SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information



In Memory of U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class

Roy Albert Johnson

Carthage, South Dakota, Miner County

July 24, 1949 – July 10, 1970

Died of Wounds in Vietnam


Roy Albert Johnson was born on July 24, 1949, in Canova, South Dakota, to Albert and Evelyn (Bushman) Johnson. He had two sisters, Betty and Gloria. While he was in high school, Roy played sports, mostly basketball and football but he also was in track. His high school buddies referred to him as “Rafter.” He graduated from Carthage High School in 1967. Because he had no real interest in going to college, after high school Roy and some friends went to St. Charles, Illinois, where both Roy’s sisters were living at the time. He got a good job and was a valued employee at Burgess Norton Car Parts. Roy knew, however, that he would probably be drafted soon. He never spoke of what he might want to do after the service because he never liked to look that far ahead. He even once commented, “I may not come back.”

Roy Johnson was called up and entered active service on August 11, 1969, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. After training Roy was sent overseas January 7, 1970 as a Specialist Fourth Class (SP4) in Co. E., 101st Airborne Division. Roy was wounded in Vietnam and received the Purple Heart, but his wounds didn’t keep him off the line for long. He wrote home a lot but had to be careful what he said in his letters.

Specialist Fourth Class Roy Albert Johnson died in Vietnam “when he was returning back to base camp when a booby trap accidentally discharged.” His death occurred July 10, 1970. His mother remembers that she was notified by service personnel who came to the door, but she doesn’t recall much about their visit as the family was in such shock at the time. His body was returned to the United States and was received in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. After a private family viewing, funeral services were held July 18, 1970 in Carthage, and he was buried with military honors at the Pleasant View Cemetery in Carthage.

Roy is survived by his mother, Evelyn Johnson, Carthage, SD, and his sister, Gloria Anderson, St. Charles, IL. His father and his sister, Betty, both have passed away. Roy’s classmate, J.R. Roby, posted the following to in his memory: “He was a great guy and is still missed by all his high school friends--we'll see you soon, Roy!!”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Zach Meyerink, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on April 27, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by a South Dakota Vietnam Veteran’s bonus application, The Carthage News, Thursday, July 16, 1970, issue, and at Profile approval by Evelyn Johnson.


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