Vince Connolly was born on May 10, 1934, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force through the Air Force ROTC program at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia on June 5, 1955, and went on active duty beginning October 17, 1955. Lt Connolly next completed pilot training and was awarded his pilot wings at Laughlin AFB, Texas, in October 1956, followed by service as an instructor pilot at Bryan AFB, Reese AFB, and then at Randolph AFB, Texas, from 1956 to 1962. After completing Photo Reconnaissance Training and RF-101 Voodoo Combat Crew Training, Capt Connolly served as an RF-101 pilot with the 32nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Laon AB, France, from June 1963 to September 1966. He then served as an RF-101 pilot with the 20th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from September 1966 until he was killed in action over North Vietnam on November 4, 1966. He was officially listed as Missing in Action and promoted through the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel before being declared dead in 1974. His remains were returned to the United States on July 17, 1984, and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Vince was married to the former Marjorie Monteith from December 10, 1961, until his death.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
Captain Vincent J. Connolly distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force near Viet Tri, North Vietnam, on 1 November 1966. On that date, Captain Connolly led a flight of two unarmed and unescorted reconnaissance aircraft to photograph a heavily defended, top priority target. Because of mechanical difficulties, Captain Connolly's wingman returned to his base; however, Captain Connolly, realizing the urgency of obtaining intelligence of this vital target, continued into the most hostile environment ever faced by American aircrews. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Captain Connolly demonstrated outstanding airmanship by maneuvering through an intense antiaircraft fire attack and also an area defended by deadly surface-to-air missiles to his target. The photographs he obtained were of outstanding quality and of utmost importance to tactical operations in Southeast Asia. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Captain Connolly has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.