Master Chief Aviation Ordnanceman
Mike Boynton,USN (Ret.)
During his 30 years as a
In Orr Kelly's book, NEVER FIGHT FAIR!, he relates this story about Mike Boynton as told by LT Jack "Blackjack" Macione.........
" Another funny incident. A guy named (Mike) Boynton. There's a handful of guys I would take into combat with me. Boynton was one of them. Pierre Birtz, (Richard J.) "Hook" Tuure, Bob Gallagher. Yeah, those guys right there. If I had to pick a handful, that would be it. Cool fellows. Nice fellows to have around.
We were preparing for that radio station mission. (An assignment to blow up a radio station.) We had gone to a CIA briefing and they wanted to be sure we were nonattributable.
I said, "Look. I've
got a guy who has a goddamn tattoo on his arm. I think it says 'God Bless
The CIA guys says, "Don't worry. We'll take care of it."
It's like , we're in a tent in the middle of the jungle. You hear the sound of the jungle and the hissing of the Coleman lanterns. We're getting sterilized clothing (with no marks to link it to the U. S.). This Special Forces sergeant has all the clothing stacked out on the table and we're going down the line. The roar of the silence is only interrupted by this sergeant asking, us answering --one-word conversations. Hat? 9-1/2.
So I'm walking behind Boynton. He's six feet two or more, weighed 220. Big guy. The sergeant is asking him sizes. Hat. 10-1/2 large. Shirt? 54 extra wide. Pants? 62 extra long.
So he says, "Shoes?"
And Boynton says, "5-1/2."
The whole tent stopped. We're off to be killed and the whole tent stops. This grizzly sergeant looks over the counter at his feet. He looks up at Boynton and says, "You fall down a lot?"
Suddenly, up shows an army Special Forces corpsman. The guy was in white. Here we are in the middle of the jungle, everybody in cammo, black face and here's this guy with the white smock.
He says, "Lieutenant Macione?"
I says, "Yes?"
"I understand you've got a guy with a tattoo on?"
"Yeah. Boynton, come here."
The guy says, "Roll up your sleeve."
I say, "Roll up your sleeve, Boynton."
He rolls up his sleeve.
The guy takes a can of ether spray, sprays his tattoo, takes his scalpel, goes choo, choo, choo choo, and pulls the tattoo right off.
Boynton is like, "What the f_____?"
In Kevin Dockery's new book, THE TEAMS, An Oral History of the U.S. Navy SEALs, First Class Radioman Jack Rowell, U.S.N. (Ret.) tells, in great detail, of the recon op in which Mike Boynton was awarded the Silver Star. The following is a short excerpt from that story.......
"While they were checking out the inside of the building, a firefight broke out and a grenade went off, wounding most of the squad. Yeaw was badly wounded in the arm and legs but could still walk. Gallagher was very badly wounded but could still move. The Vietnamese interpreter the squad had with them was badly wounded and he couldn't walk at all. Mikey Boynton and Hook Tuure were hit, but nothing like the others.
With a bunch of VC after them, Bravo squad hauled ass away from the barracks. They were also looking for a place they could hole up and get pulled out by the helicopters. But unlike us, they had a longer way to go, over a klick, before they could find a clearing where the slicks could come in and get them out. Mikey Boynton is a big fellow and he carried the wounded interpreter in his arms that whole way. Not that it was much easier for the rest of the squad.
The squad found a hooch among some rice paddies that they could put a perimeter around and called in the Seawolves. Things were pretty tense, but they finally got out. After everything was done, it was estimated that we took out around twenty-six VC between the two squads and the Seawolves. Apparently, we had been facing a full VC battalion. Even for us, those odds were a little too much. I guess the Navy thought so as well. Mikey Boynton received the Silver Star, a bunch of us got Bronze Stars, and Gallagher was later awarded the Navy Cross for that op.
In Bill Fawcetts's book HUNTERS
AND SHOOTERS, An Oral History of the U. S. Navy SEALs
in Vietnam, Mike Boynton writes his own story of his experiences in
Mike Boynton was born 8 December 1941, the day
Photo compliments of teammate Erasmo Riojas
book, Mike tells of his
"For twenty-eight years, until my retirement as Command Master Chief of
"To the men of the Teams today, I say this. The price of patriotism is high--you only buy the farm once. Keep the body bags where they belong--on the shelf. The stakes are high in real missions; it's not a crapshoot. You must know and evaluate the mission in your own mind. The ultimate objective cannot override the risk factor. It cannot be suicidal and it must not be morally repugnant."
"If you are ever
called upon to fight another "
After surviving two
tours of duty in
We'll miss you too, Mike.