CPT (R) Don Consaul Polley ‘53

Don C. Polley was born on 4 September 1926, in Lakewood, Ohio. In February 1945, he first entered the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of sergeant while serving as an infantry instructor at Camp Carson, CO. He was honorably discharged in October 1946, and then entered Syracuse University. While at SU, Don was commissioned an infantry officer in the U.S. Army on 4 June 1951 and entered active duty a short time later. He did not graduate from Syracuse until returning from his combat tour in Korea.

Don arrived in Korea in April 1952, and first served as a platoon leader assigned to the 224th Infantry Regiment, part of the 40th Infantry Division which was a California National Guard Division activated for the Korean War. It was during this time that he was awarded two Silver Stars and a Purple Heart. His first Silver Star was given for his leadership and bravery in leading a night attack on a Chinese Communist strong point. Wounded in the assault, he continued to lead his platoon in successfully driving the enemy from the hilltop. Shortly afterwards, he received the second award of the Silver Star for leading his soldiers in rescuing another platoon caught in a deadly ambush. In July 1952, he became the Executive Officer of B Company and a few days later, with the battlefield death of the commander, became the Company Commander. In February 1953, he was reassigned as the assistant S-3 for the 1st Battalion of the 224th Infantry Regiment and remained in that position until he returned to the United States in May 1953.

Don left active duty as a Captain in 1956 and remained in the reserves until 1962. After graduating from Syracuse University, he attended Columbia University Graduate School of Public Law and Government. He then graduated from Yale Law School in 1960. Don died on 30 July 1975, from medical complications caused by unrecognized impact of post-traumatic stress disease (PTSD). He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

For his service in World War II and the Korean War Captain Polley was awarded the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, United Nations Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Aircraft Crewman Badge.