Donald William Atwell, Jr

Army of the United States
30 November 1949 - 27 December 1969
Fort Myers, Florida
Panel 15W Line 097

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Donald William Atwell, Jr

05 Apr 2005

I am the mother of Donnie's two oldest nephews, David and Eric, neither of whom ever had the opportunity to meet him, an opportunity that I also was denied due to his death. I know that this was a vibrant, vital young man who went into this war with the belief that afterwards he would have the rest of his life to live fully and completely. He had a mother, father, three brothers and one sister who loved him deeply. I just wanted to post this so that my sons and someday their children would have a record of Donnie Atwell and know that he gave his all for them. If you knew him or have any info please email us. We would be grateful for it.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The following article, which was accompanied by the photo which appears at the top of this memorial, provides the only information available to The Virtual Wall regarding the circumstances of PFC Atwell's death, and it injects a bit of confusion into things. The article reportedly was printed on Wednesday, 31 Dec 1969, and states that PFC Atwell "was wounded last Wednesday and died the next day". "Last Wednesday" would have been 24 Dec 1969, yet PFC Atwell's casualty record indicates he died of his injuries on Saturday, 27 Dec 1969. It is unclear if he was wounded on the day prior (Friday, 26 Dec) or if the text is incorrect in stating that he died the day after being wounded. There are no other known casualties from the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, in December 1969.

28th From County Killed in War

Fort Myers GI Dies in Viet

Private First Class Donald W. Atwell, 20, of 115 Lucille Ave., Fort Myers, has been killed in action in Vietnam. Atwell was wounded last Wednesday and died the next day, according to a telegram sent his father, Donald W. Atwell, Sr., by the U. S. Army Monday.

Atwell attended Lee Junior High School. For three years he worked as a painter before entering the Army June 19.

"Donald Atwell was one of the finest boys that ever lived," Ron Ault, his former employer, said Tuesday. "He was a good worker and very dependable."

No details have been supplied by the Army about the combat causing Atwell's wound. His stepmother, Mrs. Ruth Atwell, said he was in the First Infantry Division stationed at Di An, near Pleiku, Vietnam. He had won several medals as an expert rifleman. He was the 28th serviceman from Lee County killed in the Vietnam War.

Members of the family said "Donnie was very quiet and unassuming. He was a happy-go-lucky boy who did not have many worries. His hobby was fixing up and racing automobiles. He could sure fix up a car."

Atwell is survived by his father, Donald W. Atwell, Sr. of Fort Myers; his mother, Mrs. Gloria Sellers of West Palm Beach; three brothers, David Atwell of Fort Myers, Steven and Gary Atwell of West Palm Beach; his step-mother; four half sisters, Mrs. Sandra Lee Jones, Mrs. Melba Jean Kinard, Mrs. Ellen Irene Shostak, and Mrs. Marsha Nichols of Fort Myers; a half brother, Richard Glen Ivey of Fort Myers; and a grandmother, Mrs. Evelyn Clark of West Palm Beach.

Atwell was born Nov. 30, 1949, in West Palm Beach.

When the Army notifies the family when it can expect arrival of the body, funeral arrangements will be made through Leo W. Englehardt Funeral Home, Mrs. Atwell said.

Photo and text from a news article dated 31 Dec 1969.
Source unknown. Reproduced under 17 USC 107.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister-in law. 
7 Apr 2005

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index A
FL State Index . Panel 15W
18TH INF RGT Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 04/07/2005