Benjamin F Johnson

Lance Corporal
HMH-463, MAG-16, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
21 August 1948 - 19 February 1968
San Antonio, TX
Panel 40E Line 023



USMC Combat Aircrew

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Campaign, Vietnam Service

The database page for Benjamin F Johnson

07 June 2001

I first met B. F. Johnson in 1966. We were assigned to HMH-461 at MCAF New River, NC. This was our first real squadron after 6 plus months of schooling at Memphis. At 461, we learned about the Marine Corps' newest helicopter, the CH-53A, together.

We had a tight knit group of 3 or 4 guys that hung out together. I took a lot of kidding because I was the only one from Oklahoma. I remember when he got married and was living in a tiny mobile home how all the guys used to "borrow" things from the chow hall to help him and his new wife set up their house. Plates, cups & saucers, eating utensils, salt & pepper shakers were all fair game.

I believe he was the first of our group to go to Viet Nam. I didn't get there until Dec. '67. Unfortunately, we only had a short time to renew old friendships, as he was KIA 19 Feb '68. What made it so sad for me was that he had already quit flying, as he was "getting short" and about ready to rotate back home.

As I grow older, I often think of the young men I knew that we left behind, who accepted the challenges and hardships for the sake of their family, country and God. They are not forgotten.

Pat "Woody" Woods
MGySgt USMC Ret.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Nine US servicemen men were lost when their CH-53A (BuNo 153278) went down:
  • Aircrew (all HMH-463, MAG-16)
  • Passengers:
    • CPT Barton J. Uplinger, Camarillo, CA, VMO-6, MAG-36
    • TSGT Sylvester McCullough, New York, NY, 903rd Aeromed Evac Sqd, 7th AF
    • HM2 Robert J. Bridges, Mitchell, SD, 3rd Med Bn, 3rd Mardiv
    • PFC Robert E. Tyner, Jacksonville, FL, A Co, 1st Bn, 12th Cav Rgt
Initial reports indicated that the aircraft was lost over water near the North Vietnamese coast. However, the wreckage was later found on Marble Mountain, near Danang in South Vietnam, near that of another HMH-463 CH-53 lost earlier. TACAN meakoning is a suspected cause of both aircraft losses. Additional information is available on the Pop-A-Smoke site .

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
Pat " Woody" Woods 
7 Jun 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 11/13/2010