August 24, 1944 — August 26, 1947
Military Honors: Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star (BMS), Purple Heart, Asiatic/Pacific Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal
Determined to serve alongside his brothers, Harry Thomas Boyle enlisted in the Army on August 24, 1944. With three sons already serving overseas, his decision greatly upset his parents. Completing basic training at Fort Ord, California, he sent a recorded message home reassuring them, "It is going to be a long time until you hear my voice... I can't tell you where I am, but... I know where I'm going and the job I have to do. You don't have to worry about me. All I want you to do is save my old place at the table at Christmas."
Assigned to the 96th Division, he shipped out with other replacement troops from Seattle, Washington. In open water his transport ship encountered large convoys. Amidst an ever-growing armada came the realization that an enormous invasion was being prepared -- possibly the island of Japan itself. He recalled that soldiers were not as much concerned with whether they'd die -- but when. "Nobody wanted to be the last man killed in war."
Attached to the 383rd, L Co he engaged the enemy within days of landing on the island of Okinawa. His ultimate baptism under fire came on April 9, 1945, when he and the men he served with fought in the Battle of Kakazu Ridge. In this heroic struggle for survival, he received his combat infantry badge along with an unwavering devotion for his commanding officer, Lt. Willard "Hoss" Mitchell. He often spoke of Mitchell in the highest terms. "They should have put him in charge" he'd say, "He would have ended the war a hell of a lot sooner!"
He was severely wound on the Medeera Escarpments on June 6th, 1945 -- just 15-days prior to the end of the war. After reaching the top of the escarpment, he and a fellow soldier named Casey met machine gun and mortar fire. Casey was instantly killed. Mortally wounded, our father fell off the escarpment's edge. Landing on a ledge, the battle raged around him as he fell in and out of consciousness. Later in the night he received secondary injuries from the shrapnel of an exploding grenade. Near death, he was found the following morning after American forces secured the ridge.
On August 26, 1947, our father returned home from war. For service to his county, Sergeant Harry Thomas Boyle was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star (BMS), Purple Heart, Asiatic/Pacific Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal. In a retail career lasting 32-years, he worked his way up the corporate ladder from Warehouseman to District Supervisor of Sales for Payless Drug stores. He married the love of his life, Alice Anne Jennings. Their lifelong commitment to each other produced four children -- Steve, Tom, Jim and Marlena. As a family we are forever honored by his sacrifice and unwavering devotion.
Submission Honored By: His Family and Friends