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Donald L. McFaul

Date of birth: 20-Sep-57
Date of death: December 20, 1989
Place of Birth: California, Orange County
Home of record: Bend Oregon
Status: KIA

Donald McFaul enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school. After recruit training he was assigned to Naval Station Treasure Island, where he worked for Port Services as an Engine Specialist. In 1977, Chief McFaul volunteered and was selected to join the Naval Special Warfare Community. He underwent Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal Training (Class 95) in the spring of 1978. Chief McFaul was assigned to SEAL Team 1 where he made three deployments in support of Special Operations out of Subic Bay, Philippines. In 1985 he transitioned to civilian life repairing engines and fishing. McFaul returned to the Special Warfare Community in February of 1988 after attending Defense Language Institute for Spanish in Monterey, Ca. Chief McFaul deployed with SEAL Team 4 to the Persian Gulf in support of the Middle East Forces and later deployed to Naval Special Warfare Unit 8 at Naval Station Rodman, Republic of Panama. His final deployment was as Platoon Chief of Gulf Platoon on December 18, 1989, where he was killed in action during combat operations. The 24th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer was named after McFaul.


Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Incursion into Panama

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Chief Engineman Donald L. McFaul (NSN: 541641184), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Platoon Chief Petty Officer of Sea-Air-Land Team FOUR (SEAL-4), GOLF Platoon during Operation JUST CAUSE at Paitilla Airfield, Republic of Panama on 20 December 1989. Chief Petty Officer McFaul's platoon was an element of Naval Special Warfare Task Unit PAPA, whose crucial mission was to deny to General Noriega and his associates the use of Paitilla Airfield as an avenue of escape from Panama. After insertion from sea by rubber raiding craft, Golf Platoon was patrolling toward their objective, a hangar housing General Noriega's aircraft, when they were engaged by heavy small arms fire. Realizing that most of the first squad, 25 meters north of his position, had been wounded, he left the relative safety of his own position in order to assist the wounded lying helplessly exposed. Under heavy enemy fire and with total disregard for his personal safety, Chief Petty Officer McFaul moved forward into the kill zone and began carrying a seriously wounded platoon member to safety. As he was nearing the safety of his own force's perimeter, he was mortally wounded by enemy fire. Chief Petty Officer McFaul's heroic actions and courage under fire saved his teammate's life and were an inspiration for other acts of heroism as the assault force prevailed in this decisive battle. By his extraordinary bravery, personal sacrifice, and inspiring devotion to duty, Chief Petty Officer McFaul reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

Action Date: 20-Dec-89

Service: Navy

Rank: Chief Engineman

Company: Sea-Air-Land Team 4 (SEAL-4), Golf Platoon

Division: Naval Special Warfare Task Unit PAPA