In Memory of Marine Cpl.
Douglas Duane Janssen
Yankton, South Dakota, Yankton County
June 28, 1947 – January 26, 1969
Killed in action near Quang Tri, Quang Nam Province,
while on patrol.
Douglas (Yogi) Duane Janssen was born in Yankton, South
Dakota, on June 28, 1947, to Wilfred M. and Mary M. (Evju)
Janssen. Douglas had two sisters, Mary Jo and Cheryl Ann and
a brother Charles. Doug was very active in his church. Mary
Jo tells us:
Growing up he learned how to work with
his hands like his dad. He would take scrap lumber and
anything else he could find and build some of the
neatest toys to play with. We had tree houses,
stagecoaches, rockets, stilts, and many more fun things
to use our imagination with. Together our Dad and Doug
built a sailboat and spent a lot of time with friends at
Doug took part in school play, and helped build the sets.
He was a member of the High School band and St. John’s
Lutheran Church Choir, and was a Boy Scout. In 1965 he
graduated from Yankton High School, participating in
wrestling all four years. Douglas worked at Sunshine
Groceries, Yankton Press and Dakotan, and Bob’s Candy
Service. Yogi Berra was Doug’s favorite baseball player, and
his fellow soldiers in Vietnam called him that.
Cpl. Douglas Duane Janssen entered the United States
Marine Corps on August 12, 1965 at Omaha, Nebraska, first
training at Camp Pendleton, California. Cpl. Douglas Janssen
arrived in Vietnam on January 1, 1966, with the 7th Marine
Division, for his first tour of duty. He returned from that
tour in February1967 and in August of that year was
stationed in the Mediterranean Sea until February 1968. He
volunteered for a second tour of duty in Vietnam, leaving
May 1, 1968. He was attached to H&S Company, 3rd Battalion,
9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.
With 109 days left to serve before coming home, Cpl.
Douglas Duane Janssen died on January 26, 1969 as a result
of hostile sniper fire while on patrol in the Quang Nam
Province in South Vietnam. The funeral service for Cpl.
Douglas D. Janssen was held on January 26, 1969 at St.
John’s Lutheran Church, and burial was made in the Garden of
Memories Cemetery in Yankton, South Dakota. He was awarded
two Purple Hearts, the National Defense Medal and a Vietnam
Medal, as well as others. Cpl. Douglas Duane Janssen’s name
can be found on Panel 34W, Line 084 of the Veterans’
Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
A fellow soldier, H. Steven Sadowsky, left this message
at the Veterans’ Wall in Washington:
Doug saved me from dying, more than
once. He taught me what ever it was that allowed me to
complete my tour with only minor wounds. I am forever
indebited; I will not forget.
--From a “Grateful fellow grunt.”
His sister, Mary Jo, said:
Douglas was a wonderful son, brother,
and friend. He was very dedicated, and served his
Sara Sweetman, 7th grade, Stanley County Middle School,
Fort Pierre, South Dakota, February 14, 2005 respectfully
submitted this entry. The information for this entry was
provided by Mary Jo (Janssen) Schutz, Cheyenne, Wyoming, and
Cheryl Ann O’Bryan, Cherokee, Iowa, sisters to Cpl. Douglas