Passing of Col (Ret) Donlon – MOH Recipient

Col (Ret) Roger Donlan RIP

Colonel (Ret) Roger H.C. Donlon passed away on Thursday, January 25, 2024, at the age of 89. He first enlisted in the Air Force and then served in the Army. Much of his military service was with Special Forces. During the Vietnam War he deployed with an A-team of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne); during which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Donlon graduated from high school in 1952 and enlisted in the U.S. military. He attended the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School and qualified in 1955 to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. However, after attending West Point for two years he left to earn his commission through the Officer Candidate School (OCS) in 1959. In 1963 he joined Special Forces. He served for more than 30 years as an Infantry, Special Forces, and Foreign Area Specialist.

On July 6, 1964, his Special Forces detachment (A-726) was attacked by a force of an estimated 900 enemy troops in the early morning hours. The SF team, along with 60 Chinese Nungs and a few hundred South Vietnamese irregulars, defended Camp Nam Dong, South Vietnam. The camp was near the border of Laos. During the battle Captain Donlon repeatedly exposed himself to heavy enemy fire – defending against the enemy, moving ammunition and weaponry, aiding the wounded, and rallying his men. He was wounded several times during the fight.

For his actions that day he was awarded the Medal of Honor. His was the first MoH award for the Vietnam War. On April 10, 2008, he was inducted (, PDF) into the Special Forces Regiment as a Distinguished Member.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, CIB, and the Parachutist Badge. He attended the Special Warfare Course, Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.



Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Press Release, January 25, 2024

Congressional Medal of Honor Society – Roger H.C. Donlon

Roger Dolan – National Medal of Honor Museum

CPT Roger H. C. Donlon -ARSOF History

Special Forces Taps

Roger Donlon – Wikipedia

Battle of Nam Dong – Wikipedia

“Outnumbered Green Berets Defend Camp Nam Dong”, Military Heritage, Volume 22, No. 3, Fall 2020.

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