Donald R. Stine
Biography: Donald Robert Stine Sr. was born on July 1, 1919, in Portland, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Morris Stine and Elizabeth Weidman and graduated from Portland High School in 1938. He began his employment at the Portland National Bank that same year, but left in early 1942 when he entered the service.
Service Time: Donald entered the Army on March 26, 1942, at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland. He was soon assigned to the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion. While we don’t know the exact date of his arrival at the 705th, by August they were at the Desert Training Center in California. Additional training was conducted at several other locations including Camp Hood, Texas, Camp Adair, Oregon and Fort Lewis, Washington, in mid-November, 1943, where they began preparations for overseas shipment. On April 6, 1944, they traveled to Camp Shanks, New York, and departed the New York port aboard the Queen Elizabeth on the 20th, landing in Gourock, Scotland, on the 27th. During the trip, the entire battalion was assigned to KP duty.
The 705th landed at Utah Beach, Normandy, France, on July 18, equipped with M18 tank destroyers, and first made contact with the enemy on August the 3rd, southeast of Miniac, France. They fought toward Brest during August and then helped clear the Crozon Peninsula in Sept. Moving across France to the Moselle River in October, they had advanced to the German border at Kitzing by mid-November. Shifting north to the Aachen, Germany area in early December, they were soon participating in the famous defense of Bastogne, Belgium, with the 101st Airborne Division during the Ardennes offensive. The unit was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for their actions at Bastogne. They supported the drive to the Rhine River in March, 1945, crossing at Oppenheim on the 29th. Continuing the drive across Germany, they arrived in Neukirchen, Austria on May the 6th. Donald was credited with all five of the unit’s campaigns; Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe.
Upon returning to the U.S., Donald resumed working at the Portland National Bank. On January 1, 1953, he married the former Ruth M. Miller who was born in East Bangor, PA, and was the daughter of John L. Miller and Lulu Krauss. They had two children, Claudette and Donald Jr. He also worked at the flower shop of the Plaza Hotel in New York City and attended the New York School of Floral Design. In 1951, he opened, as owner/operator, Stine’s Flower Shop in Bangor, PA, running it until March 8, 1971.
Donald was a lifelong active member of the Portland Baptist Church and was also a member of the Dyle L. Bray VFW Post 739 in Bangor. He was known as a wonderful and soft-spoken family man, deeply engaged in his community, who adored his extended family, his country and God. Donald passed away on October 11, 2016, and was buried at the Riverview Cemetery, Portland, PA.
We would like to thank Donald’s son, Donald Jr., and his cousin for providing the photo and information used in this tribute.