U.S. ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS
Hall of Fame
Command Sergeant Major
Theodore R. MacDonnell
Theodore R. MacDonnell was the son of a WWI British Army veteran and enjoyed dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Great Britain. He was schooled in England, and served as a cadet in a British Border Regiment. An extraordinary athlete, he gained a spot on the 1940 British Olympic decathlon team, but the start of WWII in 1939 prevented his participation. He returned to the U.S. in 1940 and entered the Army in 1942.
In 1943, Private MacDonnell graduated from Ranger training and was selected to become an instructor for the Ranger battalion. He was then recruited for duty in the 91st Chemical Mortar Company. On 21 April 1945, he was acting as a forward observer for his company’s mortars and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on Okinawa. He reenlisted in the Chemical Warfare Service on 15 March 1946, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Chemical Corps in 1949.
During a reduction in force he left the Army in 1954 and briefly pursued a career in professional baseball and football. He re-enlisted in the Army at the grade of Staff Sergeant. He was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, and would continue serving in the Infantry for the remainder of his career. He earned his combat infantryman’s badge in 1968 during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. His final assignment was Sergeant Major of the All Army Shooting Team at Fort Benning. Command Sergeant Major Theodore MacDonnell retired from the Army in 1973, after 31 years of service to his nation.
Command Sergeant Major (Retired) MacDonnell passed away in Columbus, Georgia on 25 April 2019.