Terry Boyer was born in 1938 in Los Angeles, California. he enlisted in the U.S. Navy on August 21, 1956, and after completing basic training he attended the Fleet Sonar School from January to July 1957, followed by Submarine School at New London, Connecticut, from July to November 1957. His first assignment was as a Sonar Operator aboard the submarine USS Bugara (SS-331) from December 1957 to July 1958, and he then attended the Naval Academy Prep School at Bainbridge, Maryland, from July 1958 until leaving active duty and entering the U.S. Naval Academy on July 6, 1959. PO3 Boyer left the Academy in March 1960, and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from March 18, 1960 to August 20, 1964. He completed his bachelor's degree at the College of the Sequoias and Fresno State College before entering Officer Training School on August 12, 1965, and he earned his commission as a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force on November 10, 1965. Lt Boyer completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Williams AFB, Arizona, in December 1966, followed by Pilot Systems Operator training and F-4 Phantom II Combat Crew Training from December 1966 to August 1967. His next assignment was as an F-4 pilot systems operator with the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from October 1967 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on December 17, 1967. After spending 1,915 days in captivity, Capt Boyer was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Travis AFB, California, and then received an Air Force Institute of Technology assignment to complete his master's degree at the University of California at Santa Barbara from September 1973 until he left active duty on May 22, 1975. Maj Boyer returned to active duty on February 21, 1976, and then served as Section Commander with the 454th Flying Training Squadron at Mather AFB, California, from June 1976 to July 1978. He attended Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Virginia, from July 1978 to January 1979, and then served as Assistant Operations Officer with the 454th Flying Training Squadron at Mather from January 1979 to May 1981. His final assignment was as a Professor of Aerospace Science at the Air Force ROTC detachment at San Diego State University from May 1981 until his retirement from the Air Force on July 1, 1984.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For the period 17 December 1967 to 25 December 1967: This officer distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force during the above period while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions, and propaganda materials. This individual resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.