Mitchell, Donald Thomas, SP 4

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Last Rank
Specialist 4
Last Service Branch
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1965-1966, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry (Airmobile) /A Company
Service Years
1963 - 1966

Specialist 4

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
South Carolina
South Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Bruce Murr to remember Mitchell, Donald Thomas, SP 4.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Jan 25, 1966
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam, South (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
04E 093

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  1982, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments
1st Cavalry Division2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry (Airmobile)
  1965-1966, 1st Cavalry Division/HHC
  1965-1966, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry (Airmobile) /A Company
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1965 Vietnam War/Defense Campaign (1965)
  1965-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (1965-66)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Final Mission of SP4 Donald T. Mitchell

Posted on 8/29/15 - by

On January 25, 1966, three days prior to the start of Operation Masher, a division-size sweep mission, COL Harold Moore's 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cav Division (5,700 men) prepared to strike at its objectives. Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division were being redeployed by aircraft when tragedy beset the cavalrymen. A Fairchild C-123K Provider (serial #54-0702) from the 311th Air Commando Squadron, 315th Air Commando Group, 13th Air Force mysteriously slammed into a mountainside near An Khe, killing all aboard. All told, 46 men, including the entire crew of the plane, were lost. It was raining and the cloud ceiling was at just 300 feet when the transport plane took off from An Khe for the short flight to the base camp of the 1st Calvary Division. Apart from the 42 passengers, the aircraft carried a load of ammunition and grenades. Shortly after takeoff the airplane flew into a hillside as it attempted to return to An Khe. Reportedly, the airplane had suffered an engine fire just prior to impacting the hillside. The Provider struck trees inverted as it crashed, which was witnessed by squad of 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry troops guarding the pass. Investigators later found evidence of a fire in the No. 2 engine. Recovery team personnel were tormented by what they found at the crash site. “The bodies were badly torn,” said LTC Kenneth Mertel. “It was not as bad to get killed on the battlefield, if one had to.” It would be the worst air crash in Vietnam to date involving US troops. Those lost included USAF crew members CAPT Harry R. Crumley, CAPT Edward C. Handly, SSGT Leonard Williams, and SSGT Richard D. Youtsey. The 42 Army troops of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry from Camp Radcliff included PFC Charles E. Alston, PFC Charles R Ashley Jr., SGT Robert C. Bowman, PFC Monte D. Brooks, PFC Johnnie L. Brown, SGT James P. O’Donnell, SP4 Gary R. Bryant, PFC David E. Burkes, SGT James P. Coats, PFC Paul M. Bell, PFC Billy C. Deweese, SP4 Eugene D. Dollar, PFC Dean J. Elichko, PSGT Charles L. Eschbach, SSGT Samuel P. Giffard, SP4 Donald R. Gribler, PFC Jerome Herrington, SGT John D. Hetterly Sr., PFC Woodie L. Hicks, SGT Radford D. Hogan, SSGT David Hunter, PFC Joseph James, PFC Walter B. Johnson, SP4 Daniel G. Mechling, SSGT Edward Y. C. Kim, PFC Woodrow W. King Jr., SSGT Wencesleo Kuilan, PFC Ray D. Ledford, PFC Edward N. Leonard, PFC Ronald A. Marsh, SP4 Donald T. Mitchell, 2LT Bobbie E. Nolen, PFC Stephen M. Pashman, SGT Henry Pasley, PFC William J. Phillips, PFC Edward B. Smith, SP4 Eugene C. Summers, SP5 Robert Tiller, PFC Westovel Venable, SGT Frank W. Williams Jr., and PFC Harold E. Willis. [Taken from and other web sources]


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