Johnson’s List

Wayne Archer “Johnnie” Johnson, L Company, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, U. S. Army, was captured on July 11, 1950. Johnson became part of the Tiger Survivors group and was held for nearly 38 months by the North Koreans and then by the Chinese Army. He was from Lima, Ohio.

Johnson started keeping a record of the men so that the families back home would know what happened to their loved ones. The fact that he could have been punished or even shot for keeping such a list did not stop him. Along the way, buddies would tell him about someone dying and others would stand guard while Johnson recorded the deaths.

When Johnson was released in August 1953, he told the authorities on the ship about his list and the debriefing officer noted it in his file. But, nothing was done about it until 1994 when Johnson announced to several of his buddies that he still had the list.

Wilbert R. “Shorty” Estabrook, B Company, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, U. S. Army, founded the Tiger Survivors in 1970. He was working on rosters of the living and dead and Johnson’s list brought the Tiger Survivors roster to completion. Estabrook was captured on 16 July 1950.

Command Sergeant Major Timothy F. Casey, Retired U. S. Army, was also interested in POW affairs of the Korean War, though he was not a POW himself. It was Casey who brought Johnson’s list to the attention of the authorities. Casey soon became an unpaid analyst for the Tiger Survivors group and is considered by many to be an expert on Korean War POWs. With Johnson’s list and other information, Estabrook and Casey began the long process of reconstructing Tiger Survivors records which now include complete information as you see it.

Because of Johnson’s efforts in keeping his secret list, he was awarded the Silver Star Medal at a reunion of the Korean War Ex-POWs. Due to the efforts of many, the complete Tiger Survivors roster is now on the internet. Every Tiger Survivor is accounted for.


3 Comments

  1. jim cartlidge

    I AM VERY THANKFUL FOR JOHNNY JOHNSONS LIST,MY UNCLE SGT EARL VICTOR SIEGMUND WAS ON HIS LIST HE WAS IN THE LOVE COMPANY 21ST REGIMENT/24TH DIVISION.HE WAS CAPTURED ON JULY 10,1950 AND KILLED ON NOV.3,1950.HE WAS NEVER RECOVERED.WITHOUT JOHNNY WE WOULD NEVER KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.MAY THESE MEN REST IN PEACE AND BE FOUND SOME DAY AND BROUGHT HOME.

    THANKYOU ,JIM CARTLIDGE
    aaahomerepairinc@yahoo.com
    YOUNGSVILLE,NC.

  2. Of the Five servicemen listed at http://www.koreanwar.org/tiger/findnow.htm
    I was able to trace 4 of them:
    1) Henson Walter E. 1921-1984 Find a grave memorial http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=3406104
    Is this the Henson you are looking for?
    2) Mata, Goyo C. listed by the SSI born 28 Sept 1930 -died 3 Feb 2012 resident of Arizona
    3) Mefford, Beacher. born 15 March 1931 Tenn-; in 1940 resident Harlan Co Ky. d.23 Sept 1986 of Liberty Texas {Lds family Search engine}
    4) Walintukonis, Joseph. b 2 Feb 1922-d. 1 June 1981 LDs records. Also memorial at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Walintukonis&GSfn=Joseph&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=30448287&df=all&

    The only survivors i Couldn’t trace:
    Martin, James S.

    Note ON FORGOTTEN WAR MIAS
    Dod estimates that 3067 to 3868 of 7852 are still in North Korea
    On March 5, 2012 the US Announceded it would go to North Korea to search for MIAs
    On MArch 21, 2012 this Administration announceded it would suspend talks with North Korea
    On Oct 2014 North Korea announded it would MOVE THE REMAINS of 5,000 MIAS en masse

    ALL Of THE ABOVE is a matter of Public Record see
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_in_action#Korean_War

    So what can John Q Public do? Tell your Congressman about this Administaration Legacy to the Forgotten War MIas
    Prehaps Congress can get talks going again and bring our missing sons home to the USA

    There are at least three org I hope the Tiger Survivors can make common cause to bring our missing sons home:
    *THe VFW which in 2011 adopted Resolution # 423 calling for reopening talks with North Korea in regard to the MIAS
    *In 2013 the Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold war POWS/MIAS started an online petition to Obama to resolve the mysteries of the Forgotten War POWs and MIAs. {Petition now closed}
    *Korean War Veterans Associtaion http://www.angelfire.com/ok/KWVA/Chapters.html
    Other Veteran org to ally with are the American Legion, the Disabled American s Veterans; Marine Corps League, US Navy Fleet Assocation, 1st Cavalry and 7th and 9th Infantry Divisions Associations

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