Clifford Stanley Johnson was an American serviceman who was declared missing in action on December 6, 1950 during the Korean War. His remains were returned to U.S. custody on July 27, 2018 and identified April 16, 2020.
Clifford Johnson was born on October 22, 1930 in Valatie, New York. At some point, Johnson joined the United States Army from Valatie and was assigned a Private First Class, with his specialty being Field Wireman, to Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division.
The 7th Infantry Division took part of the Battle of Inchon AKA the Inchon Landing between September 10 and September 19, 1950. United States and South Korean forces invaded and had taken over the city of Inchon. This battle was a strategic victory for the United Nations Command that turned the tide of the war in their favor. It is likely Johnson took part in this battle, as his regiment landed in Seoul, South Korea on September 17th, but the extent of his participation is unknown.
Johnson's unit took part in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, which between November 27 and December 13, 1950, the North Korean Korean People's Army and the Chinese People's Volunteer Army recovered northeastern Korea and caused the UNC to retreat. In the ensuing chaos, Johnson was reported as missing in action on December 6, 1950.
Johnson's was not among the remains and Prisoners of War recovered by the end of the Korean War on July 27, 1953. He was listed as presumed dead on December 31, 1953. He was posthumously awarded the following awards: Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea War Service Medal. Additionally, his name is featured at the Honolulu Memorial Courts of the Missing in Honolulu, Hawaii and the National Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. He also has a grave in Section C of Prospect Hill Cemetery in Valatie.
On July 27, 2018, following a U.S. and North Korea joint-summit between then-President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un the month before, the North Korean government returned fifty-five boxes of unknown U.S. soldiers to U.S. custody. They arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on August 1, 2018. One of the boxes held remains recovered by the North Korean Korean People's Army at Sinhungri, South Hamgyong Province, North Korea. Scientists at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis to identify the remains.
Based on these DNA analysis techniques and historical evidence, the remains were identified as belonging to Clifford Stanley Johnson on April 16, 2020. The identification was announced on April 23, 2021.
Johnson will be buried at Schuylerville, New York on May 19, 2021.
- Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
- Honor States
- Clifford Johnson (Honolulu Memorial Courts of the Missing) at Find a Grave
- Clifford Johnson (National Korean War Veterans Memorial) at Find a Grave
- Clifford Johnson (Prospect Hill Cemetery) at Find a Grave
- Battle of Chosin Reservoir on Wikipedia
- Battle of Inchon on Wikipedia