The Springfield 50 Project
Western Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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The following witness statement was prepared by a fellow marine and friend of LCPLVaughan.

22 January 1971

Lance Corporal VAUGHAN and I were swimming around looking for shells.  The water was about chest deep where we had been swimming.  We had been in the water for about 30 minutes and had made repeated dives without an increase in depth.  Suddenly I heard Lance Corporal VAUGHAN call and say he was drowning.  Lance Corporal VAUGHAN was 15 to 20 feet seaward of me.  The undertow was fairly strong in that specific area at that specific time.  I turned to face him and noticed he looked frightened.  I started swimming towards him.  I pulled him landward about 10 feet with the water still over our heads.  He started to pull me under with him, so, I broke loose and tried once again to pull him ashore.  I was getting tired and he kept pulling me under, so, I told him I was going for help and broke loose from him.  Several times during the struggle I called for help but nobody seemed to hear me.

When I got ashore, I told Lieutenant CARBONE.  Everybody started into the water to look for him.  Lance Corporal VAUGHAN had already gone under.  After a search had been conducted, he was found about fifty feet from where I left him.  He was brought ashore and a Corpsman started giving artificial breathing.  Then, he was taken to the hospital.


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