James Johnson, Jr

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
23 January 1947 - 21 May 1967
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Panel 20E Line 076


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for James Johnson, Jr

16 May 2000

He was a nice kid when I knew him in high school.

Tommie L. Morris
U. S. Army, 1967-1971, 330 Radio Research Company
313th Battalion, 509th Group, 1st Field Force
Pleiku, South Vietnam
09 February 2001

The Things They Carried

They carried P-38 can openers and heat tabs, watches and dog tags, insect repellent, gum, cigarettes, Zippo lighters, salt tablets, compress bandages, ponchos, Kool-Aid, two or three canteens of water, iodine tablets, sterno, LRRP- rations, and C-rations stuffed in socks. They carried standard fatigues, jungle boots, bush hats, flak jackets and steel pots.

They carried the M-16 assault rifle. They carried trip flares and Claymore mines, M-60 machine guns, the M-70 grenade launcher, M-14's, CAR-15's, Stoners, Swedish K's, 66mm LAWs, shotguns, .45 caliber pistols, silencers, the sound of bullets, rockets, and choppers, and sometimes the sound of silence. They carried C-4 plastic explosives, an assortment of hand grenades, PRC-25 radios, knives and machetes.

Some carried napalm, CBU's and large bombs; some risked their lives to rescue others. Some escaped the fear, but dealt with the death and damage. Some made very hard decisions, and some just tried to survive.

They carried malaria, dysentery, ringworms and leaches. They carried the land itself as it hardened on their boots. They carried stationery, pencils, and pictures of their loved ones - real and imagined. They carried love for people in the real world and love for one another. And sometimes they disguised that love: "Don't mean nothin'!"

They carried memories.

For the most part, they carried themselves with poise and a kind of dignity. Now and then, there were times when panic set in, and people squealed - or wanted to, but couldn't; when they twitched and made moaning sounds and covered their heads and said "Dear God" and hugged the earth and fired their weapons blindly and cringed and begged for the noise to stop and went wild and made stupid promises to themselves and God and their parents, hoping not to die.

They carried the traditions of the United States military, and memories and images of those who served before them. They carried grief, terror, longing and their reputations. They carried the soldier's greatest fear: the embarrassment of dishonor. They crawled into tunnels, walked point, and advanced under fire, so as not to die of embarrassment. They were afraid of dying, but too afraid to show it. They carried the emotional baggage of men and women who might die at any moment. They carried the weight of the world.


Author Unknown

From his friend
Lonnie Burnett
09 February 2001

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, lost four men during operations on 21 May 1967:
  • GySgt Harry K. Davis, Tucson, AZ, Hotel Company
  • SSgt Hildra Mc Coy, Wilmington, NC, Hotel Company
  • LCpl James Johnson, Ponca City, OK, H&S Company
  • Pvt George N. Wright, Boring, OR, Fox Company
The author of "The Things They Carried" is unknown. It is used with confidence that the author would approve.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
high school buddy,
Tommie L. Morris
16 May 2000

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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