Donald Frederick Cornell

Specialist Five
Army of the United States
07 November 1946 - 23 November 1968
Akron, Ohio
Panel 38W Line 041


National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Donald Frederick Cornell

19 Sep 2004

Freddie, How can I explain what the sacrifice of your short life has meant to me and my life? We grew up together in East Akron, although you were my older brother Daryl's friend, you were my friend too. I know I was a pain in the butt to both of you, tagging along, hiking in the woods and asking you a thousand questions about life ... thanks for being there for me brother, you always had the right answers, you shaped my life, but Freddie, what I will always cherish is the memory of how we spent our summer vacations, walking out the railroad tracks and fishing at Mogadore Reservoir, just talking about things and fishing. You always caught more fish than anyone else and your Mother cooked all of those blue gills we brought home. We were just children, then you grew up and married that little girl and went off to the Army, made Sergeant and went to Vietnam. The helicopter crashed, it was only a few months and you were gone. It was years before I could let you go, I still remember your face and how you laughed, you never said a swear word in your life, you believed that you were doing what had to be done to keep America free. May God keep you close to his heart, I promise to tend your grave at Hillside Memorial as long as I am able, I still miss you and think of you when I'm fishing, you are still with me in my memories.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On the night of 23/23 Nov 1968, UH-1C tail number 66-15142 of the 71st AHC was undergoing main rotor maintenance which required repeated test flights. On the fourth such test flight, the aircraft lifted off Chu Lai's Runway 32 heading northwest. The pilot climbed to 150 feet and made a right turn to crosswind, followed by a further descending right turn to his downwind leg. The aircraft did not recover from the descending turn and impacted the water offshore Chu Lai. Two crewmen were killed in the accident:
  • WO Paul R. Lo Forti, Palo Alto, CA, pilot
  • SP5 Donald F. Cornell, Akron, OH, observer

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Robert Fretz 
19 Sep 2004

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 09/19/2004