Medal of Honor
SKIDGEL, DONALD SIDNEY*
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Troop D, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division.
Place and date: Near Song Be, Republic of Vietnam, 14 September 1969.
Entered service at: Bangor, Maine.
Born: 13 October 1948, Caribou, Maine.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Skidgel distinguished himself while serving as a reconnaissance section leader in Troop D. On a road near Song Be in Binh Long Province, Sgt. Skidgel and his section with other elements of his troop were acting as a convoy security and screening force when contact occurred with an estimated enemy battalion concealed in tall grass and in bunkers bordering the road. Sgt.Skidgel maneuvered off the road and began placing effective machinegun fire on the enemy automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade positions. After silencing at least 1 position, he ran with his machinegun across 60 meters of bullet-swept ground to another location from which he continued to rake the enemy positions. Running low on ammunition, he returned to his vehicle over the same terrain. Moments later he was alerted that the command element was receiving intense automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenade and mortar fire. Although he knew the road was saturated with enemy fire, Sgt. Skidgel calmly mounted his vehicle and with his driver advanced toward the command group in an effort to draw the enemy fire onto himself. Despite the hostile fire concentrated on him, he succeeded in silencing several enemy positions with his machinegun. Moments later Sgt. Skidgel was knocked down onto the rear fender by the explosion of an enemy rocket-propelled grenade. Ignoring his extremely painful wounds, he staggered back to his feet and placed effective fire on several other enemy positions until he was mortally wounded by hostile small arms fire. His selfless actions enabled the command group to withdraw to a better position without casualties and inspired the rest of his fellow soldiers to gain fire superiority and defeat the enemy. Sgt. Skidgel's gallantry at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
--- General / Personal ---
The following message was received on 8 December 2002:
Donnie and I were married for 3 years. We had 2 children, Tammy and Terry . We were so young then, and our marriage was short, but he was the love of my life. Our children are now 35 and 34. Our son, the youngest, has always had a very hard time not having his father around but this year it has been worse. I am worried about him because he keeps saying he wants to be with his father; he is very depressed. If he could talk to someone who knew his father or was with him before he died it might help him; he thinks it would help. Is there anything you could do to help him? If there is, it would be a great help to him.
Darlene Skidgel Olson
Last name: SKIDGEL
First name: DONALD SIDNEY
Home of Record (official): NEWPORT
State (official): ME
Date of Birth: Wednesday, October 13, 1948
Marital Status: Single
--- Military ---
Serial Number: 007504732
Component: Selective Service
Pay grade: E5
MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11D40
--- Action ---
Start of Tour: Friday, April 18, 1969
Date of Casualty: Sunday, September 14, 1969
Age at time of loss: 20
Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died
Reason: Gun, small arms fire (Ground casualty)
Country: South VietNam
Province: Phuoc Long
The Wall: Panel 18W - Row 086
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