b. 13/09/1941 Avondale, West Virginia. d. 07/06/1968 near Kontum City, Vietnam.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 07/06/1968 near Kontum City, Vietnam.
Vietnam Medal of Honor Recipient. One day before his 26th birthday, he received his draft notice. He was working at cedar plant in Greensboro, North Carolina, and was active in the Central Assembly Church of God. He taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, played the guitar and had plans to become a minister. Inducted into service in Beckley, West Virginia, he was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. Less than a year later, “Preacher” became the platoon leader of the 1st Squad.
His posthumous Medal of Honor was presented to his sister on April 7, 1970 at the White House by President Richard M. Nixon.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. McDonald distinguished himself while serving as a team leader with the 1st Platoon of Company A. While on a combat mission his platoon came under heavy barrage of automatic-weapons fire from a well-concealed company-size enemy force. Volunteering to escort two wounded comrades to an evacuation point, Pfc. McDonald crawled through intense fire to destroy with a grenade an enemy automatic weapon threatening the safety of the evacuation. Returning to his platoon, he again volunteered to provide covering fire for the maneuver of the platoon from its exposed position. Realizing the threat he posed, enemy gunners concentrated their fire on Pfc. McDonald’s position, seriously wounding him. Despite his painful wounds, Pfc. McDonald recovered the weapon of a wounded machine gunner to provide accurate covering fire for the gunner’s evacuation. When other soldiers were pinned down by a heavy volume of fire from a hostile machine gun to his front, Pfc. McDonald crawled toward the enemy position to destroy it with grenades. He was mortally wounded in this intrepid action. Pfc. McDonald’s gallantry at the risk of his life, which resulted in the saving of the lives of his comrades, is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: GUILFORD MEMORIAL PARK. GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA.
SECTION 19, LOT FEATURE, GRAVE 1.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: GREENSBORO MUSEUM OF HISTORY, GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA.