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MORGAN JEFFERSON DONAHUE


is honored on Panel 36W, Line 14 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Final Mission of 1LT Morgan J. Donahue

    Posted on 11/11/14 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    On December 13, 1968, the crew of a C-123K was dispatched from Nakhon Phanom Airfield located in northern Thailand near the border of Laos on an operational mission over Laos. The C-123, a converted WW II glider equipped with two engines, was assigned night patrol missions along the Ho Chi Minh trail. Flying low at 2000-3000 feet, the job of the seven man crew was to spot enemy truck convoys on the trail and to light up the trails for accompanying B-57 bombers which were flying overhead. The crew on this particular mission included the pilot (name unknown), co-pilot 1LT Joseph P. Fanning, navigators 1LT John S. Albright and 1LT Morgan J. Donahue, and crewmembers SSGT Samuel F. Walker, SSGT Douglas V. Dailey, and TSGT Fred L. Clarke. At 0330 hours, as the aircraft was flying about 30 miles southwest of the Ban Karai Pass in Laos, the crew of the C-123 was jolted by a blow on the top of their plane in the aft section. An overhead B-57 that had been called in for an air strike from Phan Rang Airbase had collided with the control plane. The B-57B was flown by pilot MAJ Thomas W. Dugan and co-pilot MAJ Francis J. McGouldrick. The C-123 lost power and went out of control. The unnamed C-123 pilot, stunned by a blow to the head, lost consciousness. Because of its glider configuration, the C-123 did not fall straight to the ground, but drifted lazily to the ground in a flat spin which lasted several minutes. When the pilot regained consciousness, he noted that the co-pilot (Fanning) and navigator (Donahue) were gone. Donahue's station was in the underbelly of the plane where, lying on his stomach, he directed an infrared detection device through an open hatch. The pilot parachuted out, landed in a treetop where he remained until rescued at dawn. On the way down, he saw another chute below him, but, because of the dark, was unable to determine who the crew member was. The six other members of the C-123 and the two crew members of the B-57 were listed as Missing in Action. [Taken from pownetwork.org]
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  • In Memoriam...

    Posted on 10/23/14 - by Philip M. Chase philip.chase55@gmail.com
    When I was a youngster of seven or eight years of age living on Wiesbaden Air Station in Germany our next door neighbors were the Donahues and they had two sons, Morgan and Jeff. I remember my older brothers telling me the Donahues had a pet gorilla living in their basement. I may have been a bit incredulous…but only a bit. Then one sunny afternoon, my older brother Seth and Jeff Donahue, asked me and my younger brother, Steve, if we wanted to see the gorilla. My brother and I were anxious to say the least and it took some convincing, and a lot of “herding”, to get us into the Donahue’s house. They managed to get us to the top of the stairs that led to the basement and held us in place while Jeff went down to check on their gorilla. At the bottom of the stairs he started to look alarmed and told us that the gorilla’s cage door was open. Then we heard some loud grunting sounds followed by Jeff fearfully backing up the stairs as it sounded like the grunting gorilla was charging him. Steve and I were terrified and yelling for our brothers to let us go when Morgan Donahue suddenly appeared at the bottom of the stairs…grunting loudly and then laughing his head off, along with Jeff and my brother Seth. Nice prank.

    Not long after that, Morgan went off to attend and graduate from the Air Force Academy which was followed by an assignment to Southeast Asia. On 13 December 1968 he was a navigator on board a C-123K providing support for a night time mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail when his aircraft collided with another American plane. Both planes went down with a total of nine crew members. The only one rescued was one of the pilots in Morgan’s plane. The rest of the crews were listed as MIA and none of them were among the POWs released in 1973.

    Every Memorial Day I think of Morgan and his family…and their pet gorilla.
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  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 11/12/13 - by Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net
    Dear Major Morgan Jefferson Donahue, 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
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  • wearing of POW Bracelet

    Posted on 10/31/13
    I have had his bracelet for many years and never thought to look on the internet to see if I could find out about him. The date on the bracelet is 12-13-68 LOAS.
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  • Maj Morgan J. Donahue - Memorial Stone, Ft Rosecrans

    Posted on 5/30/13 - by KR FoRV59@gmail.com

    Maj Morgan J. Donahue, USAFA Class of 1967, has 'In Memory Of' chiseled into the stone headstone of his father, Col Vincent Donahue, at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA. Location is Section 'V,' Site 1700 at Ft. Rosecrans. Maj Donahue (and others) were MIA in the loss of the C-123 aircraft on which he was a crewman over Laos on 13 Dec 1968. He was later declared 'Body Not Recovered' (BNR).

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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.