Donald Ledlie - Corporal

Rank: Corporal
Date Of Birth: Dec 8, 1947
Date Of Death: Apr 30, 1970
War / Conflict: Vietnam
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Gold Star Hall - Wall Location: Southeast Wall (Top Portion)
Service Ribbons Awarded:
  • Bronze Star with V (for valor)
  • Purple Heart
  • Viet Nam


Donald Ralph Ledlie was born in Des Moines, Iowa on December 8, 1947 to Ralph and Ethelda Ledlie. 

Don grew up on the family farm south of Des Moines. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1966 and attended Iowa State University from September 1966 to May 1967 majoring in Agricultural Business. After that year, he transferred to Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, Iowa and graduated in their Agricultural Mechanics program in 1969.

In addition to farming, Don enjoyed hunting and fishing and was active in 4-H showing cattle and horses.  He intended to use his mechanic training on the farm once he got through with his tour of duty.

He entered the Army in 1969, and began basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana in August that year. After completing AIT training, he shipped out on February 5, 1970 to Vietnam. He joined the 3rd platoon, Company D, 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry, of the 199th Infantry Brigade.

On April 30, 1970, Don was walking point on a scouting mission near the village of Tanh Linh, approximately 60 miles NE of Saigon. He died when his group came under attack.  He was 22 years old.

Don was active in the Scotch Ridge Church, three miles south of Des Moines, where he was a fifth generation member. In 1971, land was purchased next to the church and the Donald Ledlie Memorial park was established. This park was dedicated in 1972 to all that have served and had given their lives for their country. It is still in use along Hwy 69 where the flag waves proudly for our country and those in service.

Donald was awarded the Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Badge with automatic rifle and machine gun bars, the Marksman Badge with rifle bar.

Posthumously awarded were the Bronze Star Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster), the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal and then the Bronze Star Medal (Second Oak Leaf Cluster) for heroism.

Don was proud to serve the country that he loved and knew of the sacrifice he was giving.

To quote the letter received from General William Westmoreland of the U.S. Army, “We are defending the right of men to choose their own destiny, the right of men to live in dignity and freedom”.