William John Johnson

Specialist Five
Army of the United States
23 January 1951 - 12 February 1971
Santa Maria, California
Panel 05W Line 099


UH-1 Huey

Army Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William John Johnson

30 Nov 2003

William - "Bill", as he liked to be called - was my best friend. I left Vietnam and Bill extended. One month after I arrived home I received a letter that he had been killed. Bill was in country when I got there, and took me under his wing just like an old mother hen. But he taught me how to stay alive. If any of his family reads this I would like to talk to you. It has taken many years to come to grips with that War. You see, I went back and fought a second tour.

My name is Michael C. Campbell, E-Mail campav@atcnet.net , home phone (208) 678-0043, or if you would like to send a letter 1018 Airport Road, Burley, ID 83318.

"For those that have fought for it,
FREEDOM has a taste
the protected will never know"

Mike Campbell
Call sign "Six Pack"

19 Feb 2005

I have never forgotten you, my friend.
Nor will I ever.

From a friend,
Michael D. Buymer
E-mail address is not available.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 12 Feb 1971 the 187th Assault Helicopter Company was conducting operations against an NVA/VC supply location east of the Mekong River in Cambodia. An AH-1G Cobra (tail number 66-15297) was hit by enemy fire, losing its tail rotor, but was successfully brought to a safe landing. Once on the ground, however, the aircraft was brought under fire. The co-pilot, Captain James G. Siddons of Chicago, left the aircraft in order to return the fire but was struck and killed by the Cobra's main rotor blade.

More or less simultaneously the command and control UH-1 had landed and its crew chief, SP5 Johnson, had disembarked to assist the Cobra crew. When he saw Captain Siddons on the ground, Johnson ran to him - and he too was struck and killed by the Cobra's blade.

Both bodies were recovered, as was the uninjured Cobra pilot (Rodney K. Woods), and the Cobra itself was recovered, repaired, and flew again.

The Army Adjutant General's casualty file contains multiple records for both Captain Siddon and SP5 Johnson:

  • There are two records for Captain Siddons; in the first the location of his death is classified, while the second record, dated 08/07/1973, reflects Laos rather than Cambodia.
  • There are four records for SP5 Johnson; one reflects a non-hostile loss within South Vietnam, two have the location classified, and the final one, dated 08/07/1973, indicates he died in Cambodia.
The surviving pilot, Rodney Woods, says the aircraft was operating "10 miles southeast of the Cambodian capitol on the east side of the Mekong" (Source: VHPA ).

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Michael C. Campbell
1018 Airport Rd Burley, Id 83318
1 Dec 2003

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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