Kenneth L. Johnson


Medal_of_Honor_ribbon-131x37Distinguished Service Cross
See more recipients of this award

  • Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
  • Place and date: Near Hamich, Germany, 19 November 1944
  • G.O. No.: HQ, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 22 (1944)

Citation: First Lieutenant Kenneth L. Johnson, O1319113, 16th Infantry, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 19 November 1944, in Germany. When an early morning enemy counterattack of battalion strength pushed within fifty yards of his platoon’s defensive position, First Lieutenant Johnson, at great personal risk, crawled over exposed terrain to personally direct the fire of his men. Shifting his troops to strengthen the hardest hit sectors, First Lieutenant Johnson, despite severe automatic weapons and small arms fire which covered the entire platoon area, succeeded in holding off numerically superior force for an hour and a half. Subsequently, a breakthrough threatened to engulf both his platoon and company from the flank and rear. Voluntarily and with undiminished daring, he personally led a reserve force and, in a fierce bayonet charge followed by hand-to-hand fighting, succeeded in wiping out an entire enemy platoon. In a desperate attempt to reestablish contact with an adjoining platoon, he crossed seventy five yards of fire-swept terrain, manned an abandoned machine gun and was inflicting innumerable casualties upon the enemy ranks when he was mortally wounded by rifle fire. First Lieutenant Johnson’s coolness under fire, unflinching leadership and exemplary valor so inspired his men that a battalion of enemy infantrymen was destroyed. Entered military service from Kansas.

© Copyright 16th Infantry Regiment Historical Society