Lt Sharon A. Lane
July 07, 1943 - June 08, 1969
U.S. Army Nurse Corps Reserve
United States Army
Sharon A. Lane was born July 7, 1943 in Zanesville,
Ohio. She moved with her family to North Industry,
in Stark County, Ohio at the age of two, where she
attended North Industry Grade School. She graduated
from Canton South High School in June, 1961 and
entered the Aultman Hospital School of Nursing the
following September. After graduating from Aultman
on April 25, 1965, she went to work at the hospital
until May, 1967, when she decided to try her hand in
the business world. After three quarters at the
Canton Business College she quit to join the U.S.
Army Nurse Corps Reserve on April 18, 1968.
She began her basic training on May 5 at Fort Sam
Houston in Texas with the rank of Second Lieutenant,
and graduated on June 14, 1968. Three days later,
she reported to Fitzsimons General Hospital in
Denver, Colorado where she worked in three outlying
TB (tuberculosis) wards. While at Fitzsimons, Sharon
received her promotion to First Lieutenant, and was
sent to work in the Cardiac Division's Intensive
Unit and Recovery Room. On April 24, 1969, she
reported to Travis Air Force Base in California with
orders to go to Vietnam.
She arrived at the 312th Evac Hospital at Chu Lai on
April 29, and went to work in the Intensive Care
ward for a few days before being assigned to the
Vietnamese Ward. She worked 5 days a week, (12 hours
per day), in this ward and on the sixth day worked
in Intensive Care.
"During the early
morning hours of June 8, 1969, a Soviet-built 122-mm
rocket slammed into ward 4 of the 312th Evacuation
Hospital in Chu Lai, Vietnam." 24 year old Lt.
Sharon A. Lane died instantly. Though seven other
American military nurses lost their lives serving in
Vietnam, Lt. Lane was the only American servicewoman
killed as a direct result of enemy fire throughout
the war". Hostile Fire flyleaf.
A Memorial Service
was held at the little Chapel at Chu Lai on June 10,
1969, and a Catholic Mass was held June 11, 1969.
Services in Canton were held June 14, 1969. Sharon's
burial was at Sunset Hills Burial Park in Canton.
She was awarded the
the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star with a "V" for
gallantry, the National Defense Service Medal, the
Vietnam Service Medal, the National Order Of Vietnam
Medal, and the (South) Vietnamese Gallantry Cross
Sharon has been
honored in many ways since her death: the Daughters
of the American Revolution named her 'Outstanding
Nurse of the Year' in 1969, and honored her
posthumously with 'the Anita Newcomb McGee Medal' at
their annual Continental Congress in Washington D.C.
on April 22, 1970. On November 11, 1969, the
Fitzsimons Hospital named its recovery room the
'Lane Recovery Suite' in her memory, with a plaque
and picture on display. On May 23, 1970, the 1965
Graduating Class from Aultman's School of Nursing
put a plaque, picture, and poem by a classmate in
Morrow House (the nursing school residence hall) in
her honor. The 1970 Class at Aultman dedicated their
yearbook to her as well. On October 18, 1970,
Faircrest Memorial Junior High School was dedicated
to Sharon and four other servicemen from Canton
South who lost their lives in Vietnam; a plaque for
each one was placed at the entrance to the school.
On May 29, 1973 (Memorial Day) a statue to Sharon
was dedicated in front of Aultman Hospital by the
William F. Cody Garrison #50 of the Army/Navy Union.
This statue was built with funds raised in the
community, and is one of the first Vietnam memorials
constructed in the United States. In March, 1986,
Aultman Hospital opened the Sharon Lane Women's
Center in its main lobby; two months later, on May
26, the Canton Chapter 199 of the Vietnam Veterans
of America officially became the 'Sharon Lane
Chapter #199'. There are two roads named for Sharon:
one in Denver, CO; the other at Fort Belviour in
Virginia. On September 12, 1995, Fort Hood, Texas
dedicated the Sharon Lane Volunteer Center. A
permanent display in her honor can be seen at the
Ohio Society of Military History in Massillon, Ohio.
father, John Lane, died on August 6, 1979. Her
mother still lives in North Industry. She has a
brother Gary Lane, a sister Judy (Tritt), and
numerous nieces and nephews that she has never seen.
Sharon Lane remains one of Stark County's most
honored and remembered citizens.
If you are a family member or friend of Sharon Lane
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