Retired Lt. General remembered after death - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Retired Lt. General remembered after death

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Photo: General Vaught with retired Senator Bob Dole. Photo by Perry B. McLeod Photo: General Vaught with retired Senator Bob Dole. Photo by Perry B. McLeod
Source: http://tqlcvn.org/ Source: http://tqlcvn.org/
Photo of Gen. Vaught with Dr. Michael L. Morgan, MD who served as Guardian to Gen. Vaught on the flight, and as part of the Honor Flight Medical Team. Photo by Perry B. McLeod Photo of Gen. Vaught with Dr. Michael L. Morgan, MD who served as Guardian to Gen. Vaught on the flight, and as part of the Honor Flight Medical Team. Photo by Perry B. McLeod

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – On Friday, emergency responders found the body of a retired, decorated war hero in a pond where he is believed to have drowned. Lt. General James B. Vaught received dozens of awards during his time serving in World War II, The Korean War and The Vietnam War.

"General Vaught, he would never tell you this himself, but everybody who knew military history would tell you he's probably the most highly decorated, highest-ranking Horry County native in history," remarked  Retired Military Officer Harry Dubose. General Vaught was believed to be a direct descendent of Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion. 

Bill Krzyk coordinates the Myrtle Beach Honor Flight that flies veterans to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. Krzyk did not know him well, but said the times he met General Vaught, he was touched. As an Honor Flight was departing in May 2011, Gen. Vaught, who was not on the flight, sat quietly in a corner of the boarding gate. He saluted every WWII veteran as they boarded the plane, silently and discreetly. 

Dubose said General Vaught would often attend the departure of Honor Flights to honor the veterans. General Vaught flew with Honor Flight to DC in October 2011. 

Dubose remembered another night coming home from an outing with Korean War veterans and seeing General Vaught waiting for them in the parking lot. "Look who stood that night. Almost 9:30 when we rolled in, it was General Vaught and he was saluting them as they came off, shaking their hand, thanking them for their service," Dubose said.

Krzyk also met General Vaught also at a fundraiser two years ago. "I saw his hat, the same one in the photo. I said we have a general here, and we got to talking, and he touched me that morning."

Lt. Colonel Richard Pilcher said General Vaught went out of his way to show gratitude toward veterans, and was passionate about helping them, especially the wounded. "He wanted to  build a unit out on the old air force base where the guys that were recovering from wounds could come and stay and go to school and learn a trade," Lt. Colonel Pilcher said.

Coroner Edge said 86-year-old Gen. Vaught went to a pond off Old Reaves Ferry Rd., and when he didn't return home his family called 911. Emergency responders found his body in the pond, and they believe he fell off of his pontoon boat into the water.

The funeral for General Vaught will be held next Saturday at the Goldfinch Funeral Home.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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