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Don Steinbrunner
Born (1932-04-05)April 5, 1932
Bellingham, Washington, United States
Died July 20, 1967(1967-07-20) (aged 35)
Kontum, South Vietnam
Awards Purple Heart
Distinguished Flying Cross

Donald Thomas Steinbrunner (April 5, 1932–July 20, 1967) was an American football offensive tackle who was one of only two American National Football League players to die in the Vietnam War.

Donald Thomas Steinbrunner was born April 5, 1932 in Bellingham, Washington. He was an All State athlete in football and basketball at Wickersham High School. He played both sports at Washington State College (now Washington State University), and was the captain of both teams. He was also a member of ROTC in college. He was an offensive tackle with the 1953 Cleveland Browns, but a knee injury ended his professional football career after only eight games. He joined the United States Air Force, serving as a navigator. He was also an assistant football coach at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Steinbrunner was sent to Vietnam in 1966, and after an injury was offered a safer assignment, which he refused. Major Steinbrunner's plane, a C-123, was shot down on July 20, 1967 during a defoliation mission, killing all five crewmen aboard. He was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Bob Kalsu
  • Pat Tillman
  • Tim James - American basketball player who left his professional sports career and enlisted in the United States Army on September 12, 2008.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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