2nd Ranger Battalion
Plot J, Row 6, Grave 28
SSgt. Lawrence M. Johnson was born in 1911 and resided in Middlesex County, N.J. prior to enlisting in the Army. In 1942, at the age of 31, Johnson was married and working as a semi-skilled mechanic and repairman on motor vehicles when he enlisted.
Serving in the 2ndRanger Battalion, Johnson was stationed in Bude, England for training. The objective of the 225 Rangers who assaulted Pointe du Hoc during the early morning hours of D-Day was to eliminate a battery of six 155mm guns of the German 726th Infantry Regiment. The German artillery, which had a 10-mile range, had the potential to hit the landing fleet on both American invasion beaches, Utah and Omaha, with high explosives and shrapnel.
After successfully climbing the cliffs on June 6, Johnson was part of a two-man patrol sent out from ‘D’ Company to try and find and destroy the 155mm guns. The guns were eventually found and destroyed by Sgt. Len Lomell and Staff Sgt. Jack Kuhn, the other patrol from ‘D’ Company. As night fell, ‘D’ Company took up defensive positions, before facing several waves of nighttime attacks by the Germans attempting to dislodge them from their grip on the Pointe du Hoc. Johnson was killed by German machinegun fire in one of these attacks.
Awards: Bronze Star, Purple Heart
Lawrence M. Johnson is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot J, Row 6, Grave 28.