Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War I - U.S. Army

Harold Irving Johnston

  • Rank: Sergeant (rank at time of action: Private First Class)
  • Conflict/Era: World War I
  • Unit/Command:
    Company A, 356th Infantry,
    89th Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: November 9, 1918
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Pouilly, France
When information was desired as to the enemy's position on the opposite side of the Meuse River, Sgt. Johnston, with another soldier, volunteered without hesitation and swam the river to reconnoiter the exact location of the enemy. He succeeded in reaching the opposite bank, despite the evident determination of the enemy to prevent a crossing. Having obtained his information, he again entered the water for his return. This was accomplished after a severe struggle which so exhausted him that he had to be assisted from the water, after which he rendered his report of the exploit.
Medal of Honor Recipient Harold I. Johnston
Medal of Honor Recipient Harold I. Johnston
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: February 9, 1919
    Chaumont, France - presented by General John J. Pershing
  • Born: March 9, 1892, Kendall, Hamilton County, KS, United States
  • Died: August 28, 1949, Denver, CO, United States
  • Buried: Fairmount Cemetery (MH) (45-1-53), Denver, CO, United States

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