Donald H. Jersey was born on 8 May 1926 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. After graduating from college, he joined the US Army on 7 February 1946, and after OCS, was commissioned a lieutenant in the Transportation Corps. By 1952 he had earned his wings after pilot school at San Marcos Air Force Base, Texas. During three combat tours starting in 1964 in the Republic of Vietnam, Donald Jersey was awarded two Silver Stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star Medal with V Device for valor. Having served several assignments at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, it was natural for Colonel Jersey to retire in the area in 1973.