Name: August David Johnson
Rank/Branch: E3/US Navy Reserve
Unit: River Squadron 5, PBR 51
Date of Birth: 10 January 1943 (Opalousas LA)
Home City of Record: Houston TX
Date of Loss: 03 February 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 095851N 1062115E (XS484035)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: PBR51
Refno: 0588
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.


SYNOPSIS: Seaman August D. Johnson, USNR, was assigned to River Squadron 5
onboard river patrol boat 51. On February 3, 1967, Johnson and the rest of
his patrol boat crew were on a routine river operation, "Game Warden". At
9:45 p.m. the boat was proceeding down the Co Chien River west of My Tho,
South Vietnam, when they were directed to assist another river patrol boat
in picking up three men who were found clinging to a swamped sampan.

As the patrol boats approached, the crewmen called to the men to swim to
their boats. The men refused. Johnson's boat pursued one of the men, who was
attempting to swim away. The crew threw the man a line and life ring. As the
swimmer was pulled near the boat, he threw a hand grenade into the patrol
boat. It fell on the deck and exploded seconds later. Johnson and another
cremember jumped overboard to avoid the blast. One crewman stated that he
heard him shouting in the water just after the explosion. Johnson was
neither seen nor heard thereafter. The three Viet Cong that were in the
water were shot by the crew of the other boat (precluding their having
captured Johnson).

An immediate search of the area was started by eight other river patrol
boats and four helicopters. Flares were dropped and the search progressed
throughout the night without any sign of Johnson. It was the opinion of the
officer in charge that Johnson died and his body was not recoverable. One
major fact that leads one to believe that Johnson drowned was that he could
not swim and that he was wearing jungle boots and a heavy foul weather
jacket at the time of the incident. Seaman Johnson was listed as Killed in
Action/Body Not Recovered.

Johnson is listed among the missing because his body was never located to
send home to the country he served. His case seems clear. For others
missing, details do not suggest their certain death, but rather, in many
cases, their survival. Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports have been
received relating to Americans still held captive in Southeast Asia.
Although Johnson is almost certainly not one of them, one can imagine him
proudly making one more patrol to help them to freedom.

Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2021 10:06:02 -0500
From: Cathy Garcia <>


My dad was a Marine in Vietnam and passed away in 2017. When going through his photos, I found several pictures of him with a buddy. Then I found a POW bracelet. After some searching, the name of the person on the bracelet is my dad's buddy in the photo. His name is SN August D Johnson. I would like the family to know that I'm praying for him and for the family. Please know my heart is with you, and I will continue to wear his name.

Thank you, 
Cathy P - a Marine daughter




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Seaman August David Johnson entered the U.S. Navy from Texas and served in Riverine Squadron 5. On February 3, 1967, he was aboard a river patrol boat (PBR) on a routine operation along the Co Chien River in South Vietnam. When his PBR was near (GC) 48P XS 484 035 it encountered a Viet Cong sampan, which subsequently swamped and threw its occupants into the river. One of SN Johnson's fellow crew members threw a lifeline to one of the individuals who had been in the sampan, and this individual threw a grenade back at the crew member, bouncing it off his chest. The startled crew member attempted to throw the grenade into the water but missed, and it landed at SN Johnson's feet. Seaman Johnson jumped overboard just as the grenade exploded and was not seen again. Attempts to locate him following the incident were unsuccessful and his remains were never recovered. Today, Seaman Johnson is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Non-recoverable.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

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