Petty Officer Michael Edwin Thornton is known for winning the revered Congressional Medal of Honor and also saving the life of Lt. Thomas Norris during October in the year 1972. Thornton has always been renowned for his fighting spirit, never say die attitude and a relentless passion for his country.
His contribution to the Vietnam War still remains a source for inspiration for all Navy SEALs mission soldiers. Beyond the call of duty The only thing that distinguishes an average soldier from an outstanding one is the ability to serve the nation without caring for one's life. One such shining example is Petty Officer Michael Edwin Thornton. He was an assistant to the US Navy Advisor at the time and was accompanied by a Senior Advisor with a 3 member team of the Vietnamese Navy SEALs patrol. They were supposed to gather intelligence as well as capture prisoners in a naval river base that was being occupied by the Vietnamese soldiers. Heavy firing What followed was an intensive round of heavy firing from the enemy.
Even during such unfavorable circumstances Petty Officer Michael Edwin Thornton managed to call in additional naval gunfire support and also began to engage the Vietnamese enemy in fierce firefighting. They then continued this firefight to result in many enemy casualties. Subsequently they went back into the waterline to prevent the entire Navy SEALs patrol from being encircled by the enemy.
His devotion to his leader Petty Officer Michael Edwin Thornton stands out in the history of the Vietnam war because he saved the life of his Senior Advisor. In spite of having returned to the waterline, Petty Officer Michael Edwin Thornton went back to the enemy center of firing after he learnt Lt. Thomas Norris was injured and was supposedly dead.
Managing to return to the area amidst heavy firing from the enemy, Petty Officer Michael Edwin Thornton managed to kill 2 enemy soldiers and also simultaneously managed to remove Lt. Norris to the water's edge. Then he was able to inflate the lifejacket of Lt.
Norris and then towed him towards the sea successfully. He kept towing Norris for almost 2 hours at a stretch until he got picked up by the support craft. It was only due to his unswerving dedication and risking his life beyond the call of duty that Petty Officer Michael Edwin Thornton was able to successfully save Senior Advisor Lt. Norris. This was a Navy SEAL mission with a difference. Courage under fire One of the great things about Petty Officer Michael Edwin Thornton is his dedication to his country.
Having graduated from High School in the year 1967, soon afterwards Petty Officer Michael Edwin Thornton enrolled in the Navy SEALs and was soon after sent to Vietnam as the situation became tense. It was here that Petty Officer Michael Edwin Thornton displayed his immense courage, his dedication to save his Senior Advisor and protect his country's honor.
This Article is written by James Kara Murat from USNavySEALstore.com, the contributor of US Navy SEALs Information Portal. A longer version of this article is located at Petty Officer Michael Edwin Thornton, and related resources can be found at US Navy SEALs Store.