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Hero Marine Buried at Arlington

Feb. 27, 1964 - U.S. Marine Captain Donald E. Koelper, killed Feb. 16 when a bomb exploded in a theater at Saigon, South Vietnam, was buried with military honors yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery. Services were held at the Fort Myer, Va., chapel. They were attended by the captain’s widow, Nancy; his son, Donald Jr.; and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Rudy Koelper of Northbrook, Illinois. General Wallace M. Greene Jr., commandant of the Marine Corps, also attended the services.

Upon becoming aware of a bomb being placed in the lobby of the theater, Captain Koelper, who was standing nearby with a companion, unhesitatingly entered the main area of the theater and shouted a warning to the occupants, U.S. servicemen and their dependents. This provided the time for numerous unsuspecting individuals to obtain cover by lying between rows of seats. Seconds later, the bomb exploded, fatally wounding Captain Koelper and another person, and injuring approximately fifty others. Through his prompt and courageous actions, Captain Koelper undoubtedly saved many from serious injury or possible death.


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