The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, CPT James Michael McDonough Jr., who died in the service of his country on August 2nd, 1966 in Pleiku Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death James was 26 years of age. He was from Portland, Maine. James is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 09E, Line 99.
The decorations earned by CPT James Michael McDonough Jr. include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Parachute Badge, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with V, the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
Capt. McDonough did two TDY tours in Vietnam prior to his deployment in January, 1966. He was awarded the Air Medal four times.
The State of Maine Gold Star Honorable Service Medal was presented to his family by Governor Paul Richard LePage on May 5th 2012 at the Maine Military Museum in South Portland. It is awarded to those residents who are killed in action.
(His Silver Star Citation)
General Orders 6041, Award of The Silver Star, USARV, 15 October 1966
For gallantry in action: Captain McDonough distinguished himself on 2 August 1966 while serving as the CO of A, 2/35th Infantry during a search and destroy mission in the Ia Drang Valley. While moving toward its objective, Captain McDonough's company uncovered an NVA base camp and immediately received intense hostile fire. Captain McDonough, quick realizing that the numerically superior enemy force was maneuvering to encircle his unit, repositioned his men. At this time, the insurgents began to mortar the besieged American unit. Realizing that his troops could not successfully break contact at this time, Captain McDonough directed the retaliatory fire of his men. Seeing his radio operator lying wounded in an exposed position, Captain McDonough, with complete disregard for his own safety, crawled through intense hostile fire and dragged his wounded comrade to a covered position. After administering first aid, he called in an accurate artillery barrage upon the assaulting enemy which repulsed them. During the lull that followed, Captain McDonough moved among his men giving instructions, attending the wounded, and reorganizing the defense. When a second enemy assault began under the cover of mortar fire, Captain McDonough again called for and adjusted artillery fire. He then repeatedly braved the hostile fire while moving among his men, directing their fire and repositioning them until he was mortally wounded by hostile machine gun fire. Through his courageous efforts, Captain McDonough contributed immeasurably in repelling the enemy force until a friendly relief force arrived. His extraordinary heroism in close combat against a numerically superior NVA force was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.