From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Thomas Brunk '66

Date of birth: April 1, 1943

Date of death: May 26, 1972

Age: 29

Lucky Bag

From the 1966 Lucky Bag:


From VP Navy:

Lost Friday (May 26, 1972)...A Patrol Squadron Thirty-One P-3 Orion aircraft was declared missing after leaving on a routine training flight from Moffett Field Friday Morning at 9:15 a.m. with a crew of eight.

The subhunter patrol plane was the object of an intense air-sea search covering 14,000 miles. The aircraft was due back around 2 p.m. and when it did not appear search and rescue procedures were instigated. The plane is believed down somewhere between Moffett and the local Navy flying area off the coast of Big Sur.

Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force planes and Coast Guard cutters made an extensive search of the area in which the plane might have gone down.

Heavy fog and bad weather hampered the search during the early phases. As the paper goes to press no word of the fate of the crew and aircraft has. been received.

Those aboard the missing plane, are: Lieutenant Thomas E. Brunk, PPC and Instructor Pilot; Lieutenant (j.g.) Richard A. Nelson, student pilot; Lieutenant (j.g.) Joseoh T. Becker, student pilot; ADJI Ronald C. Hamelin, Flight Engineer Engineer; AMS2.Wmnrn S. Lasko, Instructor Flight Engineer; ADJ2 Michael E. Hamlin, Student Flight Engineer, Air Force Major Bobby G. Parish, United Technology Center Plant Representative and; LCdr Terry R. Cook, NARTU Alameda.


He was married to Janet, who as of March 2012 was "Janet Brunk Ehlers." Her email account is on that site as well; she provided his Lucky Bag picture. She was pregnant with his son, Jason.

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Orland Pender, Jr. '66 was also in 23rd Company.

Class of 1966

Thomas is one of 36 members of the Class of 1966 in Memorial Hall.