Jay Dean Johnson

United States Marine Corps
16 September 1946 - 02 September 1967
Medford, Oregon
Panel 25E Line 085


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Jay Dean Johnson

05 Dec 2004

I am painfully aware of the unfortunate bond which I will forever share with Cpl Jay D. Johnson, Medford, Oregon, and with LCpl Alan L. Matthews, Palos Verdes, Califonia, and with their families and friends and batterymates. Unbeknownst to us survivors, we were all wounded with the news of these deaths, at the same devastating time, but in many different locations.

I can only imagine that my brother Nick, who was killed with them at the same time, and all of their squad, families and friends would want to respectfully acknowledge our shared grief and continued caring for these men and for their loved ones.

I am enclosing a letter from the U. S. Navy Chaplain who performed the Memorial Service at 1100 on Sept. 5, 1967 for my brother Nick, and for Jay, and for Alan - with their comrades all in attendance.

After 36+ years of separation, may we finally be together now in our grief and in our memories, by reading exactly what their Chaplain wrote in the letter below. I offer all of you my heartfelt love and sympathy.

And to these three Marines who died together, and to their squad, my thoughts of love and longing are with you more than you'll ever know.

From Nick Wagman's sister,
Samantha Frishberg (Cindy Wagman)
Portland, Oregon


5 September 1967

Mr. George Wagman
516 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, California 90210

Dear Mr. Wagman:

May I express my personal sympathy to you because of the death of your son Nicholas Owen Wagman, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. May God's comforting spirit comfort and strengthen you in this time of grief, sorrow, and heartache.

As your son's chaplain it was my sad privilege to conduct a Memorial Service for your son and two of his friends who were killed at the same time. The service was at 1100 on 5 September 1967. The entire Headquarters Battery of the 4th Battalion, 11th Marines were present to honor the memory of these brave and courageous men.

Your son's commanding officer spoke highly of the courage and dedication to duty of your son.

The Scripture passages that I read were the Twenty-Third Psalm, John 14 and Timothy 4:7. I used the words of Paul as a fitting memorial to your son and his friends, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." The Memorial Service concluded with the praying of the Lords Prayer and the playing of taps.

My prayers, interest and sympathy are with you in these days of lonliness and adjustment. May Gods Spirit be sufficient during this time of need.


C. E. McFarland
Chaplain, U.S. Navy

Transcribed from the original
by The Virtual Wall staff.

02 Sep 2006

I shall always remember the night you died, thirty nine years ago today. I have relived it some thousand times in my mind. Formerly 4th Bn. 11th Marines, 1967-68 Vietnam.


From a battery-mate,
David H. Lowrey

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 4th Bn, 11th Marines' Command Chronology for September 1967 reports that a provisional Battery "N" was established to provide artillery for the 1st Marine Division's counter-rocket fire plan. Battery "N" was emplaced along Highway 545 at the northern foot of Hill 306, about 10 kilometers west of Danang City. The Chronology further reports that
"Headquarters Battery furnished two squads of security troops to Battery "N" 1-9 September 1967. On 020020H Battery "N" received mortar fire and infiltration of VC with satchel charges, 3 USMC (KIA) 3 USMC (WIA). Casualties were all from Headquarters Battery security squads.

"020300 - Received casualty report from Battery "N". KIA from Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 11th Marines:
     KIA: L/Cpl A. L. MATHEWS, Cpl W. O. WAGMAN, Cpl J. D. JOHNSON
     WIA: Pfc C. W. SAFFELS, Pfc G. P. RHODES, Cpl E. M. FUJIHARA"

The three Marines killed in the attack were
Killed in Action - Marine Cpl. Jay D. Johnson, 20, Medford, was killed in combat 2 Sep (1967) at Quang Nam in Vietnam. He was born 16 Sep 1946 in Portland and worked at Olson Lawyer Timber Company before enlisting February 1966. His parents are Lt. Col. Gustave E. Johnson, U.S. Army (Ret.) and Mrs. Johnson, 1533 Stratford Way, Medford.

Medford Mail Tribune, Medford OR, 27 Feb 1968

Courtesy of
Darilee Bednar
Faces from the Wall

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend's sister,
Samantha Frishberg (Cindy Wagman)

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 05 Dec 2004
Last updated 11/13/2010