H&S CO, 3RD BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
From Pensacola, Florida
07 November 1944 - 25 March 1968
I met "Bertie" Johnson at Camp Pendleton, California, in August 1967. His father and grandfather had received medals for their service in the Marines. He had tried to join the Marines but could not pass the physical. He decided that being a Navy Corpsman would have to do. He wasn't considered a "cool guy" but he was enthusiastic and kept us laughing. He insisted that he was going to get a medal for bravery just like his father and grandfather before him. We were sent to different units in Nam and I lost track of him. (The Tet Offensive at Khe Sanh kept me busy)
I met some other Corpsmen in Danang as we were returning Stateside. One of them had been stationed at the 1st Marine Division Hospital in Danang. He said that Bertie had been killed. He said that he wasn't sure exactly how it happened.
I suppose Bertie could have been sitting in the Beer Tent reading mail from home but I prefer to think that he was heroically saving a Marine's life when he was killed and was awarded a medal for his bravery. If anyone knows differently, don't tell me. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
(HM2 assigned to C battery 1/13)
The database page for Wallace B Johnson
Memorial first published on 15 Nov 2007
Last updated 11/13/2010