John Terence McDonnell

Army of the United States
14 December 1940 - 16 February 1977
Fort Worth, Texas
Panel 30W Line 058

101 ABN DIV AH-1 Cobra 77TH ARTY RGT
Army Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

John D McDonnell

The database page for John Terence McDonnell

09 Jan 1999

On March 6, 1969, A Battery, 4/77th ARA, was called upon to take out enemy mortar installations on the north side of the Bach Ma mountain range in the Thua Tien Province of South Vietnam. Major Robert Graham requested volunteers as the Camp Eagle battery had already flown their missions that day. Cpt. John T. McDonnell and Lt. Ron Greenfield were assigned as the crew in the lead Cobra. McDonnell flew the craft for multiple runs with Greenfield manning the guns. At the refueling base, McDonnell gave the helm to Greenfield and took over the front seat manning the machine gun and rockets. The horseshoe-shaped valley held in the clouds that day forcing the aircraft to maintain a precarious altitude between the tree tops and the low cloud ceiling. While on their final rocket run, the Cobra took enemy fire and the last thing that Greenfield remembers is the stick going limp. He was extracted from the jungle roughly 24 hours after going in.

Thirteen years later McDonnell's name was engraved into the black marble of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial on the 58th line of panel 30W. The cross prefix indicates that he is POW/MIA.

Please visit my personal web site which is dedicated to ascertaining his fate.

From his son,
John McDonnell

A Note from The Virtual Wall

CPT John T. McDonnell and 1LT Ronald Greenfield were flying AH-1G tail number 67-15845 when they were shot down. During the search for the AH-1 a second aircraft, OH-6A (tail number 67-16025), was shot down with the loss of two men: While Greenfield was rescued on 07 March and the bodies of 1LT Creech and Captain Woodside were recovered, Captain McDonnell simply disappeared. There was ample evidence that he survived the crash without serious injury, but no evidence of McDonnell himself. He was carried as Missing in Action until a Presumptive Finding of Death was approved by the Secretary of the Army on 16 Feb 1977.

The "Remembrances" section of Mr. McDonnell's personal site, linked above, contains several entries from men who were there at the time and which provide first-hand information on the circumstances.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009