The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
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.