WWII News Clippings 09
CLIFFSIDE MAN GIVEN BRONZE STAR, CITATION
Sgt. Earl Johnson Twice Cited For Extraordinary Heroism Under Fire
Forest City Courier, March 29, 1945
Sgt. Earl N. Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Johnson, of Cliffside, has recently received two citations for bravery. A certificate of merit was awarded in recognition of conspicuously meritorious and outstanding performance of military duty, the citation reading:
During the night of 12 August and the morning of 13 August 1944, Corp. Johnson, acting in his capacity as reconnaissance corporal, assisted in maintaining the observation post and in directing artillery fire in support of the infantry. This post was under almost constant mortar, nebelwerfer and artillery fire. Several times telephone wires were severed by this fire and Corp. Johnson maintained communications by carrying messages back and forth from the outpost to the radio car. His work under heavy fire contributed to the success of the operation.
A second citation, issued after he was promoted to sergeant, reads:
On the morning of 2 September, 1944, near Gambrai, France, Battery (Blank), (Blank) Armored Field Artillery Battalion, was in the advance guard of Combat B, X, Armored Division. Sergeant Johnson was acting as driver and radio operator of the Battery’s Commander’s ¼-ton vehicle. The leading elements ran into a road block composed of three 88mm guns and several hundred infantrymen of the fanatical Hitler Jugend type, who were dug in along the roads and beet fields adjacent thereto. The attack was developed, involving about a platoon of light tanks, supported by a platoon of infantrymen in an envelopment from the right. Sergeant Johnson’s vehicle moved with this force. As the force approached elements of this attacking force dominated the road junction, all came under heavy small arms fire from close range, as the fanatical enemy refused to surrender until they were within a few feet of the tanks. All during the attack Sgt. Johnson had to remain in an exposed position in order to operate the vehicle and the radio relay commands from the observer. This combined effect of heavy accurate time fire, and the advance of the tanks and infantry reduced the road block enabling the column to proceed. Sergeant Johnson’s devotion to duty in the face of extreme danger was instrumental in putting down the effective fire.
For this feat of heroism Sgt. Johnson was awarded the bronze star.
Sgt. Johnson entered service July 15, 1940, and went overseas Nov. 8, 1942. He is a member of a field artillery unit.
Researched and prepared by Don Bailey