The President of the United States takes pride in presenting
the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS RALPH H. JOHNSON
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity
at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty
while serving as a reconnaissance scout with Company A,
First Reconnaissance Battalion, First Marine Division in
action against the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces
in the Republic of Vietnam. In the early morning hours of
5 March 1968, during OPERATION ROCK, First Class Johnson
was a member of a fifteen-man reconnaissance patrol manning
an observation post on Hill 146 overlooking the Quan Duc
Duc Valley deep in enemy controlled territory. They were
attacked by a platoon-size hostile force employing automatic
weapons, satchel charges and hand grenades. Suddenly a hand
grenade landed in the three- man fighting hole occupied
by Private First Class Johnson and two fellow Marines. Realizing
the inherent danger to his comrades, he shouted a warning
and unhesitatingly hurled himself upon the explosive device.
When the grenade exploded, Private First Class Johnson absorbed
the tremendous impact of the blast and was killed instantly.
His prompt and heroic act saved the life of one Marine at
the cost of his own and undoubtedly prevented the enemy
from penetrating his sector of the patrol's perimeter. Private
First Class Johnson's courage inspiring valor and selfless
devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions
of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
He gallantly gave his life for his country.