Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Phill Gene McDonald

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry,
    4th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: June 7, 1968
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Kontum City, Republic of Vietnam
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.
Medal of Honor Recipient Phill G. McDonald
Medal of Honor Recipient Phill G. McDonald
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 7, 1970
    The White House, presented by Pres. Richard M. Nixon to his family
  • Born: September 13, 1941, Avondale, McDowell County, WV, United States
  • Died: June 7, 1968, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Guilford Memorial Park (MH) (19-1) , Greensboro, NC, United States
  • Location of Medal: Greensboro Museum of History, Greensboro, NC

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