The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*JOHNSON, RALPH H.
Rank and organization: Private First
Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division
(Rein), FMF. Place and date: Near the Quan Duc Valley, Republic of Vietnam, 5
March 1968. Entered service at: Oakland, Calif. Born: 11 January 1949,
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty while serving as a reconnaissance scout with Company A, in action against the
North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces. In the early morning hours during Operation
ROCK, Pfc. Johnson was a member of a 15-man reconnaissance patrol manning an observation
post on Hill 146 overlooking the Quan Duc Valley deep in enemy controlled territory. They
were attacked by a platoon-size hostile force employing automatic weapons, satchel charges
and hand grenades. Suddenly, a hand grenade landed in the 3-man fighting hole occupied by
Pfc. Johnson and 2 fellow marines. Realizing the inherent danger to his 2 comrades, he
shouted a warning and unhesitatingly hurled himself upon the explosive device. When the
grenade exploded, Pfc. Johnson absorbed the tremendous impact of the blast and was killed
instantly. His prompt and heroic act saved the life of 1 marine at the cost of his life
and undoubtedly prevented the enemy from penetrating his sector of the patrol's perimeter.
Pfc. Johnson's courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty were in keeping with
the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave
his life for his country.