KENNON, DONALD NEAL
KENNON, DONALD NEAL
Rank / Branch:
3RD MARINE DIVISION
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, SMALL ARMS
Awards & Decorations:
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list by County
DONALD NEAL KENNON, MAJOR, USMC, SWEETWATER, NOLAN COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Donald Neal Kennon was born in Cleburne, Texas. He was the oldest of two children born to Flora Opal Young Kennon and Finis Neal Kennon. His father was employed with Southwestern Bell Telephone as a supervisor and the family was transferred to Sweetwater, where Don and his sister were raised. Don attended Sweetwater schools and graduated from Newman High (now Sweetwater High School) in 1954. During his high school years, he was employed by Village Market. He attended Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas and while there, he set a javelin record. He graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1958 and entered the U.S. Marine Corp in 1958, being stationed at Quantico, Virginia for Officer Candidate School and upon completion in 1959, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.
Newman High School-Sweetwater, Tx Class of 54 Don married Jeanne Michael of Sweetwater in April 1960. The marriage produced three children, Michele, Melissa and Michael Don. During his Marine Corp career, he served at Camp LeJeunne, North Carolina; Quantico, Virginia; the Naval Air Station in New Orleans, Louisiana; and Camp Pendleton, California. Daughters, Michele and Melissa were born in New Orleans, Louisiana and son, Michael Don was born in Alexandria, Virginia.
2LT. Donald N. Kennon
He began his Vietnam tour on December 7, 1968 and he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. He was assigned as the Battalion Operation’s Officer. In February 1969, the first battalion was involved in operations in the northern end of the A Shau Valley in the Quang Tri Province. This was known as Operation Dewey Canyon I. During the Vietnam War, the Ashau Valley was a haven for enemy activity and was 35 miles from the border of Laos. The North Vietnamese Army were occupying this area and it was a convenient place to stage troops, plan operations and to bring in supplies via the Ho Chi Minh trail through Laos. The purpose of the Dewey Canyon operation was to root out the North Vietnamese Army and to destroy supply routes and to prevent future enemy activity and infiltration into the Ashau Valley. Major Kennon was setting up of 1/9th Battalion command post and on February 13, 1969 he was shot to death by a sniper.
Arlington National Cemetery
Major Kennon was buried with full military honors at the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. He was survived by his wife, his three children, his parents and his younger sister.
His wife, Jeanne lives in Abilene, Texas where she is retired from Dyess Air Force Base as a Visual Informatin Specialist. The children all attended college on Marine Corp scholarships and all honored their father by graduating. Michele Kennon Terry is a Baylor University graduate and is a stay at home mom, choosing to home school her children. She and her husband, Bill and their five children live in Waxahachie, Texas. Melissa Kennon Ellison graduated from Texas Tech University. She and her husband, Glen and two children live in Lubbock, where Melissa is a director of a private school. Michael Don Kennon is a graduate of Texas Tech University and holds a Masters Degree in Religious Knowledge from Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He and his wife, Cheryl and their two children live in Fort Worth. Michael Don is employed by Mental Health and Mental Retardation in Fort Worth.
Don’s parents are deceased and his sister, Elaine Kennon Hardin and her husband live in Sweetwater. He is also survived by his nephew Morris Hardin of Brownwood, Texas.