The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SP4 Donald Steven Holke, who died in the service of his country on November 9th, 1967 in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Donald was 20 years of age. He was from Burton, Washington. Donald is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 29E, Line 58.
The decorations earned by SP4 Donald Steven Holke include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
Donald is buried in the Vashon Cemetery in Vashon, WA.
(His Silver Star Citation)
General Orders 4141, Award of The Silver Star, 4th Infantry Division, 29 November 1967
For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations against an armed hostile force in the republic of Vietnam. On 9 November 1967, Specialist Four Holke distinguished himself while serving as an RTO in A, 1/35th Infantry conducting a search and destroy mission near Thon Hai (2). Company A was moving toward a river junction when it was taken under fore by enemy forces using a recoilless rifle and automatic weapons. Realizing the need to get the radio to the company commander, Specialist Four Holke left his covered position and ran across an area exposed to intense automatic weapons fire until he reached the officer's position. Seeing several of his comrades lying in the open seriously wounded and defenseless, he once again exposed himself to the hostile fire in an attempt to rescue them. After administering first aid, he began carrying them back to a protected position one by one. While Specialist Four Holke was moving the last wounded man to safety he was noticed by the enemy and taken under fire. He managed to get the wounded man to safety, but before he could take cover himself he was killed by enemy fire, Specialist Four Holke's valorous actions enabled the company to maintain vital radio communications at a critical period and saved the lives of several of his comrades. His gallantry is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.