Bruce Gardner Johnson

Lieutenant Colonel
Army of the United States
15 July 1937 - 27 February 1978
Harbor Beach, MI
Panel 02E Line 005

United States Army


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Bruce Gardner Johnson

27 Nov 2001

How sleep the Brave, who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes bless'd!
- William Collins, 1746 -

From one who remembers,
Colleen Schultz
16 Dec 2003


by someone who wears his MIA bracelet.

Gwen Kirby

A Note from The Virtual Wall

A Special Forces camp was established at Dong Xoai, a district capital in Phuoc Long Province, in late May 1965. Dong Xoai lay astride a Viet Cong supply route from Cambodia into War Zone D. At about 11 PM on the night of 9 June, the SVN forces around Dong Xoai were attacked by the 762nd and 763rd VC Regiments. Beginning about 11:30 PM the camp came under heavy mortar and ground attack and was overrun.

South Vietnamese and US advisory relief forces were alerted. The first to arrive was an advisory team airlifted from Than Son Nhut, near Saigon. The team was aboard a UH-1B helicopter from the 118th Aviation Company. US personnel included

  • WO Donald R. Saegaert, aircraft commander;
  • LT Walter L. Hall, pilot;
  • SGT Craig L. Hagen, gunner;
  • SSGT Joseph J. Compa, crew chief;
  • CPT Bruce G. Johnson, MACV Advisors;
  • SFC Fred M. Owens, MACV Advisors; and
  • SSGT Robert L. Curlee, MACV Advisors (medic).
After the UH-1B landed it came under heavy mortar and small arms fire. The helicopter took off and started a climbing turn. It then went into uncontrolled flight and crashed, skidded into parked vehicles, and burst into flames.

Captain Johnson, an advisor to the South Vietnamese Army's 5th Infantry Division, reported to another helicopter in the area that the UH-1B's crew and all others on board were dead and his position was receiving incoming enemy mortar fire. There was no further transmission from Captain Johnson after the end of the mortar fire. A later search of the area failed to produce any sign of the seven servicemen. Villagers stated that the Viet Cong had carried away the bodies of 7 Americans and had buried them.

Although the other six men could be classed as Killed in Action based on Captain Johnson's verbal report, Johnson himself was carried as Missing in Action. On 27 Feb 1978, the Secretary of the Army issued a Presumptive Finding of Death for Bruce Johnson, who had been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel while in MIA status. As of 25 Dec 2003 the remains of the seven Americans have not been repatriated.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who remembers,
Colleen Schultz 
27 Nov 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