Boitnott, John, MGySgt

 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
Master Gunnery Sergeant
Last Primary MOS
5821-Criminal Investigator
Last MOSGroup
Military Police
Primary Unit
1967-1971, 5821, 4th Law Enforcement Bn, Marine Forces Reserve Command Headquarters
Service Years
1941 - 1971

Master Gunnery Sergeant

Seven Hash Marks


 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl Robert Rohrer (Bob) to remember Marine MGySgt John Boitnott.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Dawson Springs, Kentucky

Date of Passing
Oct 13, 2008
Location of Interment
Jacksonville Memory Gardens - Orange Park, Florida
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Garden of the Masonic

 Official Badges 

Joint Chiefs Service Criminal Investigation Division French Fourragere USMC Retired Pin (30 Years) WW II Honorable Discharge Pin

PMI Pith Helmet Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Golden Dragon Marine Recruiter Shellback Leatherneck Medal

Cold War

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Svc# 313233

12 Jul 1941 - Sep 1941
Enlisted - MCRD Sn Diego, CA
Oct 1941
(Pvt) Sea School, MCRD San Diego, CA
Oct 1941 - Jan 1942
(Pvt) Marine Detachment, U S S Chicago, Pearl Harbor (WIA)
Jan 1942 - Feb 1942
(Pvt) Marine Detachment, U S S Chicago, Pearl Harbor
Feb 1942 - Apr 1942
(Pvt) Marine Detachment, USS Astoria
Apr 1942 - Jul 1942
(Pvt) Marine Detachment, U.S.S. Yorktown, Operating Pacific Area
Jul 1942 - Oct 1942
(Pvt) Marine Detachment, U.S.S. Saratoga.
Oct 1942 - Jul 1943
(PFC) Company B, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor
Jul 1943 - Jan 1944
(PFC) Sea School Detachment, Marine Barracks, Nnyd, Portsmouth, Virginia (Instructor)
Jan 1944 - Dec 1945
(PFC - Cpl) MarDet, USS Hornet CV-12 (WIA)
Dec - Jan 1946
(Cpl)(606) Rifle Range Detachment, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia (Instructor)
Jan  1946 - Jul 1948
(Sgt) Headquarters, Northeastern Recruiting Division, Buffalo, NY. (Recruiter)
Jul 1948 - Jul 1949
(Sgt) Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina
Jul 1949 - Apr 1950
(Sgt-SSgt) Guard Co, Headquarters & Service Battalion, Marine Barracks, Camp Lejeune, NC
Apr 1950 - Apr 1952
(SSgt) Wpns Trng Bn Mcrdep, Parris Island Sc (PMI)
Apr 1952 - Oct 1952
(SSgt)(5849) Co I, 3Rd Battalion 5Th Marines, 1St Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force
(Apr 1952 -WIA - Jul 1952 WIA -  9 Kills) Korea
10 Aug 1952

Meritorious Promotion to Tech Sergeant
Oct 1952 - Oct 1953
(TSgt) Mb Nas Mps Tenn, Memphis Tenn
Oct 1953 - Jul 1956
(TSgt) Mp Co Hqbn 2Ndmardiv Fmf, Mri 2 Camp Lejeune N C
Jul 1956 - Jan 1958
(TSgt-MSgt) Mar Air Base Sq 31 Mag 31 Reinf Afmfl,Mri Cherry Point
Jan 1958 - Mar 1958
(MSgt) I-I Staff 2D Truck Co Mcr, N and Mcrtc Po Box 298 Augusta Ga (Criminal Investigator School)
Apr 1958 - Jul 1959
(MSgt) Mabs 31 Mag 31 Reinf Afafl,  Cherry Point, NC
Jul 1959 - Jul 1963
(MSgt) Joint Chiefs, Pentagaon Secruity Detail
Jul 1963 - Jul 1966
(MGySgt) Criminal Investigation Division
Jul 1966 - Jul 1971
(MGySgt) Law Enforcement Bn, Marine Forces Reserve
Jul 1971
Retired - MGySgt
Other Comments:

He was wounded during the attack on Pearl Harbor, fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and became the most famous Marine sniper of the Korean War . . .

By the time John E. Boitnott, a 30-year-old SSgt from Dawson Creek, Kentucky, left Korea for the United States in late July 1952, he had become a legend.

The Marine Corps sniper, who had earned a Bronze Star with Combat V, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V, and six purple hearts, two combat action ribbons and numerous campaign medals for his service in WWII and Korea had also gained national attention for his unorthodox - but highly effective - method of taking out communist soldiers.

During a two-day period in 1952, Boitnott, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, used his M1C Garand sniper rifle to make nine confirmed kills with nine shots, an extraordinary feat of marksmanship, considering the firing conditions, rifles, and scopes used at the time.

But it wasn??t just Boitnott's outstanding shooting that earned him so much notoriety. It was the way he acquired targets. And that's where his seemingly fearless assistant, PFC Henry Friday, came into play.

The hard-charging PFC was not only an observer/spotter, but he frequently volunteered to do something most people would consider downright crazy.

Acting as a live decoy, he would calmly and courageously walk along his company's lines - fully exposing himself to enemy fire - while Boitnott zeroed in on the unsuspecting Chinese snipers trying pick off the young Marine.

The plan worked brilliantly . . . and Friday was never hit.

With war correspondents showing up to cover the extraordinary story, Boitnott and Friday appeared in newspapers across America. But top-ranking Marine officers, worried that Friday was taking unnecessary risks, also appeared on the scene and soon put an end to the two-man operation.

But Boitnott wasn't finished. According to records kept by 5th Marines, he continued his deadly streak, earning eight more confirmed kills before being severely being wounded by enemy rifle and mortar fire. He returned home, recovered from his wounds, and eventually married and had three children.

Boitnott, who had joined the Marines just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor and fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, told people that after a Chinese sniper??s bullet struck him in his helmet in Korea, he vowed to take out as many enemy soldiers as possible, knowing that for every Chinese sniper he killed, he would save at least one Marine's life.

Boitnott retired from the Marine Corps as a Master Gunnery Sergeant in 1971 after 30 years of service and passed away in his sleep on October 13, 2008 at the age of 86.

Today we pay tribute to John Boitnott, Henry Friday, their families, and all the American snipers who have served, sacrificed, and died during our country's wars. Their remarkable skills, bravery, and dedication undoubtedly saved hundreds of young Americans lives . . .
Lest we forget.

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Distinguished Marksman Badge (Gold)Rifle Expert 20th AwardUSMC Basic Qualification Badge

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1941, Boot Camp (San Diego, CA)
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Sea Duty Indoctrination CourseUSS CHICAGO (CA-29)MARDET USS Astoria (CA-34)MARDET (Afloat)
MARDET USS Saratoga (CV-3)Marine BarracksSea Indoctrination Course, Portsmouth VAMARDET USS Hornet (CVS-12)
MCB Quantico, VARecruiting UnitsWeapons Training Bn, MCRD (Cadre) Parris Island, SCMarine Barracks Camp LeJeune NC
Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC)I Co, 3rd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment (3/5)USMC (United States Marine Corps)HQ Bn, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Division
MABS-31MABS-31MCSF Joint Chiefs of Staff, H&S Bn Henderson Hall (HQMC)Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
  1941-1941, 521, Sea Duty Indoctrination Course
  1941-1942, 606, USS CHICAGO (CA-29)
  1942-1942, 014, MARDET USS Astoria (CA-34)
  1942-1942, 606, MARDET USS Yorktown (CV-5)
  1942-1942, 606, MARDET USS Saratoga (CV-3)
  1942-1943, 745, B Company, Navy Yard, Marine Barracks Naval Station Pearl Harbor, HI
  1943-1944, 521, Sea Indoctrination Course, Portsmouth VA
  1944-1945, 652, MARDET USS Hornet (CVS-12)
  1945-1946, 652, Quantico - Rifle Range Detachment
  1946-1948, 659, RS Buffalo, NY
  1948-1949, 8531, Weapons Training Bn, MCRD (Cadre) Parris Island, SC
  1949-1950, 8531, Marine Barracks Camp LeJeune NC
  1950-1952, 8531, Weapons and Field Training Bn, MCRD (Cadre) Parris Island, SC
  1952-1952, 0317, I Co, 3rd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment (3/5)
  1952-1953, 5821, Marine Barracks Memphis, Tn.
  1953-1956, 5821, MP Co, HQ Bn, 2nd Marine Division
  1956-1958, 5805, MABS-31
  1958-1958, 5821, Naval Criminal Investigative Service School
  1958-1959, 5821, MABS-31
  1959-1963, 9915, MCSF Joint Chiefs of Staff, H&S Bn Henderson Hall (HQMC)
  1963-1966, 5821, Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
  1967-1971, 5821, 4th Law Enforcement Bn, Marine Forces Reserve Command Headquarters
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of the Coral Sea
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Midway
  1942-1942 Pacific Specified Raids Campaign (1942)/Makin Island Raid
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-43)/Battle of Tulagi (including First Savo)
  1944-1944 Eastern Mandates Campaign (1944)/Operation Flintlock
  1944-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)
  1944-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Leyte Campaign (1944-45)
  1944-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Iwo Jima
  1945-1945 Ryukyus Campaign (1945)/Battle for Okinawa
  1945-1945 US Occupation of Japan
  1945-1945 Operation Magic Carpet (Pacific)
  1951-1952 Korean War/Second Korean Winter (1951-52)
  1952-1952 Korean War/Korea, Summer-Fall 1952
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