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Unit Info  

Of these three battalion commanders, Johnny Johnson was destined to go right to the top of the Army: four stars and chief of staff (1964-68) in the Vietnam War era. He was, in the words of a contemporary, "a very intelligent, very serious," restrained, and modest man, a "devoutly religious Catholic" who could "say a prayer without sounding phony" and who insisted that no one blaspheme in his presence.

Early in World War II Johnson, commanding a battalion on Bataan, had been captured by the Japanese. His religious faith and strong inner courage had carried him through the Death March and three years' imprisonment in the Philippines, Japan, and Korea. He emerged from that experience a skeleton (100 pounds) who was barely able to walk and who believed his Army career was finished because of the Army prejudice against those who had surrendered on Bataan. But in the postwar years he had brought himself up-to-date, he had attended the Command and General Staff School, and by quietly but firmly asserting himself, he had got assigned to the 7th Infantry.