Donald Saunders - March 4

Another Belleville Son
Dies in Vietnam Battle

(March 14, 1968) -- "Since he had to leave this world, I'm glad he left it the way he did, with courage and fighting for his country."

There was little else for William D. Saunders of High Street, Belleville, to say. He is the father of Pfc. Donald Saunders who was killed in action in Vietnam March 4, 1968.

The young Saunders, only 20, died of wounds on his head and body from an enemy mortar fire in Quang Tri last week.

Saunders enlisted in the Marines two years ago on Sept. 28. It was a day that William Saunders will never forget as it was the elder Saunders' birthday.

Donald completed his basic training at Parris Island, S.C., and advanced infantry training at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He volunteered for duty in Vietnam.

When asked why, Mrs. Maisie Saunders, his mother, said, "Donald was never too talkative. He made his own decisions. I think he felt the boys were doing a good job and he should back them up."

"It was just a job that had to be done, for him," added Saunders, and he never complained. In all his letters there was never a word of complaint. He tried to reassure us, in fact."

The Belleville Times, March 14, 1968

8th Anniversary edition of Honor Roll paperback now on Amazon

The 8th anniversary edition of BELLEVILLE SONS HONOR ROLL Remembering the Men Who Paid For Our Freedom by Anthony Buccino includes additional information on Belleville in the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, more photos of town's WWI casualties, WWW II, Korean War - including Medal of Honor recipient Henry Svehlo, Vietnam War and peacetime casualties including our last soldier Donald Murray killed in 1996. 

In the last century, Belleville lost 157 sons while in service to our country. This collection, gathered from newspaper clippings and other sources collects what we know about these young men in an effort that their sacrifice not be forgotten.

Belleville Sons Honor Roll paperback edition now available on Amazon.com
$19/.99 ++

An earlier version appears on Kindle.