In Memory of U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer
Donny Ramon Kidd
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Minnehaha County
October 9, 1934 – March 4,
Killed in Action in Vietnam
Donny Ramon Kidd was born on October 9, 1934, in Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma to Roland and Leona Kidd. He had two brothers,
Richard and Robert, and one sister, Janna. Donny attended high
school at Capitol Hill High, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and then
went on to college at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
After that he married Darlene, his wife, and they had four sons:
Andrew, Kevin, Donny, Jr., and Patrick, and a daughter,
Kimberly, who died shortly after birth.
Donny Kidd first entered active service in the Navy on
December 30, 1951. In 1953, he was trained as a Machinist’s Mate
at Great Lakes, Illinois, and then served at Alameda, California
until October 7, 1955, when he was discharged from the Navy. In
February of 1964, Donny joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard
as a rotary wing aviator in Company A, 32nd Aviation Battalion,
32nd Infantry Division while also working for Oshkosh Motor
In February of 1965, Donny started his pilot training for 5
months at Fort Wolters, Texas, and completed it at Fort Rucker,
Alabama, where he was commissioned as a Warrant Officer and an
army aviator on October 28, 1965. Shortly thereafter, he
returned to Wisconsin but later took a job as a Service
Representative for Chrysler Motors, Dodge Division, out of
Minneapolis, Minnesota, which required him and his family to
move to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, so he was discharged from the
Wisconsin Army National Guard. In January of 1967, Donny applied
to be a Warrant Officer in the South Dakota Army National Guard.
He returned to active military service in September of 1967 with
HHC, 173rd Airborne Brigade, Casper Platoon.
Warrant Officer Donny Ramon Kidd was killed in action on
March 4, 1968, but was first listed as missing in action until
his body was recovered in April of the same year and then
returned to the United States, where he was buried with military
honors in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Among his awards in Vietnam, Donny Kidd received the Bronze
Star, the Air Medal with 8 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple
Heart. He is currently survived by his wife, Darlene, and his
four sons, Andrew, Kevin, Donny Jr., Patrick, and their wives, 6
grandchildren, and one-great-grandson.
Jim McLaughlin, 335th Assault Helicopter Company, 1967-68,
who served with Donny, wrote the following remembrance:
I met Donny Kidd in the fall of 1967 at a
place called Dak To in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam.
Donny was a new pilot assigned to the Casper Platoon of the
173rd Airborne Brigade(Sep) which was heavily engaged with
North Vietnamese Regulars coming down from the north through
Laos into South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. I had
arrived in country in July of 1967 and was a helicopter
pilot assigned to the 335th Assault Helicopter Company
providing direct support to the 173rd Abn Bde. Donny was a
little older than most of the Warrant Officer Pilots and at
22 years I was older than many. What I remember most about
Donny was the impression he made when we first met. He was
by himself and did not wait for someone to introduce us. He
simply walked over to a couple of us with his hand held out
and introduced himself. Open, warm, humble, a man of dignity
who I immediately knew I could trust is what I remember most
about Donny. After that first encounter I always made a
point of talking with him whenever our paths crossed. We
lost a fine man when he was shot down.
Steve Greene also served with Donny and wrote, “Even thought
my time with [Donny] was brief, he will always be one of my
heroes He gave the absolute ultimate price for his country.”
In closing, one of Donny Kidd’s sons, Donny Jr., had the
following to say about their beloved father:
A lot of little boys grow up thinking that
their Dad’s are hero’s…well mine was a true hero. He went to
fight in a war when he didn’t have to, in order to serve his
country. My Dad has been gone for over thirty-eight years
but my pride in him and my love for him has never dimmed.
When I close my eyes I can still see my Dad in his uniform.
The smell of Kiwi shoe polish and Brasso always brings a
smile to my face because that is what my Dad smelled like. I
am and will always be a proud son of Donny Kidd.
This entry was respectfully submitted by Brady Hansen, 8th
grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on
March 28, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by the
Sioux Falls Argus Leader, April 17, 1968, his military
personnel record, and www.vvmf.org.
Additional information and profile approval by the Kidd family
via Donny and Leslie Kidd.