Elliott Russell “Sonny” Laine Jr.

Published 3:29 pm Friday, March 6, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH — Elliott Russell “Sonny” Laine Jr., 92 years of age, passed away on Jan. 8, 2020, in Virginia Beach.  Colonel Laine was retired from the United States Marine Corps and the son of Elliott Russell Laine Sr. and Mary Herbert Watkins Laine of Windsor.

A veteran of WWII, but not in action, Sonny served in Marine Corps Reserves from 1945-46. Upon return he entered Virginia Military Institute, graduated, and was commissioned a second lieutenant. 

During the Korean conflict, Sonny served as a Platoon Commander in C Company First Tank Battalion, tasked with direct fire support of both Marines and Turks on the main line of resistance. In 1968, after the Tet Offensive broke out, Sonny arrived in Vietnam. He served in the infantry as commanding officer of the Third Battalion, Ninth Marines under Col. Bob Barrow and Gen. Ray Davis. The troops Sonny commanded in both the Korean war tank company and his Vietnam infantry battalion were awarded the Army Presidential Unit Citation. 

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In 1972, Sonny received his master’s in political science while at The Naval War College in Newport, R.I. His military service awards included the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Combat “V,” and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” two awards.

After 33 years of military service, Sonny retired during 1981 in Virginia to become a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton for Israeli Military Industries. 

He is survived by a daughter, Mary Scott Laine of New York City; three sons, E. Randolph Laine of Carlsbad, Calif., Wesley B. Laine of Virginia Beach and S. Eric Laine of Cardiff, Calif., three grandchildren and a brother, Herbert W. Laine of Chesapeake. 

A Celebration of Life will take place Sunday March 15, from 2-4 p.m. in the Anchor Room  at  Atlantic Shores retirement community in Virginia Beach. Burial and military honors will take place at Arlington National Cemetery on April 29 at 3 p.m.  Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com.  Memorial contributions may be made to the V.M.I. Foundation, Neikirk Hall, 304 Letcher Ave., P.O. Box 932, Lexington, VA 24450.  Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com.