Honoring Sgt Johnson – Medal Of Honor{0}

The Bannock County Veteran’s Memorial Building took a huge step in honoring it’s name by providing a Medal Of Honor room, with a celebration of its opening and naming on Saturday, November 2, 2013.

Mr. Tom Daniels, Air Force veteran and Historian for Bannock County Veteran’s Memorial Building, concluded many months of hard work during the commemoration of the Sgt Johnson, USMC Memorial Room. Upon seeing a book about Sgt Johnson, “Remembering James Edmund Johnons, USMC,” Mr. Daniels knew something had to be done. Mr. Daniels took the initiative to honor Sgt Johnson when he realized that the community of Pocatello was not doing it.

MOH Dedication 071  Sgt Johnson’s family for a picture in the Sgt Johnson Memorial Room.


sgtjohnsondaughter Daughter Stephanie stands below her father’s picture in the Sgt Johnson Memorial Room in the Bannock County Veteran’s Memorial Building.


The Idaho State Journal did a great article on the front page of the Sunday morning paper the next day. Check it out!

“Before the keynote address, Sgt. Maj. Bill Head read Johnson’s Medal of Honor citation and presented a framed copy of it to both McKays. Pocatello High School principal Don Cotant gave the family members a diploma for Johnson, which he didn’t receive at the high school because he joined the military at the age of 17 and fought in the South Pacific.

    Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad, Chubbuck Mayor Steve England and Bannock County commissioners Karl Anderson and Steve Hadley read a proclamation declaring Nov. 2 Sgt. James Edmund Johnson Day.

    Barrett started his remarks to the crowd gathered at the Veterans Memorial Building by explaining the importance of a Marine Corps salute.

    “A salute is not given, it is rendered and exchanged,” Barrett said. “There are some salutes that are sharp and they’re crisp. They snap like the sound of a flag in the wind. Your presence here is a salute. It is sharp and crisp.”

    Barrett said he became focused on Sgt. Johnson from Pocatello while doing research on the 294 Medal of Honor winners in the Marines and looking for similarities in traits — things that make ordinary people do extraordinarily brave things.”

All the Marines of Pocatello and Southeast Idaho want to thank Ron for his awesome efforts in this endeavor.

Here is the book about Sgt Johnson that started everything. Thank you to Professor Barrett for writing this account of a local Medal of Honor recipient and Marine.


Sgt Johnson book on Amazon




From ArlingtonCemetery.net



James E. Johnson:

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps.
Company J, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced).
Place and date: Yudam-ni, Korea, 2 December 1950 (declared missing in action on 2 December 1950, and killed in action as of 2 November 1953). 
Entered service at: Washington, D.C. Born: 1 January 1926, Pocatello, Idaho.

JE Johnson PHOTO
Photo Courtesy of Gayle Alvarez

Medal of Honor Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader in a provisional rifle platoon composed of artillerymen and attached to Company J, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Vastly outnumbered by a well-entrenched and cleverly concealed enemy force wearing the uniforms of friendly troops and attacking his platoon’s open and unconcealed positions, Sgt. Johnson unhesitatingly took charge of his platoon in the absence of the leader and, exhibiting great personal valor in the face of a heavy barrage of hostile fire, coolly proceeded to move about among his men, shouting words of encouragement and inspiration and skillfully directing their fire. Ordered to displace his platoon during the fire fight, he immediately placed himself in an extremely hazardous position from which he could provide covering fire for his men. Fully aware that his voluntary action meant either certain death or capture to himself, he courageously continued to provide effective cover for his men and was last observed in a wounded condition single-handedly engaging enemy troops in close hand grenade and hand-to-hand fighting. By his valiant and inspiring leadership, Sgt. Johnson was directly responsible for the successful completion of the platoon’s displacement and the saving of many lives. His dauntless fighting spirit and  unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of terrific odds reflect the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service.

Sergeant Johnson’s body was not recovered.  However, there is a Memorial headstone (In Memory Of) placed in his honor in Arlington National Cemetery.