Collins, Michael Raymond, LT

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant
Last Primary NEC
113X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Special Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1969-1969, 113X, USS John S. McCain (DDG-36)
Service Years
1964 - 1971
Lieutenant
Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1942
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Collins, Michael Raymond, LT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Martinez, CA
Last Address
Martinez, CA

Casualty Date
Mar 04, 1971
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Artillery, Rocket, Mortar
Location
Kien Hoa (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery - San Diego, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
04W 021 / Section D Site 260E

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 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2017, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2017, The National Gold Star Family Registry

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 Ribbon Bar
Special Warfare Officer Badge
Naval Parachutist Badge

 
 Duty Stations
Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal (BUDS) School, Naval Special Warfare CenterNaval Special Warfare Center, Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC)Naval Special Warfare  Group 1 (NSWG-1), Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC)SEAL Team 1, Naval Special Warfare  Group 1 (NSWG-1)
USS John S. McCain (DDG-36)
  1965-1966, 113X, Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal (BUDS) School, Naval Special Warfare Center
  1966-1966, 113X, Naval Special Warfare Center, Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC)
  1968-1971, 113X, Naval Special Warfare Group 1 (NSWG-1), Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC)
  1968-1971, 113X, SEAL Team 1, Naval Special Warfare Group 1 (NSWG-1)
  1969-1969, 113X, USS John S. McCain (DDG-36)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1973 Vietnam War
  1969-1970 Operation Game Warden
  1969-1970 Operation Game Warden
  1971-1973 Vietnam War
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1960-1964, United States Naval Academy1
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

On the early morning hours of 3 March 1971 His team ran an operation into the Than Phu Secret Zone, up a small tributary off the Ham Laiong River near the South China Sea. Insertion was by Medium SEAL Support Craft (MSSC) with the boat carrying all remaining members of X-Ray Platoon. A well laid out enemy ambush had been set. In a small river they let the boat go past the first ambush site up the river about 300 to 400 more yards a second ambush site had been posted. Once the firefight started the boat had to turn around and make its way thru the initial site and down river into another ambush site, which had the enemy covering both sides of the river.

In the initial firefight a rifle launched grenade exploded directly above Mike's head and he suffered massive head wounds. Medivac's were called in but refused to come in close due to massive enemy gunfire that was still going on. A black warrant officer (that has just died within the last few years) took control. After numerous requests for the helo's to come in and get Mike (they refused) he told them if they flew their helo’s anywhere near our boat that he would blow them out of the air himself.

Thirty to forty-five minutes later they were able to get Mike on board and headed for the Third Surgical Hospital at Binh Thuy. Mike died shortly prior to the helo landing at the hospital.  Stateside shut X-Ray Platoon down on the 4th of March and retired the Platoon's name.

Bio
He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1960, and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy on June 3, 1964. Ensign Collins then remained at the Academy in training for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team, and served as an instructor in the Academy's Physical Education Department from June to September 1964. He next attended the Combat Information Center Watch Officers course at U.S. Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center San Diego, California, from October to November 1964, followed by service as a CIC Officer aboard the destroyer leader USS John S. McCain (DL-3) from December 1964 to May 1966. LtJg Collins attended Underwater Demolition Team Replacement Accession training with Class 039 at NAB Coronado, California, from May to November 1966, and then served with Underwater Demolition Team ELEVEN (UDT-11) at NAB Coronado from November 1966 to June 1968. His next assignment was with the Studies and Observations Group under the U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam from June 1968 to July 1969, followed by service with SEAL Team ONE at NAB Coronado from July 1969 until he was killed in action while deployed to South Vietnam on March 4, 1971.

   
Comments/Citation
 
Name of Award
Silver Star
Year Awarded
1944
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War 

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Michael Raymond Collins, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 30 January 1971. As leader of a fifteen-man SEAL patrol assigned the mission of capturing the leaders of the Saigon-Cholon foreign proselyting section, Lieutenant Collins successfully led two of his three elements through a heavily booby trapped enemy area before encountering heavy automatic weapons fire from a large enemy force. Remaining calm, he strategically deployed his force to counter the enemy fire, and then ordered his radioman to scramble air support to aid in suppressing the fire of the well-dug-in enemy force. Simultaneously, he called for helicopters to evacuate his casualties. Lieutenant Collins moved about the area to survey the situation and discovered that one of his men had been fatally wounded and two were critically wounded by the initial volley of enemy fire. When the corpsman arrived at the scene, Lieutenant Collins was administering mouth to mouth resuscitation to one of his stricken teammates, following which he returned to the security element and continued to direct a heavy volume of fire toward the enemy. While members of the patrol were boarding the SEAL Support Craft, the Vietnamese interpreter was wounded by enemy fire. Lieutenant Collins, fully exposing himself to the withering fire, dragged the wounded man to a small ditch and administered first aid. He then carried the man to the boat through a continuous rain of fire from the pursuing enemy and directed the boat to get underway to a secure location where he supervised the evacuation of his stricken comrades. By his calm, cool, and decisive actions in the face of withering enemy fire, Lieutenant Collins prevented almost certain disaster for the entire platoon at the hands of a vastly outnumbering force. His inspiring performance of duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: January 30, 1971
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: SEAL Team 1
   
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