In Memory of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant
Donald Raymond Sandve
Langford, South Dakota, Marshall County
November 11, 1932 -- January 9, 1966
Killed in Action in Vietnam
Donald Raymond Sandve was born on November 11, 1932, to
Martin and Hannah (Waage) Sandve. He had three sisters:
Leslie, Lucille, and Marcella, and two brothers: James, and
Kenneth. He had a great sense of humor. He loved to play
music; he played guitar, accordion, and the harmonica. He
also loved to dance. According to his sister, “He was a
great dancer.” He attended Langford Schools. On October 2,
1954, Donald married Lois Jean Lashley in Georgia. They had
seven kids: Donald Raymond Sandve, Jr., Harold, Lloyd,
Patricia Ann, Tamela Jean, Deborah Kaye, and Mary Ann.
As a career serviceman, Donald Raymond Sandve was in the
service for over 14 years. Donald first entered the service
on December 4, 1951, and twice served his country in the
Korean War. His last enlistment was on May 29, 1962, at Fort
Leonard Wood in Missouri. SSGT Sandve was sent overseas to
Vietnam on September 21, 1965, as part of Company C, 1st
Battalion, 28th Infantry, and 1st Infantry Division.
SSGT Donald R. Sandve was killed in action on January 9,
1966, in South Vietnam. When the Army had to tell the
family, his mother was not home; she was staying at her
daughter’s house in another town, so they had to blow the
fire whistle in Langford to find someone who knew where she
was. The body of SSGT Sandve was returned to the United
States and after a service in Langford, he was buried with a
military honors at the cemetery in Gorton, South Dakota.
Among his awards was the Purple Heart.
At the time of his death, in addition to his wife and
children, he was survived by his three sisters, Mrs. Leslie
(Jeanette) Holland; Mrs. Richard (Lucille) Knoll; and Mrs.
Paul (Marcella) Wessel; and two brothers, Kenneth and James.
In closing, many described Donald as “an all around nice
guy, a fellow that you liked to be with.” His sister,
Marcella, wrote, “Even after almost forty years it still
brings tears to write this.”
This entry was respectfully submitted by Vanessa Hamling,
8th grade student, Spearfish Middle School, September 29,
2005. Information for this entry was provided by the Vietnam
veteran’s bonus application, and Marcella Wessel, sister.
Approval by Marcella Wessel.