Staff Sgt. Council Vaughan honored posthumously

Published 8:00 am Monday, July 5, 2021

JUNE 24, 1971

Staff Sgt. Council Delano Vaughan, a native of Southampton County, Virginia, was honored on June 16, 1971, posthumously, for heroism while engaged in combat in Vietnam; he was killed in action on Nov. 15, 1970. The “Bronze Star Medal” with “V” device, for heroism, and the “Purple Heart” were accepted by his widow and his mother. The ceremony took place at Fort Story with Colonel Lowell R. Hutson, commanding officer, making the presentation. 

Attending the ceremony were Sergeant Vaughan’s widow, Mrs. Council D. Vaughan; his mother, Mrs. William Vaughan Sr.; and two of his sisters, Mrs. Dennis Lamm and Mrs. H. J. Porter Jr. 

The accompanying citation read in part:  

“By the Direction of the president of the United States of America, the Bronze Star Medal – with “V” device (for valor) – is awarded to Staff Sergeant Council Vaughan for heroism in connection with ground operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Sergeant Vaughan distinguished himself by his exceptional valorous actions on Nov. 15 1970 while serving as a platoon sergeant with Company D, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry.”

“On that date, the company was conducting a combat patrol in Tien Phuoc District when he encountered an enemy mine field. Ignoring the danger involved, Sergeant Vaughan unhesitantly moved to the advance element and skillfully guided his comrades through the enemy-infested area. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he expertly detected numerous hostile booby traps and marked their positions to prevent friendly casualties – until he was mortally wounded when a well-concealed enemy mine was inadvertently detonated. Through his timely and courageous actions, Sergeant Vaughan was instrumental in minimizing friendly casualties and served as an inspiration to his entire unit.”

“His personal heroism, professional competence and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 23rd Infantry Division and the United States Army.”

Medals previously earned by Sergeant Vaughan were also presented, including the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea), Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Gallantry Cross, and the Marksmanship Expert Badge with rifle bar.

A nine-year U. S. Army Infantry veteran, Staff Sergeant Vaughan was serving his second tour of duty in Vietnam. He had also served a tour in Korea. 

He was a 1956 graduate of Franklin High School and had worked three years in electronics and had served in the Virginia Army National guard, in Franklin, prior to joining the U. S. Army. 

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Council Vaughan was a son of William W. Vaughan and Alta Hatfield Vaughan, of the Hunterdale community of Southampton County, the parents of 13 children. Council Vaughan, born Jan. 30, 1939, was brother to Margaret Vaughan, George Edward Vaughan, Charlotte Vaughan Foster, Ann Vaughan Lamm, Becky Vaughan, William W. Vaughan Jr., Joseph D. Vaughan, Elizabeth Vaughan Johnson, Carolyn Vaughan Porter, Esther Vaughan Simms, Kathryn Vaughan Lamm, and Patricia Vaughan Bland. 

Council Delano Vaughan is buried and memorialized at Southampton Memorial Park in Southampton County, Virginia. 

He is honored on the Vietnam Memorial and Wall of Faces in Washington, D. C. His name is inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 06W, line 63.

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is magnolia101@charter.net.