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(courtesy of Darren Penland)
Grave marker for Donald Bonge in Plot: S, 0, 1043 of the Willamette National Cemetery, Portland (Multnomah County), Oregon.

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.

Donald Bonge

  A resident of Vancouver for 21 years, Donald Wayne Bonge. 48, died here Thursday.
  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 Cemetery.

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