Sergeant Dwight H. Johnson – Medal of Honor Recipient

Another one of our highlights is Sergeant Dwight H. Johnson. Johnson served in Vietnam where his actions saved the life of a fellow combatant after the tank they had been driving was immobilized in front of a Vietnamese battalion. His honor citation below describes how Army Specialist 5th Class Johnson, his rank at the time of incident, put everything aside in the face of bleak odds against a much larger enemy force to aid his fellow man on the battlefield.

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SP5C Johnson, a tank driver with Company B, was a member of a reaction force moving to aid other elements of his platoon, which was in heavy contact with a battalion size North Vietnamese force. SP5C Johnson’s tank, upon reaching the point of contact, threw a track and became immobilized. Realizing that he could do no more as a driver, he climbed out of the vehicle, armed only with a .45 caliber pistol. Despite intense hostile fire, SP5C Johnson killed several enemy soldiers before he had expended his ammunition. Returning to his tank through a heavy volume of anti tank rocket, small arms and automatic weapons fire, he obtained a submachine gun with which to continue his fight against the advancing enemy. Armed with this weapon, SP5C Johnson again braved deadly enemy fire to return to the center of the ambush site where he courageously eliminated more of the determined foe.

Engaged in extremely close combat when the last of his ammunition was expended, he killed an enemy soldier with the stock end of his submachine gun. Now weaponless, SP5C Johnson ignored the enemy fire around him, climbed into his platoon sergeant’s tank, extricated a wounded crewmember and carried him to an armored personnel carrier. He then returned to the same tank and assisted in firing the main gun until it jammed. In a magnificent display of courage, SP5C Johnson exited the tank and again armed only with a .45 caliber pistol, engaged several North Vietnamese troops in close proximity to the vehicle. Fighting his way through devastating fire and remounting his own immobilized tank, he remained fully exposed to the enemy as he bravely and skillfully engaged them with the tank’s externally-mounted .50 caliber machine gun; where he remained until the situation was brought under control. SP5C Johnson’s profound concern for his fellow soldiers, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.”