Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Leroy Johnson

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company K, 126th Infantry,
    32d Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: December 15, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands
He was a squad leader of a nine-man patrol sent to reconnoiter a ridge held by a well-entrenched enemy force. Seeing an enemy machine-gun position, he ordered his men to remain behind while he crawled to within six yards of the gun. One of the enemy crew jumped up and prepared to man the weapon. Quickly withdrawing, Sgt. Johnson rejoined his patrol and reported the situation to his commanding officer. Ordered to destroy the gun, which covered the approaches to several other enemy positions, he chose three other men, armed them with hand grenades, and led them to a point near the objective. After taking partial cover behind a log, the men had knocked out the gun and begun an assault when hostile troops on the flank hurled several grenades. As he started for cover, Sgt. Johnson saw two unexploded grenades which had fallen near his men. Knowing that his comrades would be wounded or killed by the explosion, he deliberately threw himself on the grenades and received their full charge in his body. Fatally wounded by the blast, he died soon afterward. Through his outstanding gallantry in sacrificing his life for his comrades, Sgt. Johnson provided a shining example of the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.
Medal of Honor Recipient Leroy Johnson
Medal of Honor Recipient Leroy Johnson
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Oakdale, Allen Parish, Louisiana
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: December 6, 1919, Caney Creek, LA, United States
  • Died: December 15, 1944, near Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands
  • Buried: A.B.M.C. Mamila Cemetery (C-10-79), Manila, Philippine Islands

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