b. 13/02/1921 Bivalve, New Jersey. d. 03/06/1944 Valmontone, Italy.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 03/06/1944 Valmontone, Italy.
Johnson was born in the Bivalve section of Commercial Township, New Jersey. He joined the Army from East Weymouth, Massachusetts in April 1943, and by June 3, 1944 was serving as a private in the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. When his unit was ambushed on that day, near Valmontone, Italy, he deliberately drew the hostile German fire onto himself so that his comrades could escape. He succeeded in destroying a German machine gun position before he was killed. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor a year later, on May 16, 1945.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Pvt. Johnson elected to sacrifice his life in order that his comrades might extricate themselves from an ambush. Braving the massed fire of about 60 riflemen, 3 machineguns, and 3 tanks from positions only 25 yards distant, he stood erect and signaled his patrol leader to withdraw. The whole area was brightly illuminated by enemy flares. Then, despite 20mm. machineguns, machine pistol, and rifle fire directed at him, Pvt. Johnson advanced beyond the enemy in a slow deliberate walk. Firing his automatic rifle from the hip, he succeeded in distracting the enemy and enabled his 12 comrades to escape. Advancing to within 5 yards of a machinegun, emptying his weapon, Pvt. Johnson killed its crew. Standing in full view of the enemy he reloaded and turned on the riflemen to the left, firing directly into their positions. He either killed or wounded 4 of them. A burst of machinegun fire tore into Pvt. Johnson and he dropped to his knees. Fighting to the very last, he steadied himself on his knees and sent a final burst of fire crashing into another German. With that he slumped forward dead. Pvt. Johnson had willingly given his life in order that his comrades might live. These acts on the part of Pvt. Johnson were an inspiration to the entire command and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the armed forces.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNION CEMETERY, SCITUATE, MASSACHUSETTS.
NO IMAGE AVAILABLE