Morgan Jefferson Donahue

United States Air Force
02 May 1944 - 02 February 1981
Alexandria, Virginia
Panel 36W Line 014



USAF Navigator/Bombardier

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Morgan Jefferson Donahue

25 Dec 1998


by a friend.
09 Jul 2006

To the Family of Major Morgan J. Donahue,

I just wanted you to know that he is not forgotten. I have been wearing his bracelet for as long as I can remember. This is my second bracelet - the first one I had as a child in the 1970's actually wore out and then broke after years of use.

I searched the Internet for info because I wanted to express to his family my gratitude and appreciation for his service and learn more about him and his status.

I was saddened to find out all that you've gone through and I share your frustration and outrage. Please accept my condolences and sympathy for his loss.

Your family will always be in my thoughts and prayers and I will continue to proudly wear Major Donahue's bracelet forever.

Ann Corazza
Brooklyn, New York

09 Feb 2007

To the Family of Major Morgan Jefferson Donahue,

I have worn his bracelet since the 70's, it got so thin it was cutting me. My sons got me a sterling silver bracelet, with all the same information on and it should last me for the next 40 years. But the information is always in my heart, we share the same birthday. You were left in Laos on my cousin Don's 30th birthday. Morgan, you and your family have been in my mind and prayers every day.

Many times I find myself rubbing the bracelet and saying an extra prayer. It's at these times I wish you were here to see and share (what ever was going on with me and my family) with your family.

Because I read that you had waved to the plane it makes me feel that with God's help you are still around. We are getting older but we're not elderly yet.

I am one of the lucky ones. My husband hauled I think it was called JP-4 (fuel for helicopters) up and down Highway 1 and he came home to us.

Love and Prayers,

Margo Zahler
Timberlake, Ohio 44095-1919

24 Mar 2007

Hello, I am Adam. I am 8 years old. I used Morgan for a homework exercise to learn about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He sounds like a great soldier.

E-Mail will be forwarded by the

07 Mar 2008

To the family, comrades in arms, and friends of Major Morgan Donahue, I offer my belated condolances and deep appreciation for the Major's service and supreme sacrifice.

I served with the 432nd in Udorn Thailand in 1972-73. We were all keenly aware of the sacrifices that were and had been made. We were young and invincible, so we thought. When we lost a comrade, our loss was real, however the pain that was experienced was for the families that were left behind. We always somehow believed that our downed pilots would be rescued and be returned to base, it happened many times. Hell, we were the Air Force. But it did not always happen. Yes it was incredible when a helo picked up a crew from a downed F-4 in the Gulf as they did many many times and the crew were back before the sun set, but not always.

I have worn the Major's bracelet for more years than I care to remember. While I knew that he was not coming home, I somehow held out hope.

I have never been to the Wall in Washington for a myriad of excuses. This May, I will be participating in Rolling Thunder with a group of vets from the North East.

I will pay my respects to the Major.

Michael Sullivan

11 Mar 2008

To the Family of Major Morgan J. Donahue,

As I walk past the Memorial Wall at US Air Force Academy, I never fully understood what any of these heroes had done for their country. I was given the task to go to the Wall and choose one name, and Major Donahue's stood out. I started to research this unknown man, and realized that he had lived one incredible life. I am honored to know the story of Major Donahue and I will now add him and his family to my prayers.

Colton Cash

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 13 December 1968 a C-123K PROVIDER of the 606th Special Operations Squadron launched from Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand, on a night FAC mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail area. The low-and-slow C-123K's mission was to obtain visual or infrared sightings of traffic along the Trail and to act as a controller for bombers - in this case, B-57 CANBERRA bombers from the 8th Tactical Bomber Squadron, Phan Rang AB, SVN.

Weather conditions along the Trail were good - clear with a half moon, ground fog, no wind and no cloud ceiling. At 0300 hours, as a B-57 was executing an attack against ground targets, the B-57 collided with the upper surface of the circling C-123K. Both aircraft - and nine aircrewmen - went down.

Only one - 1st Lt Thomas M. Turner from the C-123 - was rescued. The others simply disappeared into the Laotian jungles about 30 miles southwest of the Ban Kari Pass. A ground search was impossible due to total enemy control of the area, but airborne search-and-rescue operations continued until termination on 15 December, when the formal SAR effort was terminated. At that point, the crewmen and their status were as follow:

  • 606th SOS, C-123K 54-0600, call sign CANDLESTICK 44
    • 1st Lt Thomas M. Turner, pilot, rescued;
    • 1st Lt Joseph P. Fanning, co-pilot, MIA;
    • 1st Lt John S. Albright, II, navigator, MIA;
    • 1st Lt Morgan J. Donahue, navigator, MIA;
    • SSgt Douglas V. Dailey, flight engineer, MIA;
    • TSgt Fred L. Clarke, loadmaster, MIA; and
    • SSgt Samuel F. Walker, Jr., loadmaster, MIA.

  • 8th Tactical Bomber Squadron, B-57E 55-4284, call sign YELLOWBIRD 72
None of the men returned with other POWs in February 1973, nor did any of the released POWs have knowledge of the CANDLESTICK or YELLOWBIRD crewmen. As time passed, the Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the eight missing crewmen.

The eight men have not been repatriated.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend. 

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index D
VA State Index . Panel 36W
606TH SOS Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 25 Dec 1998
Last updated 03/26/2008