HENRY J BOYE - PFC
- pine hill
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- June 26, 1949
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- May 31, 1968
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Henry Joseph Boye, Jr. was born to Sarah Elizabeth Parkinson Boye and Henry Joseph Boye, Sr. on June 26, 1949. His home of record is Pine Hill, NJ. He was their first child and was followed by two brothers, including Glenn, and a sister. Henry, Hank to his friends, spent his childhood playing organized sports such as football and baseball with various township teams. He was a better than average athlete and turned out to be a talented starting third baseman for his high school team - the Overbrook Regional Rams.
Always the practical joker, he was responsible for many gray hairs of the teachers who taught him. Henry was a decent student in school, but definitely took more joy in his friends and shop class rather than academics. He loved to work and tinker with cars, as did many of his friends. His pride and joy was a white '65 Mustang that he bought his senior year of high school.
Henry graduated from Overbrook Regional High School in June 1967. After graduation, he worked at various jobs, becoming a butcher's apprentice in the summer. In the fall, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and went off to Boot Camp and finally off to Vietnam early in 1968, attaining the rank of Private First Class (PFC).
He was only there four months when he was wounded. He wrote to the family and told them how lucky he was to have received only superficial cuts from shrapnel. On May 31, 1968, less than a month after his family had received the letter telling of his luck, Henry was killed in action in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. He was one month short of his nineteenth birthday. His death occurred during the Tet Offensive, a major insurgence of North Vietnam to South Vietnam.
Henry was awarded the Purple Heart, as well as several medals from the Vietnamese government. He left behind a mother, father, two brothers, a sister, and many friends.
I met Hank at the Philadelphia, PA, airport in 1968 while we were waiting to go to Camp Pendleton. We hit it off right away, and it sure made the trip to "staging" at Camp Pendleton a fun ride; I guess it was a little too much fun, laughing with Hank, since the stewardess told us several times to be quiet.
When we were at Pendleton, Hank and I, along with a Marine named Able (first name), spent most of our off-duty time together in Oceanside, CA (where we got our tattoos). We went to Disneyland several times, and each time was the greatest. I still remember Hank's irritation that I wanted to ride the "It's a Small World" ride. He went with me, but he made clear what a goofy ride it was (he was right!). On the plus side, we saw the "Lovin' Spoonful" there. I danced, but Hank said that it looked like I was very stiff (this
is not how he put it!).
When we got to Phu Bai, we were assigned to different companies, me to Delta.
When I humped up the final hill for the day in early June, some other guys from the Battalion told me of Hank's death. It broke my heart.
Written by LCpl Peter Doerschuk, Friend
Sources: LCpl Peter Doerschuk (friend) and NJVVMF.
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