Pvt George Alfred Johnson

Pvt George Alfred Johnson

Birth
Fleetwood, Berks County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 10 Aug 1942 (aged 18)
Tulagi, Central, Solomon Islands
Burial Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines
Plot Tablets of the Missing
Memorial ID 56767786 · View Source
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George Alfred Johnson was the first of seven children born to Alfred R. Johnson and Isabel _______. George was a member of the YMCA, worked part time as a pin-boy at the "Y" bowling alleys, and later as a welder for Lukens Steel. He is remembered as a very hard worker, and really gave himself to his family and friends.

George attended Scott High School in Coatsville, Pennsylvania, and was set to graduate in 1942. He left school his senior year and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on January 28, 1942. He went through basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina, and advanced infantry training at Quantico, Virginia, before sailing for the Pacific in April 1942. Attached to the Company B of Lieutenant Colonel Merritt Edson's 1st Marine Raider Battalion. On August 7th, George participated in the invasion of Tulagi, Solomon Islands, and was one of the first men to wade ashore (unopposed) in an amphibious landing. The battle soon began as they approached the center of the island to find the Japanese troops entrenched in multiple limestone rock caves. After two days of fighting, higher command decreed the battle was over and assigned the Raiders to begin "mop-up" operations of pockets of Japanese hold-outs. During this operation, George's squad came under rifle fire from a sniper's nest in a nearby cave. George rushed to the mouth of the cave and continued to throw in grenades until he was killed, allowing his squad to advance.

For his outstanding bravery, George was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. His Silver Star citation reads as follows:
"The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Private George A. Johnson (MCSN: 368979), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the First Marine Raider Battalion during the seizure of Tulagi, Solomon Islands, from enemy Japanese forces, on 9 August 1942. When his squad came under heavy rifle fire from a Japanese sniper's nest in a nearby cave, Private Johnson, with utter disregard for his own personal safety, rushed to the mouth of the cave and continued to throw in hand grenades until he was killed by the enemy. By his indomitable fighting spirit and outstanding bravery, he enabled his squad to advance and successfully carry out its assigned mission. His great personal valor was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the defense of his country."

George was buried on Tulagi in a temporary cemetery. However, for reasons unknown, George's remains, like the remains of many other Marines killed in ther Solomons, was lost. To this day, his burial site is known only to God.

On November 24, 1943, a keel was laid for the USS GEORGE A. JOHNSON (DE-583) at the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, Massachusetts. On January 12, 1944, the ship was christened and launched by his mother, Isabel. The ship was in active service from 1944 to 1950 when it was placed in the Naval Reserve as a training ship. On November 1, 1965 she was struck from the Navy's rolls and on September 19, 1966 she was sold for scrap. On October 12, 1966 the JOHNSON broke free of her her towline while leaving San Francisco and drifted aground at Pacifica, California, where she was scrapped in place. The ship died as did its namesake, fighting to the end.

Private George Alfred Johnson, Sn# 368979, received the following badges/decorations for his service to the United States Marine Corps during World War II:
- Silver Star Medal
- Purple Heart Medal
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations with one bronze star
- World War II Victory Medal
- Marine Corps Rifle marksmanship badge
- Marine Corps Basic Qualification Badge with Bars

**NOTE** - A large portion of this bio is based on information from the website missingmarines.com. They have done a fantastic job of researching approximately 3000 US Marines whose bodies were lost in the war. This writer wholeheartedly recommends their site for researchers or families of the missing. - Rick Lawrence, MSgt., USMC/USAFR {RET})

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Pennsylvania.

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  • Maintained by: Rick Lawrence
  • Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56767786
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Pvt George Alfred Johnson (26 Sep 1923–10 Aug 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56767786, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by Rick Lawrence (contributor 47207615) .