The Wall of Faces

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is honored on Panel 1W, Line 122 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance


  • Thanks

    Posted on 5/25/18 - by Lena Rose
    I know you were an orphan, and life without parents would be hard. But going through war might be harder. I am honored to have been saved by your ultimate life sacrifice. I hope you survive in your afterlife, wherever you are. I just might end up going to the army in remembrance of you and long dead family members who have served. Thank you.
  • Thank You

    Posted on 5/21/18 - by Lucy Micik
    Dear Ssgt Donald Dionne,
    Thank you for your service as a Flight Engineer Specialist. You passed right before the fall of Saigon, so sad. Memorial Day is coming up, and we remember all you who gave their all. It has been too long, and it's about time for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
  • Final Mission of SSGT Donald T. Dionne Sr.

    Posted on 3/15/16 - by
    At 4:03 PM on April 3, 1975, a U.S. Air Force C-5A Galaxy military transport aircraft, serial number 68-218, of the 60th Military Airlift Wing lifted off the runway at Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon, bound for Clark Air Base in the Philippines. As the initial mission in "Operation Babylift", the C-5 carried Vietnamese orphans enroute the United States. The aircraft commander was CAPT Dennis Traynor, the co-pilot CAPT Tilford Harp, and there was a crew of 15 others, including a 10-person medical team. The C-5's troop compartment contained 145 orphans and seven attendants, most of them civilian volunteers being evacuated from Vietnam. The cargo compartment held 102 orphans and 47 others. Twelve minutes after takeoff, while the aircraft was passing through 23,000 feet, the rear loading ramp's locks failed, leading to explosive decompression and massive structural damage to the aircraft as the pressure door, most of the rear loading ramp, and the center cargo door departed the airframe. Control cables to the rudder and elevators were severed, leaving only one aileron and wing spoilers operating, and two of the four hydraulic systems were out. Using engine power changes, the functional aileron, and the wing spoilers, Traynor and Harp managed to regain marginal control of the aircraft and turned back toward Tan Son Nhut. The aircraft had to be maintained between 250 and 260 knots, with a considerable lag between power adjustments and aircraft response. Traynor anticipated that the minimum landing speed would be somewhere in the range of 250 knots. As the C-5 passed through 4,000 feet while turning to the final approach heading, it became apparent that they could not make the runway. Traynor applied full power to hold the nose up while Harp attempted to maintain a wings-level attitude. Just off the ground, Traynor reduced power to idle and the C-5 touched down in a rice paddy, skidded about 1,000 feet before becoming airborne again, hit a dike, and broke into four parts. The cargo compartment was completely destroyed, killing 141 of the 149 orphans and attendants. Only three of 152 in the troop compartment perished. Five of the flight crew, three of the medical team, and three other servicemen lost their lives, but 175 of the 328 aboard survived. The eleven military personnel who died in or of injuries received in the crash were LTC William S. Willis, CAPT Mary T. Klinker, CAPT Edgar R. Melton, MSGT Joe Castro, MSGT Denning C. Johnson, MSGT Wendle L. Payne, TSGT Felizardo C. Aguillon, TSGT William M. Parker, SSGT Donald T. Dionne Sr., SSGT Kenneth E. Nance, and SSGT Michael G Paget. [Taken from]
  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 12/19/13 - by Curt Carter
    Dear SSGT Donald Thomas Dionne Sr, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

    Curt Carter
  • Sgt Donald Thomas (Tommie) Dionne

    Posted on 1/13/12 - by Stephanie Markert
    Tommy, I feel like I knew you, Penny shared so much about you with me. You are my 'Hero' Rest in Peace.
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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit