Monday, June 24, 2024

Herbert F. Johnson

| November 11, 2021 1:00 AM

Herbert F. Johnson earned the Bronze Star for surviving the infamous Bataan Death March in 1941. He also survived four years of Japanese prison camp. He was released from prison at the end of the war in 1945, weighing about 120 pounds, down from his normal 200 pounds.

Johnson had all the tropical diseases while in the Philippines, including malaria. He went on to finish a 20-year career with the U.S. Air Force and retired back to his hometown of Sandpoint.

Born in 1915, Johnson worked for the U.S. Forest Service for almost 20 years after he retired from the military. He became a Christian while in prison camp and dreamed of the day he would be free to return to his family in Idaho. 

Johnson, who passed away in 2001, was a modest, humble man who forgave his captors, and, as he aptly put it, "I just went on with life."