Oden Dana Johnson was born on 21 August 1915, the son of Ambrose Clingman Johnson and Bertha Deleber Hayes. Husband of Odessa Elizabeth Johnson.
Died 12 May 1945
Buried at Monte Vista Cemetery, Johnson City, T
Seaman First Class
Oden Johnson served on the U.S.S. New Mexico.
The Johnson City Press, 27 March 1949
The body of Seaman First Class Oden Dana Johnson who died in action on board the battleship U.S.S. New Mexico during the latter phases of the recent war, will arrive in Johnson City and will be taken to Morris Funeral Home. Seaman Johnson is survived by his wife, Mrs. Odessa Johnson, 601 Myrtle avenue; three sisters, Mrs. Cephus Cole of Elizabethton, Mrs. Troy Howell of Morristown, and Mrs. Rotha Bennett of Erwin, and three brothers, Hansel of Elizabethton, George of Erwin and Ed Johnson, Boone, N.C. He was born August 21, 1915 at Wilkesboro, N.C., and was employed in the coning department, North American Rayon Corporation eight years prior to his entry into the armed forces.
The young sailor began military service September 1, 1942 and trained at San Diego, Calif. He went aboard the New Mexico in December 1942, as a gunner, and participated in 26 battles in the Asiatic-Pacific theater. Late in March, 1945, the New Mexico entered the waters around Okinawa to participate in one of the greatest naval operations in history. On the evening of May 12 the New Mexico was about ready to anchor off Okinawa when two enemy planes broke through and made a direct attack. The gunnery crew shot down one of the attackers but the second made a suicide dive and crashed on the gun deck, killing Johnson almost instantly. He was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.
- Rank: Seaman First Class
- Date of birth: 21 August 1915
- Date of death: 12 May 1945
- County: Carter
- Hometown: Johnson City
- Service Branch: Navy
- Division/Assignment: USS New Mexico (BB-40)
- Theater: Pacific
- Conflict: World War II
- Awards: Purple Heart
- Burial/Memorial Location: Monte Vista Cemetery, Johnson City, TN
- Location In Memorial: Pillar VII, Bottom Panel
- Contact us to sponsor Oden D. Johnson
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