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Spec Donald Ralph Hamrick
Birth: Jan. 26, 1950
Shelby
Cleveland County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Mar. 11, 1971
Quang Tri, Vietnam

SP4 Donald R Hamrick, Vietnam Veteran, Native of Shelby, NC.

Specialist Four Donald Ralph Hamrick was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Army, SP4 Hamrick served our country until March 11th, 1971 in Quang Tri, South Vietnam during Operation Finney Hill. He was 21 years old and was not married. It was reported that Donald died from an exploding land mine on Route 527, 10 Kilometers North-Northwest of Quang Ngai Airfield. His body was recovered. SP4 Hamrick is on panel 04W, line 038 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.

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 was my nephew whom I loved very much. In March, 2003, I write the following: Donald Ralph Hamrick, Forever in Our Hearts, January 26, 1950-March 11, 1971. Among God's richest blessings are those family members He allows us to love and to enjoy as we journey through this life together. We expected things to stay the same in our family and never dreamed that the little blessing named Donald, who entered our family in 1950, would ever leave us. He had a sweet, gentle disposition, a fun loving nature, a heart full of kindness, a sweet smile and a twinkle in his eyes that, as long as there is breath in our bodies, we will never forget. He was the first to break the circle of our family when he left us for a "higher calling", March 11, 1971. We cherish the memory of Donald today, as we remember and honor his life and his death in Vietnam, March 11, 1971. It is important to us, his family, that the life he gave be remembered with merited honor and highest esteem. May he be remembered at this time of war and conflict, both on foreign soil and in the minds of those in America who may have forgotten the "price of our freedom". Donald paid this price, as have so many others over the past two hundred plus years, and the price many of our soldiers are paying today. We salute you, our soldiers, and may God's richest blessings be with you and with your families. We salute you, Donald, and we, your family, will always love you. Nancy Hamrick Hughes, mhughes81@carolina.rr.com.

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. Tammy Hamrick Mulholland, his sis, nana49@carolina.rr.com.

From his sister-in-law. Donald was a bright young man,who played the guitar and loved life. His desire was to be an Air Traffic Controller after his tour in the Army. He was loved by all his family and was a very important part of his family. He made everyone proud and is sorely missed. Joy Garland, PO Box 1001, Belmont, NC 28012.

I am looking for anyone with information on the death of my Dad's best friend Donald Hamrick. He was killed on March 11,1971. After all these years this is something my father can not put behind him. Just as no one else can. He needs closure. He wants all the details he can get surrounding the only best friend he ever had. Please,if anyone knew Donald feel free to email me. I found out that there was another soldier killed with Donald. The only information I have about him is Sp4 William Flood Jr. He was from Randolph, Massuchusetts. They were killed by landmines in or around Quang Ngai, South Vietnam. Any information would be very vaulable and more so treasured. Heather Callahan Stokes, 2911 Hugh Harrill Rd, Shelby, NC 28150.

He is the Son of Mr James Hoyt Hamrick and Mrs Ruth Eldridge Yarboro Hamrick.

He served with Bravo Company, 26th Engineer Battalion, 23rd Infantry Division, USARV.

He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, The Army Commendation Medal, The Purple Heart Medal for his Combat wounds, The National Defense Service Medal, The Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. He also 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. This was the National Order of Merit Medal.

 
 
Burial:
Beaver Dam Baptist Church Cemetery
Shelby
Cleveland County
North Carolina, USA
 
Created by: Tom Reece
Record added: Jan 25, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17689296
Spec Donald Ralph Hamrick
Added by: Tom Reece
 
Spec Donald Ralph Hamrick
Added by: Sharon
 
Spec Donald Ralph Hamrick
Added by: Tom Reece
 
 
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- Vonnie L Cantrell
 Added: May. 16, 2015

- Sharon
 Added: Dec. 13, 2013
From a Sister of a Marine KIA in Vietnam, PFC: William L Young Jr...Thank You for your Service to Our Country, Donald!
- Judy Green
 Added: Mar. 3, 2011
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