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



In Memory of  U. S Marine Corps Private First Class

Donald Wayne Simonson

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Minnehaha County

 March 14, 1949 – August 29, 1968

Killed in Action in Quang Nam Province in Vietnam


Donald Wayne Simonson, known as Wayne, was born on March 14, 1949, to Donald Norman and Lucy Dorothy (Wilcox) Simonson. He has six brothers: Dale, Dean, Daniel, James, Jeffery, and Joseph. Donald attended Ivring, Axtell Park and Washington High School from where he graduated in 1967. In high school, Donald “played the accordion. He liked rock music—the Rolling Stones and the Beatles in particular. He liked cars; he was a bit of a mechanic,” stated his brother, Dale.

On January 16th, 1968, Donald entered the active service at Omaha, Nebraska. He was trained at Camp Pendleton, California and became a Private First Class. When he went overseas as part of Company M, 3rd Marine Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, he was stationed in Quang Nam Province.

Donald Wayne Simonson was killed in action on August 29, 1968, “from a gunshot wound to the body from hostile rifle fire while on patrol.” Pfc. Simonson was a ground casualty with small arms fire. The body of Donald Simonson was recovered and returned to the United States. After a service at the Miller Funeral Home in Sioux Falls, he was buried with military honors at the Woodlawn Cemetery.

At the time of his death, he was survived by his parents and his brothers: Dale, Dean, Daniel, James, Jeffery, and Joseph. In closing, Dale remembers that although Donald had originally been in favor of the war, he changed his mind after “getting a taste of it,” and advised his brother, Dale, to “stay away from going over” to Vietnam if he could.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Kaylee Wagner, 8th grade student, Spearfish Middle School, September 29th, 2005. Information for this entry was provided by Vietnam Veterans Bonus Application, 9/29/68 issue of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and Rod Simonson, uncle of Pfc. Simonson. Additional information and profile approval was provided by Dale Simonson, brother, Sioux Falls.



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