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



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.



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