SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information



In Memory of U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer

Donny Ramon Kidd

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Minnehaha County

 October 9, 1934 – March 4, 1968

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 Truck.

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 Additional information and profile approval by the Kidd family via Donny and Leslie Kidd.


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