North High School Wall of Honor
Richard Howard Johnson
Class of June, 1946
Richard Howard Johnson
Research done by Claradell Shedd, class of 1953.
Richard Howard Johnson
Dick enlisted in August, 1946 after graduating from North High in June, 1946. At the time, his next of kin was Mr. and Mrs. Joseph B. Johnson, 3410 4th Street, Des Moines, IA. His service number was 17205899.
Richard Howard Johnson
Year   Rank   Status
June, 1946 x Graduation x Graduated from North High School.
August 28, 1946 x Enlisted x Enlisted in US Army, Des Moines, IA at the Old Federal Building. (photo of 1946 group recruited on that day)
August,1946 x US Army x Fort Snelling, MN for processing.
August, 1946 x US Army x Fort Riley, KS
August, 1946   US Army x Basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky for field artillery training 105mm Howitzer
date   Enroute x Fort Benning, GA for paratrooop training
date x US Army x Train from Fort Benning, GA to Fort Stoneman, CA
March 21, 1947-
April 12, 1947
x US Army x Enroute from Camp Stoneman, CA to Yokahama, Japan via USNS General LeRoy Eltinge (T-AP-154)
date x US Army x Honshu, Japan (Yamagata, Japan) *11th Airborne Division; 472nd Glider Field Artillery Battalion. Sent to Japan as part of the occupation force.
November 20, 1947-
December 1, 1947
x US Army x Troop transport from Honshu, Japan to Fort Lawton, WA
December 8, 1947 x US Army/CPL x Discharged at Fort Lawton, WA. Flew from Fort Lawton, WA to Des Moines, IA
Sept.,1947-January, 1952 x Drake University logo x Drake University, Des Moines, IA. BS Education
1950 x Married x Doris Henneman, Class of June, 1949
1952-1954 x Employment x Colfax High School. Taught American History.
June, 1966 x Drake University logo x Drake University, Des Moines, IA. MA of Arts, Biology
Fall, 1954-
1993
x East Des Moines High School x East High School, Des Moines, IA. Taught biology and was athletic director and assistant coach for football and basketball. There 39 years.
1993 x Retired x Living in Des Moines, IA.
August 11, 2016 x Deceased x Urbandale, IA 50322
*11th Airborne Division
The 11th Airborne Division was a United States Army airborne formation, first activated on 25 February 1943, during World War II. The division took part in several training exercises in 1943, including the Knollwood Maneuver. It played a vital part in this exercise, helping demonstrate that American airborne forces could operate successfully at up to divisional strength after the disappointing performance of the 82nd Airborne Division during Operation Husky. Held in reserve in the United States, the division did not take part in early Allied airborne operations.

In June 1944, it transferred to the Pacific Theater.
On arrival in the Pacific, the division entered a period of intense training and acclimatization. By November it was combat-ready, and was transported to Leyte in the Philippines, seeing action in an infantry – not airborne – role. The 11th left Leyte in January 1945, and then took part in the invasion of Luzon, operating in two formations. The first formation deployed the division's two Glider Infantry Regiments as conventional infantry, securing a beachhead before fighting their way inland. The second formation, the division's single Parachute Infantry Regiment, was held in reserve for several days before conducting the division's first airborne operation, landing on Tagatay Ridge and linking up with the two glider infantry regiments. The re-combined division participated in the Liberation of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Two companies of paratroopers from the division also conducted the famous Raid at Los Baños, liberating two thousand civilians held in a Japanese internment camp. The division's last World War II combat operation was in Aparri, aiding the advance of American forces in Northern Luzon, just before hostilities ended.

On 30 August 1945, the division moved to southern Japan, as part of the Occupation of Japan. The division remained in Japan for four years until May 1949, when it returned to the United States.

**11th Airborne Division in Yamoto, Japan
Ordinarily, jump school at Yamoto, Japan lasted for two weeks. A stage was to consist of one week ground training and 5 jumps in 5 days. In the 3 days of ground training, usually included wer 5 jumps in 4 days. The 11th Airborne Division area of responsibility extended from Sendai, north, with the headquarters on the northern island of Hokkaido at Sapporo, Japan from 1945 until mid 1949.
The jump school was located at Yamoto on the Sea of Japan. The western border of the airstrip was the beach.
If you refer to the picture Glider View 1, you can see the beach as we crossed it preparing for a landing on the air strip. Because of the proximity of the beach all troopers doing glider flights or parachute jumps at Yamoto had to wear life vests under their harnesses in case of water landings. Usually trained in jumping from C-46, C-47, C-82, and C-119's.
Old Federal Court House, Des Moines, IA (left) Old Federal Court House
(below; l-r)
Fort Snelling, MN
Fort Riley, KS
Fort Knox, KY
Fort Snelling, MN Fort Riley, KS Fort Knox, KY
left below: Fort Benning, GA
right below: Camp Stoneman, CA Embarkation
Fort Benning, GA Camp Stoneman Embarkation Logo
"Airborne Walk"; Fort Benning, GA "Airborne Walk" Jump Towers
"Airborne Walk", Fort Benning, GA
"A tribute to every person who has been or
will be airborne qualified."
"Airborne Walk" Jump Towers,
Fort Benning, GA
(And remember full field pack jumps at night?)
USNS General LeRoy Eltinge (T-AP-154)
Dick Johnson aboard the General LeRoy Eltinge USNS General LeRoy Eltinge (T-AP-154)
USNS General LeRoy Eltinge (T-AP-154)
General LeRoy Eltinge (AP-154) was launched 20 September 1944 by Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Inc., Yard 3, Richmond, California; sponsored by Mrs. James McCloud; acquired by the Navy and commissioned 21 February 1945, Capt. W. Wakefield in command.

After shakedown out of San Diego, General LeRoy Eltinge departed San Pedro 23 March with 3,100 troops for Calcutta, India, arriving 27 April via Melbourne, Australia. Underway 7 May with more troops, she debarked some at Tinian and others at Guam, before arriving San Francisco 27 June with 1,161 troops embarked at Pearl Harbor. She sailed 20 June for "Magic-Carpet" duty in the Atlantic, arriving Norfolk 14 July. Between 30 July and 14 September she made two round trips from Norfolk to Marseilles, France, to transport 6,206 home-bound veterans. And on 29 September she departed Norfolk for Karachi, India, where she embarked veterans for "Magic-Carpet" passage to the United States, arriving New York 11 November.

Clearing New York 29 November for further duty in the Pacific, General LeRoy Eltinge carried replacement troops to the Canal Zone, proceeded to Shanghai and the Philippines and returned to Seattle, Washington, 26 January 1946 with veterans embarked at Manila. On a voyage from 3 March to 6 April she carried rotation troops to Korea and returned veterans to Seattle, before departing 27 April for New York. She arrived 13 May, decommissioned 29 May, was returned to the Martime Commission and stricken from the Navy List June 1946.
USNS General LeRoy Eltinge; T-AP-154 Awards, Citations, and Campaign Ribbons
USNS General LeRoy Eltinge (T-AP-154) Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row :China Service Medal (extended-American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Second Row: World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia & Europe clasps); National Defense Service Medal (2)
Third Row: Korean Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal (1); Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Fourth Row: United Nations Service Medal; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; Republic of Korean War Service Medal
Yamagata, Japan Yamagata, Japan Japan
Atomic Bomb Site; Nagaski, Japan; 9 Aug 1945; 11:00
Yamagata, Japan Atomic Bomb Site;
Fell 9 Aug 1945; 11:00; Nagasaki, Japan

US Army Seal

11th Airborne Division

11th Airborne Division

472nd Glider Airborne Battalion
Richard Howard Johnson
Corporal
11th Airborne Division
472nd Glider Airborne Battalion
US Army


Richard Howard Johnson
11th Airborne Cap Patch



Glider's Badge


Parachutist's Badge

Corporal Stripes
WWII Victory Medal; Army of Occupation Medal   Expert M1 Carbine

WWII Victory Medal; Army of Occupation Medal; Expert M1 Carbine
References
The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of all North High School graduates can be found online at http://www.ndmhs.com/. Richard Howard Johnson's 1946 class page can be viewed at
http://www.ndmhs.com/pages/yearclass1946(2006.60).html.
09/14/11: Living in IA. Died 08/11/16.
Music: "Wind Beneath My Wings"
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