ROBERT H. G. JOHNSON, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Robert Johnson '24

Date of birth: December 13, 1900

Date of death: January 22, 1945

Age: 44

Lucky Bag

From the 1924 Lucky Bag:


Loss

From Find A Grave:

Lt. Robert Johnson was held as a POW in the Philippine Islands. In December 1944, he was boarded onto the Oryoku Maru for transport to Japan. The ship sailed on December 13th and came under attack from American planes on December 14th. As evening approached, the attack was called off. The next day the planes returned and continued the attack. When the pilots saw the large number of men climbing from the ship’s holds, they realized the ship was carrying POWs and called off the attack. After the POWs were off the ship, the attack resumed and the ship was sunk by American planes at Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, on December 15, 1944. The surviving POWs were boarded onto the Enoura Maru which sailed on December 27th and reached Takao, Formosa, by the New Year. While docked it was bombed by American planes on January 9, 1945, killing many of the POWs. On January 12th, the dead were removed from the ship’s holds and buried in a mass grave on Formosa. The surviving POWs were boarded onto the Brazil Maru which sailed on January 13th. Johnson died on the ship before it reached Japan on January 29, 1945. His body was thrown into the sea.

Unclear on exactly what his billet was in the Philippines prior to the war; he is listed only as assigned to the 16th Naval District. Also unclear on why he was not promoted while in captivity; the Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1945 lists him as the fourth-most senior Lieutenant in the Navy.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Robert Henry Glass Johnson (NSN: 0-58906), United States Navy, was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against the enemy as Evacuation Officer during the evacuation of Cebu Island in April 1942. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.

Service: Navy
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 348 (March 1946)

Prisoner of War Medal

From Hall of Valor:

Lieutenant Robert H. G. Johnson (NSN: 0-58906), United States Navy, was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor, Philippine Islands, on 6 May 1942, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his death while still in captivity.

General Orders: NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant


Class of 1924

Robert is one of 41 members of the Class of 1924 in Memorial Hall.