Wayne Archer "Johnny" Johnson, promoted to Glory 1 June, 2011
TIGER PROMOTED TO GLORY, by Shorty Estabrook
Wayne Archer (Johnny) Johnson, was Promoted to Glory on 1 June, 2011 at San Marcos, Texas. He was 79 years old and one of the youngest of the Tiger Survivor group. He had a massive stroke which he never recovered from. He had been tube fed for a number of years and now he suffers no more.
He was born at Beaver Dam, Ohio in 1931 and lived in Lima Ohio for many years. He leaves his beloved mother who is more than 100 now and 2 brothers and 1 sister.
For many years now Johnny has made his home with his brother and his family at San Marcos Texas.
Johnny was a member of L Company, 21st Infantry Regiment of the 24th Infantry Division that was on Occupation duty in Japan; he was a Scout in that unit.
When the Korean War broke out the units of the 24th were rushed to Korea to meet the onslaught of the North Korean Army. They were out gunned and outnumbered and soon they suffered many casualties and many were captured. Johnny was among those captured during the early days of July 1950.
During captivity, Johnny thought that someone had to keep a list of the men who died or were shot so the next of kin back home would know what happened. He found scraps of paper and bits and pieces of pencils and kept his valuable list.
Johnny could have been shot for doing that. He accomplished this in secret. He had no idea how important this list would become.
The “LIST” grew to over 500 names during his imprisonment. This LIST also contained the date, places and causes of death and information of home town etc.
Johnny told debriefing Officers of his list and a note was made of it, but no one seemed interested in it. Nevertheless, Johnny held onto it and would never loan it out not even to the FBI.
Then, during the summer of 1996, Johnny told a group of other Tiger Survivors about his list at a reunion in Evansville, Indiana. Work began immediately on making a list of all the Tiger Survivors including the living and the dead, the soldiers and the civilians.
With the help of Command Sergeant Major Tim Casey and Johnny’s list, the entire group of Tiger Survivors was accounted for.
CSM Casey noticed that a note had been made when Johnny came home about the list and he notified the Department of the Army. Before long, Johnson was awarded a Silver Star Medal.
There were 835 people, including 81 multi- national Civilians, with the Tiger Survivors; 58 percent died in captivity and are still there in North Korea.
Johnson’s list is now a treasured document and will be donated to the POW/MIA Museum at Andersonville, Georgia at the Andersonville National Historic Site.
I never heard Johnny swear during all the time I have known him. He is a straight arrow. Burial will be at 1030 AM on Thursday 9, June 2011 at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at San Antonio, Texas. The family has requested that no flowers be sent. A donation to the Andersonville POW/MIA museum in lieu of flowers is suggested.