Charles Edward Johnson

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
05 April 1947 - 02 July 1967
Newark, New Jersey
Panel 22E Line 105


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Charles Edward Johnson

05 Jan 2006

We used to call Johnson "C E" for his initials. C E and I served together in Camp LeJeune after Parris Island. We went together to Vietnam from Camp Pendleton. Upon arrival in Danang he was assigned to 1/9 and I went to 2/9. Our companies crossed paths out in the field twice around Con Thien. On 7/2/67 during Operation BUFFALO C E was killed when his company was ambushed around Con Thien. C E had been in-country 12 months when he was killed. I learned of his death a few days later when I ran into a Marine from his company. I always think of the good times we shared.

Pete Rivera

Notes from The Virtual Wall

At 10 AM on 2 July 1967, Bravo Company 1/9 Marines were on patrol about 1-1/2 miles northeast of Con Thien when they made contact with what they thought was a small, well-entrenched enemy unit. Alpha 1/9, also on patrol nearby, came to help, and the two understrength companies found themselves in a meat grinder - the small enemy force turned out to be 5 NVA battalions that had crossed the DMZ. Even worse, the NVA troops were supported by artillery firing from within and north of the DMZ.

The 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, was inserted by helicopter on the enemy's left flank and the massive weight of U. S. air and artillery support began taking its toll of the NVA. By evening the NVA had broken contact, withdrawing into the DMZ.

By that time Bravo 1/9 had been destroyed as a fighting force - and Alpha 1/9 was little better off. The initial action grew into a week-long pitched battle involving two Battalion Landing Teams, one each from USS TRIPOLI and USS OKINAWA.

Overall, 92 Marines and sailors died on the first day of the battle:

  • 1st Bn, 9th Marines
    • A Company: 13
    • B Company: 58
    • C Company: 1
    • D Company: 1
    • H&S Company: 15

  • D Btry, 2/12 Marines: 2 (Forward Observers)
  • VMFA-542: 2 (F-4B BuNo 151421 shot down)

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend and fellow Marine,
Pete Rivera
05 Jan 2006

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