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  • Rank and organization: Specialist Fifth Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 69th Armor, 4th Infantry Division.
  • Place and date: Near Dak To, Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, 15 January 1968.
  • Entered service at: Detriot, Mich.
  • Born: 7 May 1947, Detroit, Mich.

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SP5 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. SP5 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, SP5 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 submachinegun with which to continue his fight against the advancing enemy. Armed with this weapon, SP5 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 submachinegun. Now weaponless, SP5 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, SP5 Johnson exited the tank and again armed only with a .45 caliber pistol, 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 machinegun; where he remained until the situation was brought under control. SP5 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 U.S. Army.

 


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