Donnie Ray Connor was born 20-JUL 1953. He lived in St Peters MO. He attended Fort Zumwalt High School before entering the Marines. His parents were Maxine Birdsong and Buddy Connor. He had three sisters; and one brothers. LCPL Donnie R. Conner was a rifleman whose Marine detachment was assigned to the USS Oriskany and the 7th Fleet.

While serving on that ship, Conner came down with pneumonia. He was transferred to a military hospital in Saigon where he succumbed to his illness on 14-FEB 1973. He was 19 years old. Recorded circumstances attributed to: “Died through non-hostile action, illness, disease, incident location: South Vietnam, Gia Dinh province.”

Donnie Ray Connor is buried at St Charles Memorial Gardens in St. Charles MO. His name is on the Vietnam Memorial Wall Panel 01W Line 116.

Published by his sister:

My Big Brother Died on Valentine’s Day. He was 19, I was 12. I will never forget. It’s still a sad day. He joined his little brother in heaven that day. He left a Loving mother and 3 beautiful sisters that loved and appreciated him. He is never forgotten in our LIVES. Since 1973 Our Mother, His Mother has had a parade in his honor every fourth-of-July. His Picture is Brought out. And Flags go up. Children from all over the neighborhood decorate their bikes and wagons, strollers some kids wear rollerblades. They come as Uncle Sam, Marines, Nurses, Navy Guys, the statue of Liberty anything with the spirit. They line up and ride around the block and thru the fire station.

This is all done in HONOR OF MY BIG BROTHER. Mom did it in Rohnert Park and now in Yuba City. It is a Great Tradition. To Remember My Big Brother Donnie Ray. Mom and Dad, when they bought their new home about 18 years ago the reason they bought it what really sold it was the big giant flag pole in the back. Donnie your flag is flown Proudly On all your Holidays and Half-mast on Valentine’s Day. It may be 30 years since you left this earth. BUT I’m here to let everyone know, that you never left our hearts. You Donnie are here today and every day with us.

We Love You. Robin Lynn

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at sccvetsmuseum@gmail.com or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.