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James D. Johnston

47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division

Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army

Entered the Service from:

North Carolina



Grave Location:

Plot E, Row 26, Grave 37

The 47th Infantry Regiment insignia.

Lt. Col. James D. Johnston, served with the 47thInfantry Regiment, 9thInfantry Division.  According to reports from soldiers, Johnston was highly respected by the regiment. The 47thInfantry Regiment was cited for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action in the swiftness of the advance during its drive through the Cotentin Peninsula.

Former 47th Regiment Commander George W. Smyth, left, and Lt. Col James D. Johnston, right, in the rear. The other five soldiers in front are unknown.

Johnston died a few days following the drive to envelop the critical port city of Cherbourg.  In the nearby town of Acqueville, he was exiting a house that was being used as an observation post, when an 88mm round landed right at his feet. It killed a nearby artillery liaison officer from the 84thField Artillery instantly, while Johnston was severely wounded. Johnston died a few days later in the hospital, on June 29, 1944.

Awards: Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star, Purple Heart

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James D. Johnston is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot E, Row 26, Grave 37.