Brown County







Book a time
Contact Details


POSTED ON 11.14.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear PFC Donald Dean Layton, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

Curt Carter
read more read less
POSTED ON 6.5.2011
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Donald is buried at Green Mound Cemetery,Leola, McPherson County,SD.
read more read less
POSTED ON 2.6.2008
POSTED BY: Arnold M. Huskins

An American hero

Taken from the memorial website:

Donald Dean Layton was born on April 26, 1949, in Leola, South Dakota, to Edward (Frank) and Dorothy (Serfoss) Layton. He had one brother, Leslie, and one sister, Arlyss. Donald attended most of his grade school years at Spring Township rural school and Leola Grade School. From there he moved to Frederick, South Dakota, where he finished grade school and went to high school until mid-senior year. In Donald’s senior year he moved with his family to Aberdeen and graduated from Central High School in 1967. Besides being a popular student and a true “gentleman,” Donald was an honor student and a very talented athlete, competing in football, basketball, and track. He was known to be a wonderful dancer, a skilled hunter, and a talented artist. Later he went to Northern State College for two and a half years. After two years in college he married his high school sweet heart, Diane Geranen, on June 3, 1970, in Frederick. His widow, Diane, remembered his entry into the service like this:

His idea was to serve his country, get out safely and make use of the veteran’s benefits to ultimately finish his college degree and get a good, strong start on our journey of married life. He wanted to be an Engineer and also get his Master’s Degree… He wanted to buy a nice acreage in the country, build a rambler house and have three healthy, happy children. He very much wanted a family and a normal family life, and was really looking forward to getting home and getting settled after his 2-year army hitch.

Donald Layton entered the service January 26, 1970. He received his basic training at Ft. Lewis, Washington. On June 18, 1970, only two weeks after his marriage, Donald was sent to Chu Lai, Vietnam as a Private First Class in Company C, 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry Division, 198th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. He “dutifully wrote wonderful letters several times a week all the while he was in the service,” reported Diane. She remembers that his handwriting was beautiful.

On July 30, 1970, Army Private First Class Donald Dean Layton was wounded in Vietnam. According to his commanding officer:

…Donald’s unit was moving to its night defensive positions in the Nui Day Tham Mountains, approximately seven miles southwest of Tam Ky City, in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam.

At 5:50 P.M., Donald was seriously wounded when a concealed enemy explosive device was detonated. Donald was immediately evacuated by helicopter to the 91st Evacuation Hospital at Chu Lai. However, due to the seriousness of his wounds and despite every possible effort by skilled medical personnel, Donald passed away…

The family first heard of Donald’s injuries through the Brown County sheriff. Diane, desperate to get more information, contacted Senator McGovern since he was in Aberdeen giving a speech that day and he assisted the Laytons in getting more information about Donald’s wounds. On August 4, 1970, at 1:45 PM, Private First Class Donald Dean Layton died of his wounds. Diane remembers: “I received the dreaded knock on the door by two uniformed service personnel to deliver the final blow.” Donald’s body was returned in a glass-covered casket to the United States for his funeral service on August 15, 1970, in the same rural church where they had been married only two months earlier. After the service, he was buried with military honors at the Green Mound Cemetery near Leola.

Donald’s awards and medals included the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, Military Merit, National Defense, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal; Donald also had an expert badge on the machine gun, and auto, rifle, pistol.

Donald is currently survived by his mother, Dorothy Schlosser, Aberdeen, SD, his brother, Leslie Layton, Jerseyville, IL, his sister, Arlyss Ketterling, Leola, SD, and his widow, Diane (Layton) Von Bank, Shakopee, MN.

Donald’s commanding officer also wrote, “Donald was an exemplary soldier who gave his life assisting his fellowman and his country. He was greatly respected by the officers and men of this battalion, and his loss will be deeply felt.” His widow, Diane, closed with, “I still miss him terribly.”

read more read less
POSTED ON 8.2.2005
POSTED BY: Dave Kruger, 196th LIB. 66-67

Not forgotten

Donald, Although we never met, I just want you to know you are not forgotten. You gave the ultimate sacrifice, your life for what you believed in. Sleep well my friend, and thank you for protecting the freedoms we enjoy today.
read more read less
POSTED ON 2.27.2001
POSTED BY: Veterans, 1st Bn. 46th Inf. 198/196 Bdes. Americal

1/46th Inf, 198th/196th Bde. Americal "The Professionals"

Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop that steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-laden bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul ... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.

Donald Dean Layton was a member of Alpha Company, First Battalion, 46th Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. He is honored here by the veterans of 1/46th.

"The Professionals," of 1/46 came in-country via the USS Upshur on October 4, 1967 as part of the 198th Light Infantry Brigade. The 198th became part of the Americal Division. After one month of orientation at Duc Pho, the battalion was deployed north of Chu Lai and patrolled from Hill 54, Hill 69, LZ Young and LZ Baldy in Quang Tin Province. In March of 1969, the battalion moved to LZ Professional, in the mountains southwest of Tien Phuoc, Quang Tin Province, to relieve a battered 1/52 Infantry of the 198th. In July of 1969, 1/46, which had been operating under operational control of the 196th LIB of the Americal, became a permanent member of that brigade. The battalion operated from LZ Professional until August of 1970. In February of 1970, the battalion established a temporary firebase at LZ Mary Ann, at a remote mountain site near Hau Duc, Quang Tin Province. The battalion returned to Mary Ann in the summer of 1970 and operated from there and LZ Young, which was between Tien Phuoc and Tam Ky, during 1970 and 1971. The battalion left Mary Ann in April of 1971 when the Americal Division was deactivated and the 196th Brigade reverted to its status as an independent brigade and deployed at Danang, to provide security for the port. In June, 1972, 1/46 left Vietnam. Of the names on this wall, 233 of them, close to half the battalion's actual field strength at any given time in Vietnam, were members of 1/46, or died while deployed with us.
read more read less