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Donald B. Steinaker

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Donald Baur Steinaker
Born(1922-09-15)September 15, 1922
Syracuse, New York
DiedOctober 9, 1942(1942-10-09) (aged 20)
Matanikau River, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps
Years of service1941–1942
RankPrivate First Class
Unit1st Marine Division
Battles/warsWorld War II
  • Pacific War
    • Solomon Islands campaign
      • Guadalcanal campaign
        • Third Battle of the Matanikau  
AwardsNavy Cross

Donald B. Steinaker (1922–1942) was a United States Marine Corps private first class who received a posthumous Navy Cross for his actions in the Guadalcanal campaign during World War II.

Donald Baur Steinaker was born at Syracuse, New York, on 15 September 1922. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on 20 March 1941. He served at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island at Parris Island, South Carolina, and at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, before he was sent to the South Pacific for service during World War II.

During the Guadalcanal campaign, Private First Class Steinaker was killed in action at the Matanikau River on Guadalcanal on 9 October 1942 when his unit was attacked during a heavy Japanese offensive. The small group of U.S. Marines fought furiously against the overwhelming Japanese forces and exacted a tremendous toll. Steinaker refused to be dislodged from his position and died at his post.


Steinaker was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for gallantry in action.


The United States Navy destroyer escort USS Steinaker (DE-452) was named for Steinaker, but her construction was cancelled in 1944. The destroyer USS Steinaker (DD-863), in commission from 1945 to 1982, then was named in his honor.


  • This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

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