Island History for Friday, May 27, 2011

The son of Koloa, Kaua‘i physician Dr. and Mrs. A. W. Boyden, Richard Boyden (1926-1944) was born in Kealia, Kaua‘i, and was raised surfing Brenneke’s Beach in Po‘ipu.

During WWII and following his graduation from Punahou in June, 1944 as Class President, he was inducted into the Army, and after combat training was sent to Europe, where he joined General Patton’s 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Armored Division fighting the Germans.

On April 17, 1944, 18-year-old Pvt. Boyden was killed in action in Germany. The 3rd Armored Division’s unit history briefly describes the action of Boyden’s 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion on that day.

“At about 1030 on 17 April, a group of about one hundred and fifty enemy troops using commando tactics attacked and captured the Command Post of Task Force ‘Lovelady’, which was in THURLAND, and another day of thrusts and parries was started. Company ‘D’ of the 83rd Reconnaissance Battalion attacked from ZORBIG to retake the town. Late in the afternoon after battling all day against heavy artillery, mortar and small-arms fire, the Reconnaissance Company retook the town.  Most of the Task Force Headquarters personnel were recovered.”

Richard Boyden’s good friend, Norman Watkins, who was also born and raised on Kaua‘i and had served as a infantryman in Germany, recently recalled, “I was elated with the end of the war in Europe, but greatly saddened to learn that my former classmate and roommate at Punahou, Richard Boyden, who had been on the same troop ship to Europe as myself, had been killed. Richard had also been admitted to Harvard. His name is now inscribed in Harvard Church on the Memorial Wall in the space for the Class of 1948,” and at Punahou, the Richard Webster Boyden Scholarship has been established in his honor.

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