In Memory of
U.S. Army Private First Class Harold, South Dakota
Hughes County

January 5, 1927 – October 15, 1952
Killed in Action on Triangle Hill in Korea


Donald Edward Lawrence was born January 5, 1927, to Lowell and Phyllis Lawrence in Highmore, South Dakota. He had a sister, Janice (Justen). He graduated from high school in Harold, South Dakota and then went to college at Brookings State College in 1948 and 1949. During the summer of 1950, Donald traveled around the country with a circus. Hughes County Draft Board sent his induction notice to him while he was in New Orleans with the circus. Therefore, on the American Battle Monuments Commission site, Donald is listed as a casualty from Tangipahoa, Louisiana, but South Dakota was his home.

Donald was ordered to take his physical and report to duty, so in June of 1951, he reported for duty at Fort Sam Houston in Texas and Fort Ord in California. Private First Class Lawrence went overseas in April of 1952 with Company E, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. From the time he arrived in Korea, Pfc. Lawrence was on the front lines. But he wrote home to his mom and “was always brave and cheerful and sometimes gay despite the lonely dangerous situation,” according to the local paper.

Private First Class Donald Edward Lawrence was killed in action in Korea on October 15, 1952, near Triangle Hill. His body was later returned to the United States, and he was buried with military honors at Ft. Snelling Cemetery in St. Paul, Minnesota.

First Lieutenant Lawrence was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal.

After his death, Donald’s mother, Phyllis Lawrence Renner, moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Hillary Stevens, 8th Grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota. Information for this entry was obtained from the ABMC website, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, and the Harold Journal, November 20, 1952, issue. Memorial stone photo courtesy of Derek Groft. No family contact was made.