Michael A. Donaldson
Award: Veterans' Hall of Fame
Michael A. Donaldson, a winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, is deserving of a place among New York State’s outstanding veterans by virtue of his battlefield gallantry during World War I.
A Sergeant with Company 1, 165th Infantry, 42nd Division, Mr. Donaldson’s regiment was attacked by heavy machine gun fire on St. Georges Road, France, October 14, 1918. Of his own volition, in broad daylight and under direct observation of the enemy and with utter disregard for his own safety, he advanced to the crest of the hill and rescued one of his wounded comrades. He returned under withering fire to his own lines and repeated this most heroic act six more times.
For his exceptional resolution and courage in the face of a merciless adversary, he was presented with the Medal of Honor by President Calvin Coolidge at the White House in 1923. Mr. Donaldson was one of only 92 Medal of Honor winners in World War I.
In the years that followed, Mr. Donaldson often met and associated with several U.S. presidents from Woodrow Wilson onward. This astonishing man passed on April 12, 1970, and is buried at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Haverstraw, New York.