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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 the November 1972 issue of Shipmate':

Lt. Thomas Eugene Brunk, USN, died in an aircraft accident in the Big Sur Operating Area, California, on 26 May. He was an instructor pilot in a P-3 Orion which was declared missing after a routine training flight from Moffett Field. Memorial services were held 2 June at Moffett Field.

A native of Santa Fe, N.M., he was a 1966 graduate of the Naval Academy. Lt. Brunk completed flight training and then served with VP-19 and VP-31. He was attached to the latter at the time of his death.

Surviving are his widow, Janet, 20925 Valley Green Dr., Apt. 271, Cupertino, CA 95041; and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Grover E. Brunk of Gallup, N.M.

His wife seems to have remarried; as of March 2012 she posted as "Janet Brunk Ehlers." Her email account is on that site as well. She was pregnant with his son, Jason.

He has a memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.


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.) Joseph T. Becker, student pilot; ADJI Ronald C. Hamelin, Flight Engineer Engineer; AMS2.C William 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.

Related Articles

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

Class of 1966

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

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.