View a eulogy for Charles French Johnson, USMA '66, who passed away on January 31, 1968.
Charles French Johnson
West Point, 1966
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by George Grandison on January 8, 2013:
People live on in your mind even after they are gone from this earth and so it is with Chuck who lives on in my mind as the wonderful and dedicated person he still is.
Chuck and I were in the same company our first two years at West Point -- the company was D-1 and while there were exceptions, D-1 does not linger in my mind as an example of what West Point should be. We spent a lot of time together in those years and we roomed together for the last six months of our yearling (sophomore in regular colleges) year. At the end of yearling year, we were shuffled to other companies but we still attended classes on the same schedule and our paths continued to cross. We both participated in intramural wrestling and we practiced together at the gym and walked back across the plain as the sun set.
Our paths next crossed in Vietnam. We had both become advisors in the southern central highlands -- I was in Lam Dong Province below Dalat and Chuck was in a district outside of Phan Thiet in Binh Thuan province -- the province to the east of Lam Dong that went from the highlands to the South China Sea. There was a road that ran through his district on the way from from DiLinh in Lam Dong to Phan Thiet, but it was closed and the country in between was controlled by the VC/NVA. I had a chance to visit with Chuck twice in the fall of 1967 and to meet some of his colleagues. It was apparent that Chuck was highly respected by the people he worked with and although our visits were brief, it gave us a chance to compare notes and renew our friendship.
I learned of Chuck's death in early March a day before before a battle outside DiLinh in which we lost three of our eight man advisory team. It was a black time.
But what lives on is not dark -- it's Chuck's smile and his mild understated manner under which there was enormous strength. I miss him -- he is one of the people we lost back then that I would like to be meeting today for lunch or for a workout at the gym, but Chuck is alive and with me in my mind and will be as long as I am here.
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