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  • Branch: Marines
  • Hometown/City: SWEETSER, IN
  • Date of Birth: 03-12-1949
  • Date of Death: 06-07-1968
  • Conflict: Vietnam
  • Unit:
  • Port/Base:

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  • The shirtless Marine is L/Cpl Michael Travis, and he was a Sniper assigned to my Recon Platoon. This photo was taken on a hill we were sat up on in Vietnam 1966. We were assigned to a Radio Relay position,because back in those days our radios ( PRC 25's) were good up to 25 miles line of sight, and if there was a mountain between the Point Patrol and Headquarters, Recon Teams were set in place on those high ground areas to receive the ( Alfa Serras - ALL SECURE's ) from the Point Teams back to Headquarters, and this was such a mission. There were many times when we were assigned to an area observing Viet Cong activity, and there was a village in our assigned area, MIKE and his M-1 Garand Rife mounted with a Starlight Scope would leave our little perimeter all alone and go hunting for Bad Guys. Our assignments normally lasted (5-6) days, and he would take at least (2-3) shots a night, and when it's real quite between 0100 and 0400 Hours, a rifle shot certainly get's your immediate attention, and you knew the sound of his rifle, and you knew that on every shot, someone died, and between 0500 and 0600, he'd return to the perimeter and go to sleep. I always described him as a very quite, and unassuming in his demeanor. One not knowing him would assume that he appears to be somewhat clumsy by his size, and the way he carried himself. MIKE joined our Platoon around April 1966, and was still there when I left returning back to the States the month of November 1966. I felt that for some reason, a Marine like him could "NEVER" come back home because he was too good at what he does, and it became a way of life for him. NOTE: This was brought to my mine after watching a scene from the American Sniper where his wife wanted him to stay home, but he felt he had to return to duty to protect his soldiers in combat, and was prepared to meet his maker to account for every shot that he took! - THIS WAS L/CPL MICHAEL TRAVIS, USMC! I later learned in 1968 after being assigned to the 2nd Recon Bn, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina as a Recon Platoon Sergeant that MIKE was comprised in (1968 ), and killed by the Viet Cong while out on a mission. The Bad Guys took his rifle, scope and mutilated his body. My understanding is that he was on his 3rd tour of duty. I do miss you my Brother, and GOD BLESS you! Semper Fidelis - Robert "Thunder" Thornton

    Robert "Thunder" Thornton, Fellow War Fighter