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32 years old from Bend, Oregon
Sea-Air-Land Team 4 (SEAL-4), Golf Platoon, Naval Special Warfare Task Unit PAPA
December 20, 1989
Donald McFaul enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1975 and began working as engine specialist. In 1978 he began his Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL(BUD/S) training and was assigned to SEAL Team One upon graduation did three tours of duty conducting special operations. He left the Navy in 1985 but returned in ’88 and was assigned to SEAL Team 4. He was deployed to Panama in December of 1989. On December 20 he was KIA during the capture of Paitilla Airfield in Panama City. For his action that day he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. And in 1998 the USS McFaul was commissioned.
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.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To Look
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