Master Chief Aviation Ordnanceman

Mike Boynton,USN (Ret.)

8 Dec 1941 - 6 Feb 1998

Mike Boynton

Mike's medals

During his 30 years as a SEAL, Michael Boynton won many medals, including the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars with Combat "V's," three Navy Commendation medals with one Combat "V," and the Purple Heart

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 America.'"

The CIA guys says, "Don't worry. We'll take care of it."

It's like midnight, 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 Vietnam. It is from this story we have pulled the following biographical information.

Mike Boynton was born 8 December 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor. He grew up in Texas, Hawaii, and Guam, then back to Texas where he attended high school. Having learned to love the water in Hawaii, Mike joined the high school swim team. In August of 1960, he joined the Navy. Of fifty-seven volunteers who took the physical screening test for UDTR, Mike was the only one to get a set of orders to Under Water Demolition Training. Class 27, a winter UDTR class, started in January 1962 with 148 students and graduated only 48.

Photo compliments of teammate Erasmo Riojas

Mike Boynton

In Fawcett's book, Mike tells of his Vietnam experiences with humility and insight. It's a well written account and a must-read for those who knew him and operated with him.

Boynton writes, "For twenty-eight years, until my retirement as Command Master Chief of SEAL Team TWO, I had the pleasure of being a part of the best the Navy has, SEAL Team TWO and Naval Special Warfare. When you spend most of your adult life in an organization like SpecWar, you wonder where all the time has gone. I know that the last ten years blurred, they passed so quickly. The beauty of the Teams is growing old without growing up. There is always something new going on. The good times outweigh the bad tenfold."

"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 "Vietnam" or "JUST CAUSE", I know that all of you will excel. Remember this: There are mistakes to be made by every man. No one is perfect. In war, do what you have to do, help your Teammates, and never leave anyone behind. That is all anyone can ask of you."

"SEAL Team TWO, I applaud you, I will miss you."

After surviving two tours of duty in Vietnam, the invasion of the Dominican Republic and numerous other missions, Mike Boynton was killed on 6 February 1998 when a car crashed into his truck on Shore Drive in Norfolk, Virginia. Mike was on his way to work with a trucking firm when he was struck by a stolen car driven by a fourteen year old girl who was evading police.

We'll miss you too, Mike.

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