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First Name: Donald

Last Name: Skidgel

Birthplace: Caribou, ME, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Bangor, ME
Middle Name: Sidney

Date of Birth: 13 October 1948

Date of Death: 14 September 1969

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1968 - 1969
Donald Sidney Skidgel

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Donald Sidney Skidgel
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Sergeant Donald Sidney Skidgel (13 October 1948 - 14 September 1969) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War.

Donald Sidney Skidgel was born on 13 October 1948 in Caribou, ME. Skidgel joined the Army at Bangor, ME. On 14 September 1969, he was serving as a Sergeant in Troop D, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. On that day near Song Be in the Republic of Vietnam, Skidgel's unit was guarding a convoy when it came under enemy attack. In an attempt to draw enemy fire away from the convoy's command group, Skidgel manned a machine gun in his vehicle while his driver steered through intense fire toward the command element. Skidgel, mortally wounded during the effort, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.

Medal of Honor

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, ME. Born: 13 October 1948, Caribou, ME.

Citation: 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.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The name Donald Sidney Skidgel is inscribed on Panel 18W - Line 86.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Donald Sidney Skidgel was killed in action on 14 September 1969. He is buried at Sawyer Cemetery in Plymouth, ME.

Honoree ID: 1084   Created by: MHOH




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