James W. Boyden

World War II
Service #0-017011
RankCaptain, U.S. Marine Corps
Entered Service From
Date of DeathFebruary 14, 1944
Memorialized Walls of the Missing
Manila American Cemetery
Taguig City, Philippines

Capt. James W. Boyden, missing from World War II, has now been identified. On Feb. 14, 1944, Boyden was a member of the Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 233, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, as the pilot of a Grumann torpedo bomber on an experimental mission to destroy enemy shipping in Simpson Harbor, New Britain. The mission included 26 bombers deploying aircraft-borne mines to disrupt the flow of men and material to the sprawling Japanese base at Rabaul. Boyden's plane took off at 2:30 in the morning as part of the last wave of attacking torpedo bombers. Once over the harbor, the American aircraft encountered intense anti-aircraft fire and sustained heavy losses. At the end of the battle, six bombers and their 18 crewman failed to return from their mission, including Boyden. On Feb. 15, 1945, War Department officials declared Boyden deceased. The American Battle Monuments Commission memorialized Boyden and the other missing crewmen by inscribing their names on the Walls of the Missing, Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. In 2016, personnel from DPAA conducted an excavation of a possible crash site and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory for analysis. Laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

Distinguished Flying Cross

The Distinguished Flying Cross, established by Act of Congress on 6 July 1926, is awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguished himself or herself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. An act of heroism must be evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty. Extraordinary achievement must have resulted in an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from others in similar circumstances. Awards will only be made to recognize single acts of heroism or extraordinary achievement, and not in recognition of sustained operations.

Air Medal

The Air Medal, established by Executive Order on 11 May 1942 and amended by Executive Order on 11 September 1942, is awarded to a person who, while serving with the United States Armed Forces, has distinguished himself or herself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. Awards may recognize single acts of heroism or merit, or may recognize sustained meritorious service over a period of six months or more. The Air Medal primarily recognizes personnel on flight status requiring frequent participation in aerial flight. It may be awarded to personnel not on flight status whose duties require frequent flight other than in a passenger status. The Air Medal ranks behind the Distinguished Flying Cross in order of precedence.

rosetta medal
When an individual’s remains have been accounted for by the U.S. Department of Defense, a rosette is placed next to the name on the Wall/Tablet/Court of the Missing to mark that the person now rests in a known gravesite.
Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal