Johnson, Verlon, MSG

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Master Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
11F10-Infantry Operations And Intelligence Specialist
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1970-1974, 11Z50, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Service Years
1952 - 1974
Foreign Language(s)
Vietnamese


Special Forces

Ranger
Master Sergeant


Seven Service Stripes



Ten Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Not Specified
Year of Birth
1936
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Johnson, Verlon, MSG.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Date of Passing
Oct 15, 2012
 
Location of Interment
Barrancas National Cemetery - Pensacola, Florida
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Special Forces Group Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007)


 Unofficial Badges 

MACV Recondo Patch


 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Chapter XCIV
  1980, Special Forces Association, 94, Chapter XCIV (Executive Officer) (Homestead, Florida) [Verified] - Chap. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Mission accomplished: Master Sgt. Verlon Johnson reclaims medals before being laid to rest
Master Sgt. Verlon Johnson was awarded the purple heart for his service as a U.S. Special Forces Green Beret.
Molly Mosher | The Sun
Published: Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 14:56 PM.
 
America lost another decorated military veteran last month.
A trumpeter played “Taps” following a rifle salute at the funeral of Master Sgt. Verlon Johnson before he was interred in his final resting place at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola Oct. 23.
“I thought it was very lovely,” said his wife, Maureen, a Santa Rosa Beach resident.
Johnson, 76, joined the U.S. Army at the age of 16 in 1952, and served his country in Vietnam and Korea before retiring in 1974. During his nearly 22-year career in the U.S. Special Forces as a Green Beret, he became a highly decorated combat parachutist, with two purple hearts, a bronze star, and eight other medals of valor in his career with the 101st Airborne.
When Ivan struck the Gulf Coast in 2004, the Johnsons’ Santa Rosa Beach home, which sits a block up from the Bay, was totally flooded.
In the deluge, Johnson lost all of his medals, all of his military service pictures, and two books in which he was remembered as a war hero.
All that was left as a reminder of his service in the Green Berets was his circa-1970s uniform jacket.
This past July, however, thanks to the help of family friend Kay Coffeen, 10 reminders of his military service were delivered to the Johnson home, including all but a single purple heart.
“I’m glad he got to see them before he passed away,” said Maureen, whose husband had suffered for years from complications of a stroke. “They came just in time.” Johnson died Oct. 15.
Maureen did not meet her future husband until after his military career had ended, but she knew how important these were to him.
“We met in Saudi Arabia,” she said. “I may as well tell people we met on the moon.”
While Verlon Johnson was joining up, the future Mrs. Johnson, a native of Lincolnshire, England, was going to school to become a radiation therapist. After a two-decade stint working at a British hospital, she followed an advertisement to a faraway land, and landed in 1976 Saudi Arabia to be a radiation therapist.
This was two years after Johnson had retired and moved to the country to train Saudi Arabian National Guardsmen.
“We met at a pool party; he was the lifeguard,” said Maureen, who remembered his six-foot stature and muscled arms. She smiled, saying she “didn’t go out with him straightaway.”
He eventually won her over, and the couple married and purchased a lot in Santa Rosa Beach on which they would later retire in 1987.
It was there V.F.W. Verlon Johnson succumbed to a longtime sickness this past October. 
Johnson is survived by Maureen, and six children, as well as a number of grandchildren.
Though his wife only knew Johnson when his military service was a memory, she understood the importance of his burial in a military cemetery.
With Arlington National Cemetery full, Johnson decided the Green Beret would be laid to rest closer to his Northwest Florida home.
The sun was shining at Johnson’s late-October military funeral at Barrancas. Vietnam vet Charles Moore gave the eulogy for his fellow-serviceman.
Two military members stood at attention at either side of the casket to act as pallbearers, and they folded up the flag to present it to the veteran’s widow.
“When they presented the flag, he knelt on the floor while they played Taps,” said Maureen. “I’ve never seen them do that before.”
The song, which has become indicative of military funerals, was trumpeted after a rifle salute to send off the decorated vet.
Later that afternoon, Johnson was laid to rest in hallowed ground among other military heroes at Barrancas National Cemetery.
His wife remarked, “It was a moving service.”

   
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 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award
Master Parachutist
Vietnam - Jump Wings

 
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
U.S. Army6th Special Forces Group7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Det B-20 2nd Mobile Strike Force Command, Company B (II CTZ) Detachment C-2 (Pleiku)1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)MACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1964-1964, 11B10, Special Forces Underwater Operations Course
  1964-1964, 11B20, 6th Special Forces Group
  1964-1965, 11B20, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1965-1966, 11B20, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1966-1967, 11C20, Det A-235 (Tan Linh/Nhon Co), Det B-23 (Ban Me Thuot) Company B 5th SF Group
  1967-1967, 11F10, Det B-20 2nd Mobile Strike Force Command, Company B (II CTZ) Detachment C-2 (Pleiku)
  1967-1968, 11F10, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1968-1970, 11F10, MACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)
  1970-1974, 11Z50, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1952-1953 Korean War
  1965-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (1965-66)
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (1968-69)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1969-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
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