 p.m. This service is open to the public and all family, friends, and members of military and fraternal organizations are invited to attend.

Lynn Dolph Vaughan Jr., 84, of Honolulu, a retired Lieutenant Commander for the U.S. Navy, died December 31.2001 He also served as a naval aviator in World War II, the Vietnam War and the Korean War. He was born in Galax, Virginia. He is survived by wife Mary Patton Vaughan. Services at Arlington National Cemetery. Donations suggested to the Shriners Hospital for Children.

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