Weirite meets MoH recipient

CHARLESTON – Weirton native and retired Marine Master Sgt. James H. Johnson Sr. attended the 2014 Marine Corps League National Convention and also the Military Order of the Devil Dog 75th anniversary celebration, both of which were held Aug. 4-9.

Johnson, who now lives in The Villages, Fla., was appointed the Florida Marine Corps League Assistant Sergeant-of-Arms, which required his attendance at the Florida conventions.

During the convention, Johnson met Hershel “Woody” Williams, the only living West Virginia Medal of Honor recipient. Williams was presented with the medal by President Harry S. Truman Oct. 5, 1945, for actions at Iwo Jima Feb. 21, 1945. Williams used flame throwers to wipe out machine gun boxes under enemy fire for four hours. He continued his participation in the five-week battle to take Iwo Jima and also received a Purple Heart for wounds he suffered March 6, 1945. Williams also has received the West Virginia Distinguished Service Medal and the Veteran’s Administration Vietnam Service Medal.

Following the convention, Johnson and his wife, Becky, toured the state before visiting with family members in the Weirton area.

Johnson is a Weir High School graduate and was a member of the Washington, Pa., Marine Corps League and Devil Dogs. He is now a member of the Col. Phillip DeLong Marine Corps League Detachment and Devil Dog Pound 335 in Florida. Johnson participates as a color guard and funeral detachment member and in the Toys for Tots and Wounded Warrior Project programs as a member of these veterans groups. He also volunteers at the Ocala soup kitchen.

Johnson has received several awards from the Marine Corps League and Devil Dogs. He and his wife are active members of the Hope Lutheran Church in The Villages, Fla.