1st Lt Sharon A. Lane
July 07, 1943 - June 08, 1969

Canton, Ohio
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 following medals:
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 (with Palm).

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.

Sharon's 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 and would like to ad to this biography, please contact us at info@ovmp.org

 

 

 

     


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