JOHNSON, DENNY LEE
Rank / Branch:
LCPL E-3, USMC
3RD MARINE DIVISION
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, SMALL ARMS
Awards & Decorations:
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ITR-Camp Pendleton, Mid 1966
DENNY LEE JOHNSON, LANCE CORPORAL, USMC, WEINERT, ECTOR COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Bronze Star with "V" Device, Purple Heart with two Gold Stars, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Denny was born in Trenton, Texas, the third of five children, four boys and one girl, to Vergilene Hember and Alvin Dennis Johnson. The family moved to Weinert in North Haskell County, when Denny was six years old. He was known as "Dinky" to the family. He was always tall and skinny for his age. His sister indicated he like to go barefooted and he could do as many things with his toes than most people could with their fingers. He attended Weinert schools from the first grade through high school. He worked on the family farm and he would plow with no shoes on. While in high school, he was in the junior and senior plays, played sophomore basketball and was elected as a senior class favorite. He graduated from Weinert High School, Class of 62.
Weinert High School, Class of 1962
After high school he worked at the Weinert Gin Company and also for an Elevator Company. He also drove a U.S. Mail truck. He married Mary Alice Collins of Knox City in 1963 but the marriage failed and they were separated and he was in the process of getting a divorce when he was called up for selective service February 28, 1966.
His sister indicated that while Dink was in Abilene at the processing center, he volunteered to go into the Marine Corp. At the time he was 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighed about 120#. His sister stated it took awhile for him to get through recruit training because he was so skinny and the Marines wanted him to gain weight. He completed his recruit training at the Marine Corp Recruit Training Depot at San Diego, California and then completed ITR at Camp Pendleton, California and did additional training before departing for Vietnam in September 1966.
In Vietnam, he was assigned as a rifleman with D Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He was wounded on two previous occasions, on March 21 and April 18, 1967 and was decorated for saving his squad leader. On May 8, 1967, his unit was involved in bitter fighting near Con Thien, near the DMZ in Quang Tri Province. He was one of 37 men killed from the 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment that day, 19 of which were from his company.
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At the time of his death, his wife was living in Odessa.
His funeral was held at the new First Baptist Church in Wienert and his sister indicated that there were close to 300 people at the funeral. She stated the church held about 200 and there was standing room only. He was buried with full military honors in the Weinert Cemetery in Weinert, Texas. His parents are now deceased. He is survived by his former wife and is also survived by his brother Alvin David (Buddy) Johnson of Lubbock, his sister, Vergi Lee Felton, brother Charles Allen Johnson of Holly, Texas and Roy Gene Johnson of Oklahoma.