Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Elden

Last Name: Johnson

Birthplace: Bivalve, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: East Weymouth, MA
Middle Name: Harvey

Date of Birth: 13 February 1921

Date of Death: 03 June 1944

Rank: Private

Years Served: 1943 - 1944
Elden Harvey Johnson

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Elden H. Johnson
Private, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Private Elden Harvey Johnson (13 February 1921 - 3 June 1944) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during World War II.

Elden H. Johnson was born on 13 February 1921 in Bivalve, NJ. He entered the Army at East Weymouth, MA. On 3 June 1944, he was serving as a Private in the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. When his unit was ambushed that day near Valmontone, Italy, he deliberately drew the hostile German fire onto himself so that his comrades could escape. He succeeded in destroying a German machine gun position before he was killed. For these heroic actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 15th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Valmontone, Italy, 3 June 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Pvt. Johnson elected to sacrifice his life in order that his comrades might extricate themselves from an ambush. Braving the massed fire of about 60 riflemen, 3 machineguns, and 3 tanks from positions only 25 yards distant, he stood erect and signaled his patrol leader to withdraw. The whole area was brightly illuminated by enemy flares. Then, despite 20mm. machineguns, machine pistol, and rifle fire directed at him, Pvt. Johnson advanced beyond the enemy in a slow deliberate walk. Firing his automatic rifle from the hip, he succeeded in distracting the enemy and enabled his 12 comrades to escape. Advancing to within 5 yards of a machinegun, emptying his weapon, Pvt. Johnson killed its crew. Standing in full view of the enemy he reloaded and turned on the riflemen to the left, firing directly into their positions. He either killed or wounded 4 of them. A burst of machinegun fire tore into Pvt. Johnson and he dropped to his knees. Fighting to the very last, he steadied himself on his knees and sent a final burst of fire crashing into another German. With that he slumped forward dead. Pvt. Johnson had willingly given his life in order that his comrades might live. These acts on the part of Pvt. Johnson were an inspiration to the entire command and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the armed forces.

Private Elden H. Johnson's mother was presented with his Medal of Honor by General Sherman Miles on 30 May 1945 at the Boston Commons, Boston, MA.


• The United States Army ship USAT Private Elden H. Johnson which operated in the Pacific Ocean at the end of World War II was named in his honor.

• In 1949 the former German "Panzerkaserne" at Fuerth, Germany, was re-named to Johnson Barracks. From the 1970's Johnson Barracks was home of the 16th Engineer Battalion which supported two brigades of the 1st Armored Division and one brigade of the 2nd AD. It also contained warehouses and other facilities for various supply elements from William O. Darby Barracks.

Death and Burial

Private Elden H. Johnson was killed in action on 3 June 1944. He is buried at Union Cemetery, Scituate, MA, in Lot 91.

Honoree ID: 1457   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image