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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War I - U.S. Army

Henry Johnson

  • Also Known As: Johnson, William Henry
  • Rank: Private
  • Conflict/Era: World War I
  • Unit/Command:
    Company C, 369th Infantry Regiment,
    93d Infantry Division, American Expeditionary Forces
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 15, 1918
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: NW St. Menehoul, Argonne Forest, France

Private Henry Johnson distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of heroism at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a member of Company C, 369th Infantry Regiment, 93d Infantry Division, American Expeditionary Forces on May 15, 1918, during combat operations against the enemy on the front lines of the Western Front in France. In the early morning hours, Private Johnson and another soldier were on sentry duty at a forward outpost when they received a surprise attack from a German raiding party consisting of at least 12 soldiers. While under intense enemy fire and despite receiving significant wounds, Private Johnson mounted a brave retaliation, resulting in several enemy casualties. When his fellow soldier was badly wounded and being carried away by the enemy, Private Johnson exposed himself to grave danger by advancing from his position to engage the two enemy captors in hand-to-hand combat. Wielding only a knife and gravely wounded himself, Private Johnson continued fighting, defeating the two captors and rescuing the wounded soldier. Displaying great courage, he continued to hold back the larger enemy force until the defeated enemy retreated leaving behind a large cache of weapons and equipment and providing valuable intelligence. Without Private Johnson's quick actions and continued fighting, even in the face of almost certain death, the enemy might have succeeded in capturing prisoners and the outpost, without abandoning valuable intelligence. Private Johnson's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company C, 369th Infantry Regiment, 93d Infantry Division and the United States Army.

Medal of Honor Recipient Henry Johnson
Medal of Honor Recipient Henry Johnson
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Albany, Albany County, New York
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: June 2, 2015

    Presented by President Barack Obama at the White House

  • Born: July 15, 1892, Winston Salem, Forsyth County, NC, United States
  • Died: July 1, 1929, New Lenox, IL, United States
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA, United States
  • Location of Medal: War Room, New York State Capitol, Albany, NY
From the CMOHS Archives

Henry Johnson was born as William Henry Johnson. Apparently, he went by his middle name, because when he enlisted in the U.S. Army, he gave his name as "Henry Johnson." Thus, he is born on the Medal of Honor Rolls by that name.


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