b. 07/05/1947 Detroit, Michigan. d. 30/04/1971 Detroit, Michigan.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 15/01/1968 Dak To, Vietnam.
Johnson was born on May 7, 1947, and lived in the E. J. Jeffries Homes, a housing project in Detroit, Michigan. He never knew his father, and his mother raised Dwight and his younger brother by herself. Drafted to serve in the United States Army in Vietnam, he was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 69th Armor, 4th Infantry Division.
He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery near Dak To, Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, on January 15, 1968. After his return to the United States, he was posted in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan for recruiting and public affairs duty. On April 30, 1971 he happened to walk into a Detroit Liquor store during a robbery, and was shot to death by the store owner, who assumed that being an African-American like the two men who were holding up the store, Dwight Hal Johnson was also one of the robbers. Sergeant Johnson was in reality only stopping in to buy food for his infant son. His murder was never investigated by the Detroit police.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Specialist 5 Johnson, a tank driver with Company B, was a member of a reaction force moving to aid other elements of his platoon, which was in heavy contact with a battalion size North Vietnamese force. Specialist Johnson's tank, upon reaching the point of contact, threw a track and became immobilized. Realizing that he could do no more as a driver, he climbed out of the vehicle, armed only with a .45 caliber pistol. Despite intense hostile fire, Specialist Johnson killed several enemy soldiers before he had expended his ammunition. Returning to his tank through a heavy volume of antitank rocket, small arms and automatic weapons fire, he obtained a sub-machine gun with which to continue his fight against the advancing enemy. Armed with this weapon, Specialist Johnson again braved deadly enemy fire to return to the center of the ambush site where he courageously eliminated more of the determined foe. Engaged in extremely close combat when the last of his ammunition was expended, he killed an enemy soldier with the stock end of his submachine gun. Now weaponless, Specialist Johnson ignored the enemy fire around him, climbed into his platoon sergeant's tank, extricated a wounded crewmember and carried him to an armored personnel carrier. He then returned to the same tank and assisted in firing the main gun until it jammed. In a magnificent display of courage, Specialist Johnson exited the tank and again armed only with a .45 caliber pistol, he engaged several North Vietnamese troops in close proximity to the vehicle. Fighting his way through devastating fire and remounting his own immobilized tank, he remained fully exposed to the enemy as he bravely and skillfully engaged them with the tank's externally-mounted .50 caliber machine gun; where he remained until the situation was brought under control. Specialist Johnson's profound concern for his fellow soldiers, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.
Section 31 Lot 471
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