• eatontown
  • Monmouth
  • May 05, 1948
  • May 14, 1967
  • Marines
  • RANK:
  • PFC
  • KIA
  • South Vietnam


Donald K. Halvorsen was born on May 5, 1948.  His home of record is Eatontown, NJ.  He had one sister, Ruth.  He attended Monmouth Regional High School in Tinton Falls, NJ.  He was a member of the track team and Boy Scout Troop 100.  He also served as a junior fireman as part of the Tinton Falls Fire Company.

He served in the US Marine Corps and attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC).

Halvorsen was killed in action on May 14, 1967, and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.  He is buried in Fair View in Middletown, NJ.

Donald K. Halvorsen was born on May 5, 1948, in a small village called "Corner Brook", near St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada.  Marine Private First Class Donald K. Halvorsen, 18, was the son of Marguerite and Howard Halvorsen.

In the Spring of 1959, he came to the United States to live in Tinton Falls, NJ.  Donald graduated from Tinton Falls Grammar School, June 1964.  He attended Monmouth Regional High School.  Born in Newfoundland, Canada, PFC Halvorsen was a volunteer all the way through.  As a Canadian citizen, he could not have been drafted in the U.S. Armed Forces, but volunteered for the Marine Corps and for service in Vietnam.  He always said it was better for him than some father who might have children.

Donald was a member of the Monmouth Regional High School Track Team; a Junior Fireman of the Tinton Falls Fire Company; and a member of Boy Scout Troop 100.  Donald had several part time jobs while in high school, working in sales at a local toy store and an area department store.  He enjoyed babysitting for his younger cousins and his sister, Ruth.  His cousins recall him helping build a tree house and sitting on the couch patiently teaching her to snap her fingers.

In February 1966, Donald volunteered to defend his adopted country and enlisted in the Marines, completing Basic Training at Parris Island, SC.  He then reported to Camp Lejeune, NC, for further training.  In late April, he was granted leave prior to being shipped overseas and was looking forward to having a few beers.

Upon reporting to Camp Pendleton, CA, Donald endured refresher training while waiting for deployment overseas.  In September, he embarked for Okinawa where he would be assigned to a unit.  The assignment was to Company C (60 MM Mortars), 1st Battalion, 9th Marines.  They were being prepared for an operation in the Mekong Delta, where the VC had training camps and we had never been before.  They expected to lose 70% of their men.  The preparation was being covered by Life Magazine, the Marine Corps Commandant and two Senators.  Donald noted that the people lived in extremely poor conditions, that there were three girls for every man and they were both easy and cheap, but beer and liquor was quite expensive and he didn't have much money.  There was no age limit on drinking.           

In March 1967, his battalion was moved to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) where a company had been badly mauled by the VC.  Only 32 were left, the rest killed or wounded.  On Sunday, March 5, 1967, while working in Quan Tai Province near the DMZ in which the VC were staging attacks against the south in violation of agreements, he was hit in the right shoulder by fragments from a "hostile explosive device".  He was taken by helicopter to a Field Hospital, treated and returned to duty.  He received a Purple Heart.           

Donald was killed in action in Quan Tai Province on Sunday, May 14, 1967.  (He had just turned 19 on May 5, 1967.)  It was reported that "Marines of the 9th Marine Regiment have had 29 killed and 190 wounded in three days of fighting near one corner of Leatherneck Square."  He noted that his unit had killed 760 VC.  It would have been over for Donald in 180 days from the Sunday his service ended; instead he earned another Purple Heart.

His body was accompanied from the New Brunswick, NJ, Rail Station to Wm. S. Anderson Funeral Home, Red Bank, NJ, by a Marine Honor Guard and an Uncle.  He is interred in the Fairview Cemetery, Middletown, NJ.

                                      Written by Ruth Halvorsen Dye, Aunt

Sources: Ruth Halvorsen Dye (aunt) and NJVVMF.


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