Michael Frank FlynnSergeant
CAP BRAVO 2-2, HQ BN, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
31 March 1946 - 07 April 1967
Panel 17E Line 116
The database page for Michael Frank Flynn
While reading LtCol William R. Corson's book titled "THE BETRAYAL" I came upon a very special Marine - Sergeant Michael Frank Flynn of Leander, Texas.
Michael Frank Flynn joined the Marine Corps in 1964 at eighteen years of age. After upon completing boot camp and ACT, he went directly to Vietnam joining up with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, for about twenty-one months. Flynn, being in constant contact with the Vietnamese people, became very proficient in Vietnamese. Because of his knowledge of the Vietnamese language he worked in the Battalion Civil Affairs office. He was instrumental in making Le My the first pacified hamlet in Vietnam.
He joined a Combined Action Platoon (CAP unit) at Loc An, a small hamlet near Dai Loc, twenty miles south of Danang. One of the most touching moments in Sergeant Flynn's time with the CAP unit was when he got re-assigned to his parent unit. The villagers wrote to the Battalion Commander and asked permission for "Mr. Flynn Sergeant" to be returned to Loc An hamlet because "he win all the hearts of the whole people and he speak Vietnamese very much". Well, this little note worked and Flynn was approved to return to Loc An. Three tours in Vietnam were not generally accepted, but in Sergeant Flynn's case a personal letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps secured him his third tour.
On April 6, 1967, Johanathan Randall, then a columnist with the New York Times, interviewed Flynn about his extended tour. Sergeant Flynn remarked, "I've become so involved with the people here, it's become a personal war for me ... we've learned to depend on each other and I cannot let these people down."
The following night - April 7, 1967 - while on patrol, Sergeant Flynn was killed in a fire-fight with Viet Cong.
To most disinterested observers of the Vietnamese war Flynn's death had little meaning - but it did to the residents of Loc An. The entire hamlet of some 2800 people went into personal mourning for one year. Because of Sergeant Flynn's death the Viet Cong were never allowed to enter Loc An again ... because of Sergeant Flynn's dedication to duty and his concern for the people of Loc An, the people of Loc An finally chose which side they were on. They all loved and respected Sergeant Michael Frank Flynn - a true American hero, certainly to the villagers of Loc An.
From a caring citizen and former Marine,
A Note from The Virtual WallAccording to an article printed in the Austin (Texas) Statesman-American immediately after his death, Sergeant Flynn entered the Marine Corps in March 1964 and arrived in Vietnam with the first USMC units in April 1965. Upon completion of his on-year tour, he agreed to an extension. When the extension was up, he returned to the United States in early 1967 - and promptly sought another tour in Vietnam.
Formally, Sergeant Flynn was assigned to Sub-Unit 1, Service Company, HQ Battalion, 1st Marine Division - but Sub-Unit 1 was the 1st MarDiv's Combined Action unit and was broken up into a number of smaller elements; Sergeant Flynn was a member of CAP Bravo 2-2. The Bravo 2-2 compound was located on Route 4, just west of Tam Hoa and about 6 kilometers west of Ai Nghia. Route 4 parallels the north bank of the Vu Gia River, and one of Bravo 2-2's duties was to monitor river traffic to discourage water-borne resupply of VC elements further up-stream.
On 07 April 1967 the Bravo 2-2 river watch advised that three boats were ashore on the south bank a bit upstream from Tam Hoa. Sergeant Flynn took several Marines and a Corpsman to check the boats out. On arrival, he decided to retrieve the boats, and he and two others crossed the river to do so. As they recrossed toward the north bank, the three men were taken under fire as described in the following exerpt from the 9th Marines Situation Report for 07 April:
Sergeant Flynn was hit by small arms fire and died before he could be medevaced. The Form DD1300 that recorded his death reported "result gunshot wound thru and thru abdomen from hostile fire while on patrol"
He is buried in the Austin Memorial Park, Austin, Texas.
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a caring citizen and former Marine,
William J. (Jerry) Speer
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 05 Feb 2008
Last updated 06/22/2017