Johnson, Leroy, Sgt

Fallen
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Primary Unit
1943-1944, 32nd Infantry Division
Service Years
1943 - 1944

Sergeant


One Service Stripe



Two Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Louisiana
Louisiana
Year of Birth
1919
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSG Clentis Dale Turnbow to remember Johnson, Leroy, Sgt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Caney Creek
Last Address
Oakdale, Louisiana

Casualty Date
Dec 15, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Reason
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Location
Philippines
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: C-10-79

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord


 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen [Verified]

 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award


 
 Unit Assignments
126th Infantry Regiment32nd Infantry Division
  1943-1944, 126th Infantry Regiment
  1943-1944, 32nd Infantry Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1944 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  1943-1944 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/New Guinea Campaign (1943-44)
  1944-1944 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Leyte Campaign (1944-45)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Leroy Johnson was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration�??the Medal of Honor�??for his actions in World War II.

Biography.
Johnson joined the Army from Oakdale, Louisiana, and by December 15, 1944 was serving as a Sergeant in Company K, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division. On that day, near Limon, Leyte, the Philippines, he smothered the blast of two enemy-thrown grenades with his body, sacrificing himself to protect those around him. For this action, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor ten months later, on October 2, 1945.

Johnson was buried at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, the Philippines. A bronze memorial plaque in his honor was mounted on the wall of the Oberlin, Louisiana, courthouse. Johnson was from Oakdale, just a few miles north of Oberlin in Allen Parish.

He had fought on New Guinea where he was wounded and awarded the Silver Star for gallantry.  He was killed near Limon, Leyte, Philippines where the action took place for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.


Medal of Honor
Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Sergeant Leroy Johnson, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty on 15 December 1944, while serving with Company K, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division, in action at Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands.

Sergeant Johnson was squad leader of a nine-man patrol sent to reconnoiter a ridge held by a well-entrenched enemy force. Seeing an enemy machinegun position, he ordered his men to remain behind while he crawled to within six yards of the gun. One of the enemy crew jumped up and prepared to man the weapon.

Quickly withdrawing, Sergeant Johnson rejoined his patrol and reported the situation to his commanding officer. Ordered to destroy the gun, which covered the approaches to several other enemy positions, he chose three other men, armed them with hand grenades, and led them to a point near the objective. After taking partial cover behind a log, the men had knocked out the gun and begun an assault when hostile troops on the flank hurled several grenades.

As he started for cover, Sergeant Johnson saw two unexploded grenades which had fallen near his men. Knowing that his comrades would be wounded or killed by the explosion, he deliberately threw himself on the grenades and received their full charge in his body. Fatally wounded by the blast, he died soon afterward.

Through his outstanding gallantry in sacrificing his life for his comrades, Sergeant Johnson provided a shining example of the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 83, October 2, 1945
Action Date: 15-Dec-44
Service: Army
Rank: Sergeant
Company: Company K
Regiment: 126th Infantry Regiment
Division: 32d Infantry Division S

 
   
Comments/Citation
Camp Leroy Johnson.(in his honor)
  The camp was located on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain in the area bounded on the west by Franklin Avenue, the south by Leon C. Simon Drive and the east by the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal. Construction for the camp began in 1941 and was completed in February 1942 at a cost of $3.1 million. It originally was known as the New Orleans Army Air Base, and the initial plan was to construct 196 buildings on about 162 acres.


Nearby was the New Orleans Airport " originally the Shushan Airport " and the camp, along with the airport, was used for military training. Signal and Quartermaster units were trained at the base, and there also was a Transportation Corps Officer Candidate School and a Replacement Training Center.


When World War II ended, the camp came under the Air Defense Command for a short time, and for a while functioned as a staging area for the New Orleans Port of Embarkation.
 

The name of the camp changed on Nov. 25, 1947. It was renamed to honor a very brave soldier who threw himself on two hand grenades and saved the lives of his fellow soldiers. Leroy Johnson was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic action during the invasion of Leyte in the Philippines Islands. Sgt. Johnson, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Leander Johnson and a native of Oakdale, La., was a member of the 126th Infantry Division at the time.
 

In 1951, the U.S. Army ordered that Camp Leroy Johnson be converted into a permanent center for Transportation Corps troops, and 1,500 to 2,000 men were sent there.


The U. S. Army hospital at the camp had an unusual assignment at this time. Because it was the only military hospital on the East Bank of New Orleans, the hospital cared for all members of the armed forces on active duty. In the early 1950s, some 5,000 patients a month received treatment there.
 

In the years that followed, the camp served as a training center for Army Reserve units and as a substation of the New Orleans Port of Embarkation.

After 22 years, the federal government ordered Camp Leroy Johnson be closed as an economic move. At the ceremony, there were 70 U.S. Army soldiers who stood at attention and saluted as the American flag was lowered for the last time.


Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leroy_Johnson_(Medal_of_Honor

http://www.bestofneworleans.com/gambit/new-orleans-know-it-all/Content?oid=1251121

http://www.ww2awards.com/person/895
   
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