Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Vaughn A. Johnson, who served as a telephone communications specialist during World War II from 1942 to 1945.
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Vaughn Johnson was working at an industrial rayon plant. He planned to marry the following year. Six weeks after his marriage in April 1942, he received a draft notice.
Johnson went to Camp Wolters for basic training and later studied communications. He learned Morse code and how to use a radio. Johnson then went to nine different camps in the United States for over two years. He later served with the headquarters company of the 103rd Infantry Division. In late 1944, Johnson went to France. On the way over to France, the ship went through a storm, causing everybody on board to get seasick.
Johnson arrived in France after two weeks. He was in charge of telephone communications, operating a switchboard. Johnson did not see much action, but he said he remembered the B-25s flying overhead, bombing and clearing the way for the troops. On his second day, a jeep driver pulled over on the side of the road and was killed by a landmine. The closest Johnson came to action was when he inside a house setting up communications and a bullet went through his helmet that was sitting on the table.
After the war, Johnson was on occupation duty in Austria, and he spent a few days with his brother, who was also in the service. Johnson discharged in 1945 and went back to work at the company he had worked at previously.
More of his story is at http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.00868/.
We honor his service.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.