Donald Neal Kennon

United States Marine Corps
25 July 1936 - 13 February 1969
Sweetwater, Texas
Panel 32W Line 027



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Donald Neal Kennon

09 Nov 2002


Leonard David Kennon, Jr.
08 Nov 2005

Major Kennon grew up in Sweetwater, attended Newman High School (now Sweetwater High School), and was graduated in 1954. He attended Sul Ross State College in Alpine, Texas, where he set a school record for the javelin. He graduated in 1958, entered the Marine Corps, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. He married Jeanne Michael of Sweetwater in 1960 and three children, Michele, Melissa and Michael Don, were born of this marriage. His children all obtained college degrees through the Marine Corps College Scholarship Fund.

Major Kennon was the operations officer for the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines in Vietnam after arriving in December 1968. In Operation Dewey Canyon I, the battalion was operating in the A Shau Valley and Major Kennon was shot to death by a sniper as they were setting up the command post on February 13, 1969.

He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

He is remembered by his family, the community, and by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Midland, Texas. May his sacrifice never be forgotten.

From a PBVVM Representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 10 Feb 1969 the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines commenced a helo lift from the Vandergrift Combat Base to their assembly area northwest of the A Shau Valley. On 12 Feb, the Marines crossed the initial assault line, beginning Operation Dewey Canyon.

Four 1/9 Marines were killed on 13 Feb 1969 in two engagements which involved Charlie Company:

  • Major Donald N. Kennon, Sweetwater, TX, H&S 1/9;
  • Cpl Larry G. Whitehead, Tallassee, TN, Charlie 1/9;
  • Pfc Kevin L. Day, San Diego, CA, Charlie 1/9; and
  • Pfc Lynn P. Naylor, San Diego, CA, Charlie 1/9.
The 1/9 Command Chronology contains the following entry:

"13 FEB At 1425H at YD 194085 Company C, while in tactical movement, made contact with an estimated enemy platoon using automatic weapons, machineguns, and 61mm mortars. Company C assaulted the enemy position, suffering 1 KIA and 6 WIA, and killing 12 enemy. At 2330H at YD190084 Company C was attacked by an estimated enemy company minus using 61mm mortars, RPG's, chicom grenades and small arms. Company C suffered 3 KIA and 21 WIA while killing 12 enemy."

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who remembers,
Leonard David Kennon, Jr.
9 Nov 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 11/24/2005