Grave marker for Donald Bonge in Plot: S, 0, 1043
of the Willamette National Cemetery, Portland (Multnomah
Donald was the oldest
of at least 3 children born to Wayne H. and Anna I. (Block)
Bonge. His 2 siblings were girls
He joined the army, probably in 1943 and volunteered for
parachutist duty. Following basic training and completion of
jump school Donald was shipped overseas to England.
On August 10, 1944 he was transferred from the 11th Replacement
Depot in North Wales to Company A, 508th Parachute Infantry
Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. The regiment was then posted
in Nottingham, England and was replenishing men and materials
after 33 days of combat in Normandy.
NOTE: The regiment is incorrectly inscribed on his grave marker
as "568 Prcht Inf" rather than 508.
Pfc Bonge was wounded in action on December 25, 1944 in Belgium
during the Battle of The Bulge. His injury was described as a
"penetrating wound to the right supra-orbital area", i.e., just
above the right eye. He was evacuated to a field hospital and
then flown to England.
Donald was transferred from the HQ 154th US General Hospital in
Swindon, England to the Parachute Replacement Regiment at Ft
Benning, GA which had extensive medical facilities. He arrived
in NY Harbor on January 25, 1945 aboard the SS Ile de France.
Pfc Bonge's military decorations would have included the Purple
Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Europe-Africa-Middle East
Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star and the WW-II Victory
Medal. The Bronze Star Medal (BSM) noted on the grave
stone probably was awarded as a result of the combat incident
resulting in his injury.
A resident of
Vancouver for 21 years, Donald Wayne Bonge. 48, died here
He was born August 27, 1923 in valentine, Neb. His Vancouver
residence was at 1803 E. 4th St.
Bonge was a member of the Molders and Allied Workers Union, Local 139,
and had been a member of the parachute infantry in World War II.
Survivors include his widow, Florence May, and his mother, Anna of
Valentine Neb; three sons, Donald E., Dennis W. and Daniel L.,
all of Vancouver; and a daughter, Sharon of Vancouver.
Othe survivors are three sisters, Arlene Ohlmann, Waterloo,
Neb., Betty Porath, Valentine, Neb., and Doris Hahn, Midwest,
Okla; and his grandmother, Lillian Bonge of Vancouver.
Funeral services will be at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday ay Evergreen Funeral
chapel, with vault interment to follow at Willamette National