William James Johnston Sr.

William James Johnston Sr.

Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey, USA
Death 29 May 1990 (aged 71)
Newington, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
Burial Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut, USA
Plot Section 72, Row F, Grave 17
Memorial ID 7841447 · View Source
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World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He enlisted in the Army at Colchester, Connecticut and by February 17, 1944 was serving as a private first class in Company G, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. Actions that supported the award of the Medal of Honor: Private First Class Johnston observed, Near Padiglione, Italy, the approximately 80 German troops, which he fired upon and causing at 25 casualties with withdrawal of the remainder. While subject to mortar, artillery and sniper fire, he manned his machine gun without relief for an entire day. Two Germans surrounded his position becoming so near that his machine gun was ineffective. He then killed one with his pistol, and with a rifle taken from another soldier, killed the second. When the rifleman that was protecting Johnston’s position was killed by sniper, he immediately moved the body and relocated the machine gun in that spot in order to obtain a better field of fire. He volunteered to cover the platoon's withdrawal and was the last man to leave that night. He maintained an all-night vigil, the next day causing seven German casualties. On next afternoon the organization on the left flank was forced to withdraw and he again covered the movement. He was seriously wounded over the heart, and a passing soldier saw him trying to crawl up the embankment. Though reported killed, PFC Johnston was seen returning to the American lines the next day, painfully working his way from his overrun position through enemy lines. He gave valuable information of new enemy dispositions. Johnston left the Army while still a private first class.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Don Morfe
  • Added: 6 Sep 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7841447
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William James Johnston Sr. (15 Aug 1918–29 May 1990), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7841447, citing State Veterans Cemetery, Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .