Michael “Mike” William Lyne
SP4 / SGT – U.S. Army
4th Infantry Division – Company K (Ranger), 75th Infantry
1 March 1951 – 7 January 1970
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Panel 14W, Line 8
Service: Army (Regular)
Grade at loss: E4
Rank: Specialist Four (promoted Sergeant posthumously)
ID No: 239884157
MOS: 05B2P: Radio Operator (Airborne Qual)
Len Svc: 1 year
Unit: Company K (Ranger), 75th Infantry
Start Tour: 09/03/1969
Cas Date: 01/07/1970
Age at Loss: 18
Remains: Body recovered
Location: Pleiku Province, South Vietnam
Type: Hostile, died outright, ground casualty
Reason: Gun, small arms fire
Purple Heart, Bronze Star with V, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge
Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Cumberland Memorial Gardens, Fayetteville, North Carolina
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Link to Remembrances:
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SP4 Lyne, son of Major O. W. and Mrs. (nee Wright) Lyne of Fayetteville, was killed on 7 January 1970 in an ambush near Pleiku – along with teammates La Roy Roth, and Will Willard. The sole survivor of the mission was SSG Luther Doss, team leader of ROMEO-15. Doss would himself be KIA a few months later in April 1970.
Lyne’s fallen teammates of ROMEO-15:
Two weeks after the deadly ambush in January, Ranger team ROMEO-18, led by Obie Holmen, was sent into the same AO for reconnaissance. The link below shows a short film about this mission:
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David Doss writes:
To Mike Lyne’s Family and Friends: My name is David Doss and I am the son of Jim Doss. Jim was the team leader of Romeo 15 and was the only survivor of the January ambush which killed Mike, La Roy Roth and Will Willard. My father was killed in April of 1970. My father and Mike were very close, and I have a picture of the two of them which hangs in my home. It was sent to my mother by Mike. The inscription on the back reads “A picture of Father and Son.”
My father was changed forever by the death of those men and died, I am convinced, trying to avenge their deaths. I have many pictures of Mike, and I am certain that my father would want me to try to pass whatever I can on to you. I am certain he would want me to tell you how deeply sorry he is for your loss and although I believe there was nothing that he personally could have done to save the men, he carried the responsibility for their deaths until his end. I have struggled with my father’s death for 30 years and have searched to find all that I could about how he lived and died in Vietnam. I have laughed and cried with the men he served with and am certain now that he did not die for the war in Vietnam but for the men he fought beside.
The closeness these men have, and the quality of their character is something that makes me proud to be an American. My search has been a painful yet healing experience. As I read the letters from my father talking about the loss of his men I couldn’t help but to think of Mike and the child that he never got to hold.
If you read this and have not found peace in your soul with Mike’s death please call me. Believe me I understand and perhaps I can help!!!
David Doss, 921 Anne Road Glen Burnie, MD 21060. 410-360-9732
Mike the Ranger
by Bob Smyers 2/8/04
Heavenly Father, as we pause to pay tribute to Michael William Lyne. May we be assured by these beautiful words that are heard at every funeral, as the rifles sound their final volley in tribute to fallen a “Warrior”, that we know as his days drew to a close, that you God was truly nigh, and that he dwells now with you in peace for which he died. Help us all to recall Your Words in these times of tribute, that if we would LOVE OUR FELLOW MAN AS WE LOVE OURSELF, THESE TRIBUTES WOULD NOT BE NECCESSARY. We offer our thanks and praise to You in Jesus Name, amen.
Reflecting upon the memory Mike left with the many that served with him. We see a man that was raised to believe that there is a right and a wrong. One that knew how to love others and shared whatever he had for the good of others. Especially those of less fortune. The American expression for men like this, is the “good old boys”. It is a metaphor of one that is trustworthy, kind, gentle, and respectful of others. One who would give you his last dime, even the shirt off his back. To be called a good old boy is truly a complement and surely Mike fell into this mold. His demeanor, sense of humor, and that great big contagious smile spoke volumes about him. He was a real hammer when it came to cheering others up, or boosting morale.
Mike joined one of the most “Elite and Dangerous” units to serve in during the Vietnam war. This was the famed “Long Range Patrol Rangers of the 75th Ranger Regiment”. To be in this unit one had to volunteer because of the hazardous missions they would go on. They worked deep in enemy held territory gather intelligence that could be gotten no other way. The team were made of a team leader and three other men, and on occasions would engage the enemy of much larger size with favorable results. They commanded the respect, and yes, the envy of others soldiers. They hated and feared by the enemy. North Vietnamese Officers interviewed during and after the war stated; The long Range Patrol Rangers was their most feared enemy. This was because they showed up where least expected, in their back yard. Those that knew Mike and those who have served in like spirit, have the deepest respect that can be bestowed upon a fellow “WARRIOR” and that is to never forget his contribution towards world PEACE. We loved and still love our brother.
Mike you gave your all and we hope on this fatal day the angels were there to carry you swiftly home, a home where there is a beauty, we have yet to grasp. Rest brother, we still have a Nation that remains free because of soldiers like you.
We who live on must never forget our fallen brothers, or sisters, that paid the ultimate price. Neither can we allow our generation and those to come, to forget. Please be reminded, none are gone until we no longer remember.
To the family that has had to bear the loss of Mike, we offers our heart-felt thanks for your standing so strong. Many that enjoy real freedom have been affected by the great contribution he gave towards our freedom. He is still dearly loved and missed, even to this day.
So young, and for what?
BY SEVENTY FIRST HIGH SCHOOL CLASSMATE, 11/1/01
One day, Mike came to school drunk and got into a fight with the assistant principal. The cops hauled him downtown and left him alone in an office while they waited for his folks to come and get him. Being a kid he started going through the desk in the office and came across a seal like notaries use. His folks arrived and he left. The seal left with him. It was discovered missing and he was found out and charged with a felony, I believe. He was given a choice, the army or prison. Not much of a choice, but not an uncommon one at that time. His old man was an officer and prison was unthinkable so it was the army for Mike. We ran around together and partied. I cant say we were best friends or that we would have kept in touch over the years. But I know that I will never forget him no matter how old I get. And as long as I live he lives inside of me.
By Patricia Nomura Short
I met Mike at the Y through a friend when he was 17. He was a wild one. I had an immediate crush on him. He was a rebel. He and I skipped school together a lot. His Father forced him to join the military because he was so problematic to the family. I had heard he had gotten married just before he left and she had a son, and that his Father would never see. A few years ago I spoke to his sister Barbara. For years I hunted to make sure they were right. I just didn’t want to believe such a beautiful person got killed. I went to the wall and found him and I cried. His sister Barbara never recovered from his death they were best friends.
By Bruce J. Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cousin, I never got to see you in uniform as I was already serving in Vietnam with 3rd Force Recon, USMC; but I will always remember our childhood and the good times you, Lance and I had. I think of you often and you will always be with me cuz! I love you as my brother.
By Sally Pitts Gray, email@example.com
Mike married my best friend Cam from High School. He was an awesome man, a good husband, and a loyal friend. I will always remember him with love in my heart and his laughter.
By Alan Mitchell, Denison, Tx, firstname.lastname@example.org
While driving from Dallas to Denison today 10-11-04, I saw a semi-truck trailer tagged from Oklahoma that read “In memoriam to Sgt Bill Lyne, Army Ranger, KIA Vietnam 04-07-70” It prompted me to want to know more. Great idea. I wish that there were thousands more semi-trucks with the name of a fallen hero on it.