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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Sergeant William Vaughan Class of 2009

Distinguished Service Cross

United States Army

Distinguished Service Cross

Sergeant William Vaughan, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action over Bougainville Island on 16 June 1943. Sergeant Vaughan was radio operator of a volunteer bomber crew which undertook an important and dangerous photomapping mission over the heavily defended enemy base at Buka. Just before the photographing was completed, about twenty enemy fighters attacked. The bomber was extensively damaged and five of the crew, including the Pilot, were seriously wounded. Nevertheless, by skillful evasive flying and by expert gunnery on the part of the crew, successive enemy attacks were fought off. In this furious forty-five minute engagement, five enemy planes were destroyed and two damaged. Sergeant Vaughan, with a bullet wound in his neck, continued to man his guns until the enemy had broken combat. He then estimated the medical aid required and reported to all bases at which the plane might land. As the navigation instruments were disabled, he then remained at his post and received bearings for the return flight of five hundred and eighty miles. Sergeant Vaughan showed admirable skill and courage on this voluntary mission, which secured information of great value in subsequent operations.

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