Sergeant Donald Walter Sang

Donald W. Sang was born on July 31, 1923, in Paterson, New Jersey. Donald was raised in Clifton, New Jersey, with his Aunt Margaret and Uncle Leonard Moreland. Donald entered the service on February 19, 1943. He attended basic training in Florida. After basic training, Donald attended Laredo Gunnery and Radio School at Sioux Falls, Iowa. In addition, he took advanced radio intructions in Chicago, Illinois and Salt Lake City, Utah. In April and May of 1944, Donald meet his crew and began to train as a tail gunner aboard a B-24 Liberator Bomber at Biggs Army Air Field, located in El Paso, Texas. Donald and his crew traveled overseas in June of 1944 and joined the 734th Bombardment Squadron of the 453rd Bombardment Group of the 8th Army Air Force. On July 21, 1944, while on his 11th combat mission, another B-24 bomber collided with Donald's aircraft at 23,000 over Germany. Donald immediatly began to find an exit through the fuselage of the aircraft. Entering the waist part of the aircraft, Donald saw the two waist gunners on the floor of the aircraft stuggling to get to their parachutes. Putting himself in great danger, Donald stayed in the aircraft as it fell from the sky and gave his two fellow airmen their parachutes to attach to their harnesses. With one jumping, Donald stayed in the aircraft to help the other bail out since he was unable to move. With time running out, Donald and his fellow airmen bailed out at a height of about 200 meters (656 feet). Donald's parachute failed to open and was killed instantly when he hit the ground. Disregarding his own personal saftey, Donald opted to stay in the aircraft to save the lives of his fellow airmen. Sixty years later, Donald was nominated for a decoration for his heroic actions in the last seconds of his life. Donald was awarded the Purple Heart, Air Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one bronze service star, and World War II Victory Medal. In addition, he was awarded the Aerial Gunner Badge, Air Crew Badge, Sharpshooter Badge with Machine Gun Qualification Bar, and Army Air Force Communication Specialty Patch. Donald is buried in Lorraine American Cemetery, located in St. Avold, France.

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