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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Private Merton R. Johnson Class of 2014

Medal of Honor

United States Army

Distinguished Service Cross

Merton R. Johnson, Private, U. S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving with an Infantry Company of the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. Private Johnson distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Chirodong, Korea, on the early morning of 15 August 1952. Early on that date, the company of which Private Johnson was a member launched an attack on a rugged hill held by a fanatically determined hostile force. Private Johnson, a member of the assault platoon, remained with the foremost of the attacking elements, ignoring the heavy volume of small arms and automatic weapons fire pouring from the enemy’s position. As the assaulting unit neared the crest of the hill, the foe began to direct extremely intense fire on the supporting platoon, some distance to the rear, threatening to separate the two forces. Without hesitation, Private Johnson charged forward alone in a one-man attack on the hostile installations, firing his weapon rapidly and accurately and inflicting heavy casualties on the foe. Despite the fact that the hostile force was concentrating an ever-increasing volume of fire on him, he continued to move forward until he was knocked to the ground and seriously wounded by the blast of an enemy grenade. Dragging himself to his feet, he gathered his ebbing strength and resumed his advance in a final attempt to complete his self-assigned mission. Within a few yards of the hostile positions, he fell once more and succumbed to his wounds. Private Johnson’s exceptionally valorous actions were an inspiration to his comrades and were instrumental in the action. They were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and bring great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.


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