This page is for my old pal Tom Paulovitz and his comrades of Company D, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division in honor of their heroic defense of LZ White, Tây Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam, on March 21, 1969, and to honor especially Tom’s buddy Donald Ray “Skeeter” Johnston, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company D, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division.
Place and date: Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 21 March 1969.
Entered service at: Columbus, Ga.
Born: 19 November 1947, Columbus, Ga.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Johnston distinguished himself while serving as a mortarman with Company D, at a fire support base in Tay Ninh Province. Sp4c. Johnston’s company was in defensive positions when it came under a devastating rocket and mortar attack. Under cover of the bombardment, enemy sappers broke through the defensive perimeter and began hurling explosive charges into the main defensive bunkers. Sp4c. Johnston and 6 of his comrades had moved from their exposed positions to 1 of the bunkers to continue their fight against the enemy attackers. As they were firing from the bunker, an enemy soldier threw 3 explosive charges into their position. Sensing the danger to his comrades, Sp4c. Johnston, with complete disregard for his safety, hurled himself onto the explosive charges, smothering the detonations with his body and shielding his fellow soldiers from the blast. His heroic action saved the lives of 6 of his comrades. Sp4c. Johnston’s concern for his fellow men at the cost of his life were in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
More on Skeeter: Soldier’s Sacrifice
“The nation that forgets its defenders, will itself be forgotten” President Calvin Coolidge