Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while participating in a daring
operation against an enemy-occupied naval river base…
Michael E. Thornton enlisted in the United States Navy in 1967. He entered basic training at the Naval Training Center, San
Diego, California. Mike was selected for specialized training Basic Underwater Demolition in Coronado, CA and the Navy’s elite SEAL community. He was assigned to SEAL team One from 1968-1974,
during this period from 1968 -1973, Mike completed several tours of duty in the Republic of Vietnam and Thailand. He was the recipient of numerous awards, the
most prestigious decoration was bestowed for the heroic actions on his last tour of duty in Vietnam which resulted in saving the life of a fellow SEAL. For this action during a reconnaissance and
intelligence gathering mission, Mike received this Nation’s highest award: Congressional Medal of Honor. From 1974-1977, he served as an instructor at the SEAL training command in Coronado, 1977
he transferred to SEAL 2, 1978 he deployed to the United Kingdom to serve with the Royal British Special Boat Squadron before returning to help establish and operate with SEAL Team Six. In June
of 1982, Lieutenant Thornton received his commission as U.S. Navy Ensign, after completing training 1986 he went on to the USS Edenton as Diving/Salvage Officer for Combat Support Squadron Eight.
In 1990 he reported as Bravo Company Commander in Desert Shield /Desert Storm. In May of 1992, Lt. Thornton retired from Active Duty from the Navy.
RANK AND AWARDS
Lieutenant, SEAL Team 1, 2, 3, 6
Medal of Honor, Silver Star, Bronze Star (3), Purple Heart