The citation for MacDonald's Silver Star reads as follows:

"Captain Charles B. MacDonald on December 17, 1944, in the Krinkelter Wald, Belgium, Company I, 23rd infantry, in a defensive position was being attacked in waves supported by heavy Nebelwergers and artillery barrages. Captain MacDonald, the commanding officer, heedless of small arms fire which raked the entire company area dashed from one platoon position to another adjusting fire and encouraging his men to maintain their position in the face of ceaseless onslaughts. When enemy tanks started to overrun the company position, Captain MacDonald personally... notified his platoon to withdraw, then remained with the group he had chosen as a covering force until all men had withdrawn from the position. Attempting to make another stand against the onrushing enemy, this officer set up a hasty defense with a handful of men along a narrow fire break and held here for several minutes until the enemy tanks began firing point blank at his position. Those gallant actions by Captain MacDonald were a constant source of inspiration and determination to his men who without superior leadership could not have held off a numerically superior enemy for a long period. The gallantry leadership in battle and disregard for personal safety displayed by this officer are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army."