William Clayton McDowell

Sergeant First Class
Army of the United States
04 July 1937 - 05 April 1971
Brunswick, Georgia
Panel 04W Line 109

Soldier's Medal (2 awards), Bronze Star (2 awards), Purple Heart, Good Conduct (multiple awards), National Defense, Armed Forces Expeditionary (2 awards), Vietnam Service, RVN Military Merit, RVN Campaign William C McDowell

The database page for William Clayton McDowell

1 Aug 2004

SFC William Clayton McDowell was injured saving another man's life during his second Vietnam tour and was returned stateside to recover from his injuries. The Army required that he complete his tour so he returned to Vietnam on 9/25/70. He was stationed at Cu Chi. In early 1971 he participated in a mission known as Lamson 719 in Laos. Mac was traveling from Quang Tri to Da Nang in a jeep with MSG Arthur Glass and MSG David Bartlett when they got separated from the convoy. They fell under attack just outside of Hue and all three men were killed in action on April 5, 1971.

'Mac' McDowell left behind a loving wife, Ann, along with two twin daughters, Jeanette and Merika, and two sons, Johnny and Joe. Like all Vietnam vets KIA, Mac's family has never gotten over losing him and their lives were changed forever. It has been 33 years since he was killed at the age of 33 and there are still tears shed on the anniversary of his death. He is missed and loved by his family and friends.

From his son,
John H. McDowell
P. O. Box 71, Waynesville, Ga 31566

Ann and Mac on their wedding day, ca. 1955

Group picture taken during 1969-1970 (2nd tour).
Top row left, standing, Mac's best friend, E. T. Lewis
Bottom row, second from right, Mac.

Mac in his younger years.

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Headquarters, 8th Transportation Group (Motor Transport), provided command, planning, and supervision over three to seven motor transport battalions. HHD, 8th Trans, arrived in Vietnam in October 1966 and originally was responsible for long haul motor transport in the northern II Corps area under the US Army Support Command Qui Nhon. As US forces were withdrawn, transport requirements changed and HHD, 8th Trans, was relocated to Danang in November 1970, where it operated under the 26th General Support Group.

As noted above, three men from HHD, 8th Trans, were killed on 05 April 1971, just 23 days before the unit departed Vietnam:

  • MSG David B. Fitzgerald, Milwaukee, WI
  • MSG Arthur Glass, Alabaster, AL
  • SFC William C. McDowell, Brunswick, GA
Soldier's Medal
The Soldier's Medal is the Army's highest award for personal courage in life-threatening non-combat situations. Sergeant First Class McDowell was twice awarded the Soldier's Medal, the second time for rescuing two men from a building following an internal explosion. As noted above, he was sent to the United States for convalescence, later returning to Vietnam.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 1 Aug 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009