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Donald Campbell Mead Jr.

T/5 in 3133rd Signal Service Co


Born 1923 in NJ, Died 1981

County of residence at enlistment: Essex County, MA
Other residence(s): Marblehead, MA; Bangor, ME; Ridgewood, NJ; Greensboro, NC
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
College education before the war: Univ. of Maine 1 year
College education after the war: Univ. of Maine
Notes: SGT in 1944 Christmas Program
Source: 3133rd Program, 15 Sep 1944; photo from Don Mead, 13 Nov 1944; 3133rd roster from 10th Mountain Division Museum at Fort Drum; AES 1944 Christmas Dinner Program; photo from Mead Collection, GALP Archive

Donald Mead was born on August 16, 1923, in Newark, NJ, the older of two children. His father was an electrical engineer. The family moved to Marblehead, MA when Don was a child, and he learned to sail in the Atlantic Ocean.

When Don registered for the draft, on June 30, 1942, he said he was working at General Electric. He enlisted on November 27, 1942, in Bangor, ME where he was a student at the University of Maine, studying electrical engineering, following in his father's footsteps.

He served in Italy with the 3133 Signal Company Special. After his discharge from the Army, in March, 1946, with the rank of SGT, he returned to the University of Maine, and graduated in 1948. He got a job at Western Electric in New York City, and in 1950 married Una Jean "Dene" MacDonald, whom he'd met in college. They settled in Ridgewood, NJ, and became the parents of three sons: Andrew, Evan, and Douglas. (Sadly, Douglas died at the age of 13 from an undisclosed illness.)

A 1959 newspaper article described some of his work at Western Electric. As chief of the buildings and antennas engineering department, he embarked that year on a 6,000 mile inspection tour of the Arctic. Western Electric was the prime commercial contractor for the US Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, and Don had made numerous trips to sites in Canada, Alaska, and the Aleutians since the inception of the early warning projects in 1955.

Their sons were all active in Boy Scouting, and the family loved to sail.

When Western Electric moved their corporate headquarters to Greensboro, NC, sometime in the 1970s, the family relocated as well. Don became manager of patent licensing at Western Electric, and was also an active member of the Amateur Radio Club, continuing the interest in radio that had been triggered by his wartime service.

Don died on August 21, 1981 in Greensboro, NC, and is buried at Waterside Cemetery in Marblehead, MA.


1930 census

1940 census

1942 draft card

1943 enlistment record

1948 article in the Bangor Daily News (ME) re his Army commission (NOTE: The article states that he was commissioned as a 2LT upon graduation, but I could find no later reference to any military or reserve service, so I omitted this from the biography above)

1959 article in Ridgewood NJ Sunday News re his professional travels to the Arctic

1981 VA death record

1981 Find a Grave record (contains short obituary)

2015 wife's obituary

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