Medal of Honor





Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF


Place and date: Near the Quan Duc Valley, Republic of Vietnam, 5 March 1968


Entered service at: Oakland, California


Born: 11 January 1949, Charleston, South Carolina




For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a reconnaissance scout with Company A, in action against the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces. In the early morning hours during Operation ROCK, Pfc. Johnson was a member of a 15-man reconnaissance patrol manning an observation post on Hill 146 overlooking the Quan Duc Valley deep in enemy controlled territory. They were attacked by a platoon-size hostile force employing automatic weapons, satchel charges and hand grenades. Suddenly, a hand grenade landed in the 3-man fighting hole occupied by Pfc. Johnson and 2 fellow marines. Realizing the inherent danger to his 2 comrades, he shouted a warning and unhesitatingly hurled himself upon the explosive device. When the grenade exploded, Pfc. Johnson absorbed the tremendous impact of the blast and was killed instantly. His prompt and heroic act saved the life of 1 marine at the cost of his life and undoubtedly prevented the enemy from penetrating his sector of the patrol's perimeter. Pfc. Johnson's courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


--- General / Personal ---


Last name: JOHNSON

First name: RALPH HENRY

Home of Record (official): CHARLESTON

State (official): SC

Date of Birth: Tuesday, January 11, 1949

Sex: Male

Race: Negro

Marital Status: Single


--- Military ---


Branch: Marine Corps

Rank: PFC

Serial Number: 2356797

Component: Regular

Pay grade: E2

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 0311


--- Action ---


Start of Tour: Monday, January 1, 1968

Date of Casualty: Tuesday, March 5, 1968

Age at time of loss: 19

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Other explosive device (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Quang Nam

The Wall: Panel 43E - Row 008

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