Prineville soldier killed in action in Korea
Clarence Tangney was born in Prineville March 9, 1930, and attended schools in the community. His parents were farmers on McKay Creek north of Prineville.
He graduated from Crook County High School in 1948. Tangney was vice president of his senior class. He was very interested in high school sports but suffered from a chronic ailment resulting from severe pneumonia when he was 3 years old and was unable to participate.
After graduation, he was employed by Midstate Lumber Company. He underwent a major operation at Prineville Memorial Hospital in 1950 so that he might be able to enlist in the service. He was accepted into the Army in March 1951.
Following his basic training, Tangney was transferred to Japan for further study in the chemical school there. He was then transferred to duty in Korea in October 1952.
On Nov. 4, 1952, his parents received a telegram that informed them that their son had been killed in action on Nov. 3. He was serving as a private in the 40th Infantry Division in Korea.
Private Tangney was the second Crook County fatality of the Korean War. He had only been on duty in Korea for less than a month.
His body arrived at the Redmond Airport under military escort and was delivered to the Prineville Funeral Home. Corporal Elmer Hapken of the Oakland, California, Army Base provided the escort. All civic groups in Prineville sent delegations to the services held at the funeral home and at graveside services. The local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars provided a firing squad, and full military honors were observed at the gravesite.
Private Tangney was 22 years old at the time of his death. His younger brother, Pfc. Tom Tangney, had just embarked for Korea with the Marine Corps three days before his brother's death. He received emergency leave to attend his brother's funeral.
The community mourned a local young man who had given his life in service to his country.
Steve Lent is a local historian and assistant director of the Bowman Museum. He can be reached at: 541-447-3715.