Edward H. Bonsall III – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

Edward Bonsall III, 64, a real-estate executive and a decorated veteran, died Saturday, July 29, 1995 of cancer at his home in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, where he lived for the last 30 years.

Colonel Bonsall, who was wounded twice within 6 months during Korean War, received more than 20 medals during his 22 years of active duty in the Army. He was wounded the first time on May 21, 1953, when he was leading a patrol in Korea with Company C, 17th Inf Regiment. He was treated at a field hospital and quickly sent back into action. He was hurt more seriously on July 9, in the battle for Porkchop Hill. Hit by shrapnel from an exploding bomb, he suffered shoulder, elbow, knee and wrist injuries and spent the following 9 months recovering in hospitals in Japan and Valley Forge.

In Vietnam, was in Army intelligence, responsible for determining where and when the enemy forces would attack. He was wounded again in Vietnam, but not seriously, said his son, Richard.

Colonel Bonsall, a member of the National Rifle Assn and an expert marksman, had joined the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1948 while a student at the Hill School in Pottstown. At the University of Pennsylvania, he trained with the guard’s Company A, 111th Inf Regiment.

In 1951, he took a leave from the university to enter the Army. He attended Officer’s Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was commissioned in July 1952.

Among the many medals he earned in his service career were the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars for valor, and two Purple Hearts with oak leaf cluster. He also won several foreign medals.

He finished his work for his undergraduate degree on a part-time basis sometime between the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He studied for his master of business administration degree, again at Penn, after he retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1973.

In 1975, Colonel Bonsall joined the Jackson-Cross real-estate firm as property manager. In the following years, he worked his way up to supervisor of all office properties managed by the firm in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. When he retired last January, he was senior vice president and director.

He was a member of the Philadelphia Board of Realtors and the American Management Association. He enjoyed fishing, gardening and studying genealogy. He was a former vice chairman of the board at Chestnut Hill Academy and former councellor of the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania. He was a former member of the Union League, the Rittenhouse Club, the Philadelphia Cricket Club, the Order of Mensa and Zeta Psi.

Besides his son, he is survived by his wife, Patricia Ziegler Bonsall; daughters, Gwen Donnon, Katherine Peca and Suzanne Feingold; 6 grandchildren; and a sister. A memorial service will be held Friday at 3 pm at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 22 East Chestnut Hill Avenue, Chestnut Hill.

He will be buried with full military honors at a private service at Arlington National Cemetery.


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