Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Donald Sidney Skidgel

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Troop D, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry,
    1st Cavalry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 14, 1969
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Song Be, Republic of Vietnam
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 machine-gun fire on the enemy automatic-weapons and rocket- propelled-grenade positions. After silencing at least one position, he ran with his machine gun 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 machine gun. 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.
Medal of Honor Recipient Donald S. Skidgel
Medal of Honor Recipient Donald S. Skidgel
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Bangor, Penobscot County, Maine
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: December 16, 1971
    Old Executive Office Building, presented by Vice Pres. Spiro T. Agnew to his family
  • Born: October 13, 1948, Caribou, Aroostook County, ME, United States
  • Died: September 14, 1969, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Sawyer Cemetery (MH), Plymouth, ME, United States

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