Donald Ralph HamrickSpecialist Four
B CO, 26TH ENG BN, AMERICAL DIV
Army of the United States
26 January 1950 - 11 March 1971
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The database page for Donald Ralph Hamrick
Donald Ralph Hamrick was born January 26, 1950, to Hoyt and Ruth Hamrick in Shelby, North Carolina.
He was a very happy little boy who talked non-stop and was filled with curiosity and a great imagination. He was the second grandchild in the family of Ralph and Gertrude Hamrick. He was named for this beloved grandfather.
Donald's favorite uncle was Ted Anthony, who taught him, among other things, to swim. They enjoyed being together as much as possible. Later, after Donald's death, Ted was the only family member, other than his parents, to receive the telegram regarding his death. Donald had arranged for this in the event of his death.
His first year out of high school, Donald attended Gardner-Webb College. The second year, he attended Atlantic Airline School in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was preparing for a career in air traffic control. Because this school was not a nine months school, he was eligible for the draft. The raging Vietnam War was the primary thought in the minds of every young man in the country. His number was drawn but he decided to volunteer for four years, with the stipulation he would be allowed to return to the airline school at the end of the four years. This was not to be.
After training, he was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where he received training in Combat Engineering. From there he was sent to Vietnam. Approximately one month before he was to receive his R & R, he was mine sweeping with five other young men in a helicopter landing zone, when he was killed in action on March 11, 1971.
Donald R. Hamrick Specialist Four, US Army, Company B, 26th Engineer Battalion, 23rd Infantry Division, received the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, and the RVN Campaign medals. He qualified for the Automatic Rifle marksmanship badge. He received a medal from the Republic of Vietnam, sent separately to his parents with a commendation letter stating that very few were awarded this honor.
Donald was my nephew whom I loved very much. In March, 2003, I wrote the following:
Please contact me if you knew Donald. Thank you.
Donald also had a brother and a sister who loved him very much. Our brother, Phil Hamrick, was four years older than him and I was ten years younger. Donald was my best friend. He wasn't like other teenagers, when he got ready to go out and "ride the strip" at night he took me along. How many guys want their little sisters along when they are out on a Saturday night? We would stay up late watching black-and-white horror movies, I would fall asleep, and he would put me to bed. Everywhere he went, I went. The age difference didn't seem to matter. He was very special and he treated me very special. I didn't have much time with Donald but the time I did have with him was all wonderful. It was enough to last a lifetime. He still lives in my heart and the memories are with me every day. My brother was a very caring person and is missed by many. This world lost a special soul March 11, 1971.
From Donald's sister
A Note from The Virtual WallSP4 William J. Flood, Jr, of Randolph, Massachusetts, died in the same incident.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
Nancy Hamrick Hughes
1214 Donna Drive, Shelby, N C 28152
6 Nov 2003
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 11/09/2003