Johnson, Wayne Arthur, PFC

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
View Time Line
Last Rank
Private First Class
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1950-1953, 4745, POW/MIA
Service Years
1949 - 1953

Private First Class

Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt. S. Kimbrow to remember Johnson, Wayne Arthur, Pfc.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Beaverdam, Ohio

Date of Passing
Jun 01, 2011
Location of Interment
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery - San Antonio, Texas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW)American LegionKorean War Veterans Association (KWVA)
  1953, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1955, American Legion - Assoc. Page
  1960, Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
PFC Wayne Archer "Johnnie" Johnson  created what was known as "The Johnson List" , a secret list of names of the 496 men who were murdered and died in his POW camp along the Yalu RIver during the Korean War. When this information finally came to public knowledge, may years after the war, he was awarded the SIlver Star 1996, for this revelation.

At the beginning of his miltary career, he had left school and enlisted in the Army in February 1949.  He was serving at Camp Wood, Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan when the Korean War broke out.

In Korea, he served with L Company, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, U. S. Army. He was 18 years old.

He was captured near Choch’iwon South Korea on 11 July 1950 and became part of the "Tiger Survivors" group.  He was held for nearly 38 months by the North Koreans and then by the Chinese Army in October 1951. (Ch'ang-Song Camp)

During his imprisonment, he kept a record of the men who died so that the families back home would know what happened to their loved ones. The fact that he could have been punished or even shot for keeping such a list did not stop him. Along the way, buddies would tell him about someone dying and others would stand guard while Johnson recorded the deaths.

When Johnson was released in August 1953, he told the authorities on the ship about his list and the debriefing officer noted it in his file. But, nothing was done about it until 1994 when Johnson announced to several of his buddies that he still had the list.

Silver Star

Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Private First Class Wayne A. Johnson, United States Army, for gallantry in action during the period 12 July 1950 to 16 August 1953, while being held as a Prisoner of War in Tiger Camp by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Private First Class Johnson subjected himself to the risk of execution by his captors.

He did so by compiling and maintaining a list of over 500 American POWs, most of whom had died in the camp system. Even when the Chinese guards were tipped off about the list and destroyed it, Private First Class Johnson able to convince his captors that the list was intended for humanitarian and not propaganda purposes, and was released with a threat of harsher consequences, should he continue this activity.

Regardless of their warning, Private First Class Johnson continued to add names to a hidden copy of the original list. When he was released during the armistice, he smuggled his comprehensive list home in a toothpaste tube.

As a result of efforts by the Defense POW/MIA Office, this list has come to light and is serving as an important document for providing confirmation of death or otherwise resolving open POW/MIA cases.

Private First Class Johnson's exemplary courage and selfless determination to provide a record of deceased soldiers, even in the face of death by a hostile enemy, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Action Date: July 12, 1950 - August 16, 1953
Service: Army
Rank: Private First Class
Division: Prisoner of War (Korean War)

He passed away on 1 June 2011 in San Marcos, Texas.  He was interred with honors in Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas.
Other Comments:
Notes/Links: (occupation of Japan info for the 24th)

"Reds Say Jailed Captives to be Freed: Lima's 2nd POW Freed: Pvt. Wayne Johnson Held 3 Years", The Lima News, Ohio, 29 August 1953, page 1.  (Details and photo) (this has the complete listing of names) (listing and details) (detailed memoirs) (pp.239+ list) (Malcolm McConnell, Johnson's List, pp. 233+
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
1st Battalion, 21st Infantry RegimentPOW/MIA
  1949-1950, 4745, HHC, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment
  1950-1950, 4745, HHC, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment
  1950-1953, 4745, POW/MIA
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Defensive (1950)/Battle of Pusan Perimeter
  1950-1953 Korean War
Copyright Inc 2003-2011