In Memory of
U.S. Army Private First Class Burbank, South Dakota
Clay County

November 11, 1932--July 11, 1953
Killed in Action in North Korea

Donald “Donnie” John Johnson was born in Beresford, South Dakota, on November 9, 1932, to Mr. Gunard E. and Mrs. Gladys E. Johnson. Donald had one sister, Dorothy, and two brothers, Harlan and Gene. Donald went to school in Burbank. Before he entered the service, Donald was employed by Council Oak Store in Vermillion.

Donald John Johnson was drafted and entered active service in the U.S Army on November 12, 1952, at Sioux Falls. Donald was a part of the 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, and went overseas to Korea on April 20, 1953.

Private First Class Donald John Johnson was killed in action on July 11, 1953, while fighting the enemy during the Battle of Pork Chop Hill in North Korea. First notified that their son was missing in action, Donald’s parents were later notified that he had been killed in action. According to the Vermillion Plain Talk, the body of Pfc. Johnson was returned to South Dakota and buried at the Bluffview Cemetery in Vermillion in late March of 1954. Other sources say his body was not recovered and there is only a memorial marker at the Vermillion cemetery.

Pfc. Donald John Johnson was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the Untied Nations Service Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal.

Donald’s brother, Gene E., was a sergeant in the Army stationed in Germany during the war.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Chantelle Rae Janke, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on July 13, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by the American Battle Monuments Commission, the Vermillion Plain Talk, July 23, 1953 and March 25, 1954 issues, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, and the SD National Guard Museum. No family contact made.