Donald E. Lowe was born 29 January 1947 in Tacoma, Washington, the son of Wilford Lowe and Mary Estella McCoy Lowe.
He was a member of Central Baptist church and the Aero-Mechanics Union. Don loved hunting and fishing with his two older brothers, George and William.
William said the love between the brothers was strong but very independent. Both George and William had joined the Air Force but they could not dissuade
Don from joining the Army following graduation from Lincoln High School.
PFC Lowe was an armored personnel carrier operator assigned to the 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry,
when he arrived in Vietnam 19 December 1967. He was killed in action 5 May 1968, during the Battle of An Boa in Binh Dinh Province. Just before noon, on 5 May,
Company A forces were attacked and outnumbered ten to one by a regiment of the North Vietnamese Army. Company A forces were overrun and took heavy casualties.
Five of the company's nine Armored Personnel Carriers were immediately disabled by 75mm recoilless rifle fire from an area of high ground. Supporting enemy fires
were received from three sides. Ordered to withdraw, operational Armored Personnel Carriers moved to the east with what men they could collect amidst the confusion.
PFC Lowe was one of fifteen men left behind in the A Company perimeter.
These men established a fighting position behind rice paddy dikes and oriented toward the enemy's ground assault force. Unfortunately their rear was
unprotected and enemy fire from the northeast took a toll, including PFC Lowe. Reinforcements were sent in, but the battle continued until 7 May. At the conclusion, 117 enemy
bodies were found and one prisoner was taken. The cost was twenty-two American Soldiers killed in the fighting, including twelve from Company A. James Fitzgerald was with Lowe
for three months in Vietnam and said of his friend, "Donald was a true hero. He could have drove away to safety like many others did on 5 May 1967 but instead he drove forward
attacking the NVA and gave his life ... His actions gave time for many others to escape and live. No one knew of his bravery but me laying in the rice paddy dikes wounded and
watching him attack to his death."
PFC Lowe died 5 May 1967 at the age of 21 and was posthumously promoted to Corporal and awarded the Bronze Star. In addition to the Bronze Star, his awards
and decorations include the Purple Heart, Air Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal.
CPL Lowe was survived by his mother, Mrs. Mary Lowe of Tacoma and two brothers, George B. Lowe and William D. Lowe.