Medal of Honor





Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company D, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division


Place and date: Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 21 March 1969


Entered service at: Columbus, Georgia


Born: 19 November 1947, Columbus, Georgia




For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Johnston distinguished himself while serving as a mortarman with Company D, at a fire support base in Tay Ninh Province. Sp4c. Johnston's company was in defensive positions when it came under a devastating rocket and mortar attack. Under cover of the bombardment, enemy sappers broke through the defensive perimeter and began hurling explosive charges into the main defensive bunkers. Sp4c. Johnston and 6 of his comrades had moved from their exposed positions to 1 of the bunkers to continue their fight against the enemy attackers. As they were firing from the bunker, an enemy soldier threw 3 explosive charges into their position. Sensing the danger to his comrades, Sp4c. Johnston, with complete disregard for his safety, hurled himself onto the explosive charges, smothering the detonations with his body and shielding his fellow soldiers from the blast. His heroic action saved the lives of 6 of his comrades. Sp4c. Johnston's concern for his fellow men at the cost of his life were in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.


--- General / Personal ---


Last name: JOHNSTON

First name: DONALD RAY

Home of Record (official): COLUMBUS

State (official): GA

Date of Birth: Wednesday, November 19, 1947

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single


--- Military ---


Branch: Army

Rank: SP4

Serial Number: 53455789

Component: Selective Service

Pay grade: E4

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11C20


--- Action ---


Start of Tour: Thursday, July 25, 1968

Date of Casualty: Friday, March 21, 1969

Age at time of loss: 21

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Multiple fragmentation wounds (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Tay Ninh

The Wall: Panel 29W - Row 104

Back to Citations Page

Back to Home Page


Send comments and questions to: