Donald Peter Johnson

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
04 May 1947 - 13 March 1967
Gilman, Wisconsin
Panel 16E Line 073


Donald P Johnson

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Donald Peter Johnson

23 May 2001

I was within four feet of Don on that day, walking down a 12 foot wide path with a hill on the right, an 8' high hedge row and rice paddy on the left. There were about eight Marines including a 2nd LT. I don't know where we were headed, but all was quiet and it was misting rain and very hot at about mid morning. Don was probably the third one back and I was right behind him in line. All of a sudden AK-47's opened up and were hitting all around us. I remember all the rounds ripping through the hedge row and hitting the hill behind us. Our M-60 gunner was hit first and Don went to help him or to grab the 60. He passed me a few feet away and was hit in the chest. I tried to help DJ but he was gone almost immediately.

We called for a chopper but it was too late. Four Marines were hit. I was just eighteen then, Don was 18 or 19. Don was my fireteam leader and my friend. We shared a foxhole and meals and stories from home together. We didn't know each other very long but I'll never forget him. His life and death has affected me in that I know life is so precious. I make a point never to complain about how little or how much I have because life is fragile.

May the world remember you always, Lance Corporal Don Johnson
I salute you.
You make me proud to have been a Marine ...

Baby-son (LCPL Bob Voyles)
1st Fireteam, 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon, Charlie Co 1/5

A memorial initiated by a friend and fellow Marine,
LCpl Bob Voyles

Don Johnson, HS graduation

22 August 2002

Just wanted to let you know we were touched at what you wrote about Don. Don was my husband's brother. It helps us by knowing more as to what happened that day. We miss him but we want to thank you for being with him in his last moments.

God Bless you!
Rick & Monica Johnson

High school graduation and Marine photos
courtesy of the Johnsons.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Between 13 and 18 March 1967 the 1st Bn, 5th Marines, conducted a sweep in the Ly Tin and Tam Ky Districts of Quang Tin Province, about 40 miles south-southeast of Danang. The sweep was in response to information received from Vietnamese villagers indicating the 14th and 706th VC Local Force Companies were operating in the area.

Charlie 1/5 moved into its initial position on the 12th and Operation TIPPECANOE kicked off on the 13th. Charlie 1/5 began patrol activity that morning while at 0930 Bravo and Delta 1/5 began road march movements from the 1/5 base camp to their initial sweep positions.

Charlie 1/5's first contact was at 0810 when a squad patrol was taken under fire at BT325115. One Marine was killed and five wounded in the exchange. Charlie 1/5 continued moving southeast with little contact until 1440, when a firefight broke out at coordinates BT329110, resulting in one Marine killed and four wounded.

Bravo 1/5 had several contacts during the day which resulted in 2 wounded Marines. Delta 1/5's move was unremarkable until 1755 when they engaged a VC outpost; one Marine was killed in the exchange of fires.

The day's engagements were not one-sided; eight to ten VC were killed and two captured while physical evidence indicated a number of other VC were wounded. The three Marines from 1/5 killed in action on 13 March were

  • Charlie Company:
  • Delta Company:
    • Pfc Joseph W. Jenks, Manistique, MI

The description of events is taken from the 1/5
After Action Report for Operation TIPPECANOE.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother and sister-in-law,
Richard and Monica Johnson
23 May 2001

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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