VIETNAM - JOHNSON, WILLIE

Johnson, Willie

VIETNAM - JOHNSON, WILLIE
JOHNSON, WILLIE

Rank: First Sergeant

Unit: F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

MOS: 11D – Armor Reconnaissance Specialist

Awards: Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Oak leaf Cluster, Purple Heart Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with Star Device, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Badges: Combat Infantryman Badge

Unit awards: Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm device

Enlisted by: Regular

Date of birth: 13-May-1935

Hometown: Walhalla, South Carolina

Marital status: Married to Lilly M. Johnson, three sons, one daughter

Campaign: Vietnam Conflict

Entered service: 18-Mar-1955

Start of tour: 3-Jul-1969

Incident date: 5-Mar-1970

Date of casualty: 5-Mar-1970

Age at death: 34

Cause of death: Hostile, died. Grenade. Multiple fragmentation wounds.
Willie Johnson was killed while at a night defensive position when the area came under attack by a hostile force. / At night defensive position (NDP).  Engaged hostile force in firefight.

Location of fatality: Tay Ninh, South Vietnam, XT 517 873

Place of interment: Wildwood Memorial Park, Seneca, South Carolina, USA

View this soldier‘s Find a Grave page (opens in a new window)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial panel and row: 13W 085 (view Vietnam Veterans Memorial link in a new window)

 

SILVER STAR

SILVER STAR
POSTHUMOUS

FIRST SERGEANT WILLIE JOHNSON
5 MARCH 1970
F TROOP, 2nd SQUADRON
11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

First Sergeant Johnson distinguished himself by gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force on 5 March 1970 while serving as First Sergeant of Troop F, 2d Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date while his troop was in a night defensive position it came under attack from a platoon of North Vietnamese soldiers equipped with rocket propelled grenades, small arms and automatic weapons. Sergeant Johnson immediately made his way to the perimeter to prepare for defense. He spotted a team of sappers attempting to penetrate the wire. Waiting until the hostile soldiers were at close range he commenced fire with his rifle and returned to the command post to inform the troop commander of the impending danger to the perimeter. Returning to the scene where he shot the sappers he noticed one of the enemy still moving and immediately eliminated him with rifle fire. Suddenly a rocket propelled grenade exploded near him mortally wounding him instantly. First Sergeant Johnson’s actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam, General Orders No. 1411 (April 4, 1970)

 

BRONZE STAR MEDAL

BRONZE STAR MEDAL
WITH VALOR DEVICE AND OAK LEAF CLUSTER

FIRST SERGEANT WILLIE JOHNSON
6 SEPTEMBER 1969
F TROOP, 2nd SQUADRON
11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

First Sergeant Johnson distinguished himself by heroism in connection with ground operations against a hostile force 6 September 1969 while serving as a first sergeant with Troop F, 2d Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date a platoon was in a night defensive position when it suddenly came under intense small arms, automatic weapons, and rocket-propelled grenade fire from an estimated company of North Vietnamese Army soldiers. In the opening moments of the battle, the friendly force took several casualties. First Sergeant Johnson left the safety of his vehicle and raced to the perimeter to carry back casualties. Quickly he moved to the landing zone outside the perimeter and helped direct the evacuation ship. He then returned to his other men to continue the defense of the troop’s area. First Sergeant Johnson’s actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam General Orders No. 4315 (24 November 1969)

 

BRONZE STAR MEDAL

BRONZE STAR MEDAL
WITH VALOR DEVICE

FIRST SERGEANT WILLIE JOHNSON
12 AUGUST 1969
F TROOP, 2nd SQUADRON
11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

First Sergeant Johnson distinguished himself by heroism in connection with ground operations against a hostile force on 12 August 1969 while serving as the first sergeant of Troop F, 2d Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date while providing security for a convoy, Troop F was attacked by a well-concealed enemy force using automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. Reacting instantly, Sergeant Johnson began directing the vehicles into position to return fire on the hostile positions. At one point he spotted a three-man rocket-propelled grenade team advancing on one flank. He dashed across the open ground and hid behind a rubber tree. When the team was within ten meters of his position and was ready to fire, Sergeant Johnson engaged the soldiers with his rifle, killing all three instantly. First Sergeant Wilson’s actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam General Orders No. 4359 (25 November 1969)

 

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