Date of Birth: June 20, 1919
Place of Birth: Pratt, Kansas
Father and Mother’s Names: Samuel Loy Johnson, Jr. and Maud Lulu Overton
Date Entered Service: January 7, 1942
Service Branch: Navy
Service Number: 3426059
Rank: Radioman, Third Class
USS Herring (SS-233), Submarine Service.
Riley Connection: TBD
Date of Death (and Age): June 1, 1944 (age 24)
Place of Death: Near Point Tagan, Matsuwa Island, Kuriles. Sunk by gunfire from shore batteries. Japanese information indicates that the Herring was sunk on 1 June 1944, two kilometers south of Point Tagan on Matsuwa Island in the Kuriles. The report states that two merchant ships, Hiburu Maru and Iwaki Maru, were sunk by American torpedoes while at anchor at Matsuwa. In a counter-attack, a shore battery scored two direct hits on the conning tower, and "bubbles covered an area about 5 meters wide, and heavy oil covered an area of approximately 15 miles." The position of this attack was around 150 miles from the position where Herring met BARB; the attack occured on the day after the Barb picked up her prisoner. Barb and Herring were the only U. S. submarines in the area at the time and BARB did not make the attack on the anchored ships referred to above. As a result of the attacks reported by Barb and by the Japanese, Herring has been credited with four ships and 13,202 tons sunk for her last patrol.
For her first seven patrols, Herring sank nine ships, totaling 45,200 tons, and damaged two, totaling an additional 8,400 tons. Her first four patrols were in the Atlantic, the first three off the coast of Spain, and the fourth near Iceland. The first netted an Axis freighter, while on the second Herring saw no enemy ships. Her third patrol saw her sink a Nazi U-boat, and her fourth was again unproductive of enemy targets. Her fifth patrol was the passage from the United Kingdom, where she had been based for her Atlantic patrols, to New London, Connecticut, thence to Pearl Harbor. She patrolled the East China Sea on her sixth war run, and sank two large transports, a freighter, and a small escort type vessel. HERRING's seventh patrol was in the area just south of the Japanese home islands; here she damaged a destroyer type vessel. - Navy Papers 15,784, 1949 Issue.
Grave Location: Oakwood Cemetery, Baldwin City, Douglas County, Kansas (Memorial Stone).