SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information



In Memory of Marine Cpl.

Douglas Duane Janssen

Yankton, South Dakota, Yankton County

 June 28, 1947 – January 26, 1969

Killed in action near Quang Tri, Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam
while on patrol.

Douglas (Yogi) Duane Janssen was born in Yankton, South Dakota, on June 28, 1947, to Wilfred M. and Mary M. (Evju) Janssen. Douglas had two sisters, Mary Jo and Cheryl Ann and a brother Charles. Doug was very active in his church. Mary Jo tells us:

Growing up he learned how to work with his hands like his dad. He would take scrap lumber and anything else he could find and build some of the neatest toys to play with. We had tree houses, stagecoaches, rockets, stilts, and many more fun things to use our imagination with. Together our Dad and Doug built a sailboat and spent a lot of time with friends at the lake.

Doug took part in school play, and helped build the sets. He was a member of the High School band and St. John’s Lutheran Church Choir, and was a Boy Scout. In 1965 he graduated from Yankton High School, participating in wrestling all four years. Douglas worked at Sunshine Groceries, Yankton Press and Dakotan, and Bob’s Candy Service. Yogi Berra was Doug’s favorite baseball player, and his fellow soldiers in Vietnam called him that.

Cpl. Douglas Duane Janssen entered the United States Marine Corps on August 12, 1965 at Omaha, Nebraska, first training at Camp Pendleton, California. Cpl. Douglas Janssen arrived in Vietnam on January 1, 1966, with the 7th Marine Division, for his first tour of duty. He returned from that tour in February1967 and in August of that year was stationed in the Mediterranean Sea until February 1968. He volunteered for a second tour of duty in Vietnam, leaving May 1, 1968. He was attached to H&S Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.

With 109 days left to serve before coming home, Cpl. Douglas Duane Janssen died on January 26, 1969 as a result of hostile sniper fire while on patrol in the Quang Nam Province in South Vietnam. The funeral service for Cpl. Douglas D. Janssen was held on January 26, 1969 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, and burial was made in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Yankton, South Dakota. He was awarded two Purple Hearts, the National Defense Medal and a Vietnam Medal, as well as others. Cpl. Douglas Duane Janssen’s name can be found on Panel 34W, Line 084 of the Veterans’ Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

A fellow soldier, H. Steven Sadowsky, left this message at the Veterans’ Wall in Washington:

Doug saved me from dying, more than once. He taught me what ever it was that allowed me to complete my tour with only minor wounds. I am forever indebited; I will not forget.
--From a “Grateful fellow grunt.”

His sister, Mary Jo, said:

Douglas was a wonderful son, brother, and friend. He was very dedicated, and served his country well.


Sara Sweetman, 7th grade, Stanley County Middle School, Fort Pierre, South Dakota, February 14, 2005 respectfully submitted this entry. The information for this entry was provided by Mary Jo (Janssen) Schutz, Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Cheryl Ann O’Bryan, Cherokee, Iowa, sisters to Cpl. Douglas Duane Janssen.


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