Donald Earl Ackerman
|HOME OF RECORD:
|NEXT OF KIN:
Wife, Mrs. Vivian Ackerman
|DATE OF BIRTH:
3/5/1941 – 11/15/1945
|DATE OF DEATH:
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
Private First Class
Donald Ackerman was born to James and Gladys Ackerman of Groton, New York, in 1921. The family relocated to Cortland in the late 1920s, and settled in a house on Huntington Street. Ackerman went through high school in Cortland, and may have considered joining his father and older brother Kenneth in working for L.C. Smith & Corona Typewriters. However, he instead decided to throw in his lot with the Marine Corps.
After completing boot camp, Ackerman received a choice assignment for a young Marine – he was posted first to Marine Barracks, Washington DC, where he earned his PFC stripe, and was then ferried across the Atlantic to become a member of the Embassy Guard in London. PFC Ackerman was already experiencing World War Two when his home country entered the war on December 7, 1941. Although he might have wanted to hurry back to join the rest of the Fleet Marine Force deploying to the Pacific, Ackerman would spend the entirety of 1942 on duty in Britain, from London to the Naval Operating Base in Rosneath, Scotland.
In January 1943, Ackerman lost his PFC rating for unknown reasons, and re-crossed the Pacific to land at Quantico, Virginia. Three months later, the now buck private was in California, carrying a rifle with Company A, 24th Marines, and seemingly destined for combat. Unfortunately, Ackerman was injured or suffered from chronic poor health while at this post, spending several weeks in the hospital over the summer, rejoining training in September, 1943, and finally being re-committed to the hospital on January 1, 1944. His division sailed for combat while Private Ackerman was still recuperating, and rather than send him along to rejoin them, it was decided to retain him on Stateside duty in California.
Ackerman spent the remainder of the war at Camp Pendleton, California, first with the base guard company and then (possibly due to his family’s affinity for printing and typewriting) as a clerk-typist with the base headquarters. He was allowed the occasional furlough back to Cortland, where he made the social circuit with his new wife, Vivian, on his arm. On November 15, 1945, PFC Ackerman was discharged and returned to Cortland for good. He pursued a variety of careers in the decades after the war, from baking to the hotel business. Eventually, he and Vivian retired and relocated to Florida.
Donald Ackerman died in Highlands, Florida in 1994. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Lake Placid.