Donald Herman Lederhaus

Private First Class
Army of the United States
09 April 1947 - 27 December 1966
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Panel 13E Line 085


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign


The database page for Donald Herman Lederhaus

18 May 2004

Don, you are missed so very much. So many times I wonder just what you would be doing today if you were still here. I see you in my grandsons ... a lot of you is in them. I love you and miss you so much.

If anyone who knew my brother sees this please e-mail me.

Your sister,

30 Jan 2006

Don, another year has gone by without you. Merry and I are always talking about you. Wondering just what you would be doing with your life now. Would you be a great trumpet player as you were when you were home before the Army? Sure do miss you so much. I see you in my grandsons. One of then looks a lot like you. One likes to play music like you did, and one is left-handed just like you. God only knows some day I will get to the Wall so that I can say my good-bye to you that I never got to do. I love you and miss you so very much.

Your loving sister,

21 Mar 2007

Hi, Don...

Well it's been 41 years since you were taken from us. Your birthday is coming soon - you would be 60 this year. Man how time goes by. I now have 5 grandkids. You would love them all. John-John looks so much like you. I have a picture of you when you were about 8 I think and everyone that sees it asks when did we have that picture taken of John-John. When I tell them it's not him but it's you they all can't get over it. He is you to a "T". So I guess I still have you with me even today. Some day I will get out there to the Wall and see you. I have wanted to do that for so many years, but just never have the money to do that. With Ray being sick all the time don't know if I will ever get there. But God willing and some real luck I will get there if it is the last thing I ever do on this earth. I miss you so much and I never got to say good bye.


09 Apr 2007

Hi, Don ... well today would be your 60th birthday and I want to say "Happy birthday" to you anyway. I have found your Sergeant, James Johnson, or I should say he found me from your memorial here on The Virtual Wall. We have been e-mailing each other and I have found out a lot about LZ BIRD. James and his wife told me about a book by S. L. A. Marshall called "Christmastide Battle". I've been looking for it but so far no luck but I will keep looking. I also found some info on the LZ BIRD battle. My God, what a hell that night was. I should say 1 hour of pure hell. Sergeant Johnson told me about your letters from the school kids. Said they all enjoyed them and that you were their celebrity. He also said your humor kept them laughing. Yes, I know that would be true. I still miss you so very much, your birthday and Christmas are very hard times for me. I will say bye for now but will write you again.

Love you always,
You are in my heart until I join you someday.

18 May 2007

Hi, Don...

Well, another Memorial Day is soon to be here. A day to honor and remember those lost to wars. Well, I don't need any special day to remember cause I'll never forget you. You are always in my heart and on my mind. Someday God willing I will get out to the Wall to see your name, to touch it, and to be able to say good-bye.

I love you dearly,

09 Jul 2007

Hi Don...

Just wanted to tell you how much you are missed. I have been doing a lot of checking to find anyone that might have known you. So far your sergeant found me from this memorial for you. J. W. Johnson, your Sergeant - he and his wife Nan have been e-mailing me and I them. I spoke today to a John Brown who has pictures from LZ Bird and he is going to send both Merry and I copies.

I miss you so very much and someday God willing I will get to the Wall so that I can say my goodbye to you. Then maybe I can put my heart to rest.

Love You So Much

From his sister,
Bonnie (Lederhaus) Phillips
28 Jun 2006

Dear Don,
What do I say in a memorial to a cousin I never really knew? How do I say "I love you" or "I miss you" when I don't even remember what you looked like?

Some of my family and I found your name on the "Traveling Wall" and made a rubbing of it. It was pretty emotional seeing the name of a family member, even if I didn't know you, carved in that cold, hard stone.

I was so happy to find this site and to see all the information about you. The best part was seeing your picture. I was hoping it would help me to remember you a little bit more but, I'm sorry to say, it hasn't helped.

One good thing though, I "met" your sister Bonnie after I emailed her about adding my memorial to hers. I don't remember her either but, hopefully, we can do a lot of "catching up" soon. I want to learn all I can about you. (I wonder if you would remember me, and that I have a twin sister named Linda?)

With Bonnie's help I hope I can come to know more about the cousin I knew only as "Donnie Lederhaus, my cousin who died in the war." And I can say, I love you and miss you, Cuz!

Your Cousin,
Lois Anderson
182 Robert Street
Clintonville, Wisconsin 54929

07 Apr 2007

Well my dear brother, this coming Monday, April 9th, would be your 60th birthday. I wonder what we would have been doing for you. All of the family, getting together to celebrate the big event. Heck, I myself will be 53 this year. Doesn't even seem possible. I have been trying to get out to the cemetery to place flowers for your birthday. I will bake you a cake and sign to you, like I have been for many years now. I love you and I really miss you so much. Your loving baby sister, Merry

Merry (Lederhaus) Marciniak

26 Feb 2007

It has been an Honor to have known and served with
with you, Donald. I have thought of you so very,
very often over the years since we served together.
I am glad that I had the opportunity to serve with
a "Celebrity".

Your Bravery, Honor and Courage
in the face of the enemy was above and beyond,
providing covering fire, against the on-rushing
NVA, you were one hell of a Cannoneer.

Sgt. James W Johnson

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Landing Zone Bird was located in a bend in the Kim Son River about 10 miles southwest of Phu Cat in Binh Dinh Province. On 27 Dec 1966 the position was occupied by two artillery batteries (Bravo 2/19 with 105s and Charlie 6/16 with 155s) and C Company, 1/12 Cavalry. A ferocious fight ensued when LZ Bird was attacked by three battalions from the 22nd NVA Regiment.

Kelley's Where We Were in Vietnam incorrectly places the battle on Christmas Day, and has Charlie 2/12 Cav as the rifle company securing the base. He further reports that 58 Americans were killed in the battle, with 77 more wounded, at a cost to the North Vietnamese of 266 dead.

The US casualty list was bad enough - 28 men killed in action - but it is less than half that reported by Kelley:

  • Charlie 1/12th Cav lost 15 men;
  • Charlie 6/16th Arty lost 4 men;
  • Supporting helicopter units lost 2 men; and
  • B Battery, 2/19th Arty, lost 7 men:
    • SSG Rodney D. Staton, Guyan, WV
    • SGT Daniel L. Miracle, Williamstown, WV
    • CPL Ronald R. Conn, Tyler, TX
    • PFC Samuel Q. Asher, Milford, OH
    • PFC Anthony C. Coffaro, New Brunswick, NJ
    • PFC Richard A. Knaus, Cheektowaga, NY
    • PFC Donald H. Lederhaus, Milwaukee, WI

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 18 May 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009