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Perlmutter Honors 99-Year Old WWII Veteran
Lakewood, Colo. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) hosted a medal ceremony for Lakewood resident, Buford Johnson. Private First Class Johnson is a 99-year old Veteran who served in the U.S. Army from June 1943 to September 1945. The military medals that will be presented to PFC Johnson include: Bronze Star Medal; Purple Heart Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with 3 bronze service stars); World War II Victory Medal; Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp; Combat Infantryman Badge, 1st Award; Marksman Badges – Expert Sharpshooter with the Marksman Clasp; and an Honorable Service Lapel, WWII Pin.
Several months ago, Mr. Johnson’s daughter reached out to Rep. Perlmutter’s office to request assistance in obtaining WWII military medals and military personnel file for her father. After Perlmutter’s office reached out to the National Personnel Records Center, they were able to confirm the medals to which he was entitled, which included the Bronze Star Medal which was not listed on Mr. Johnson’s original discharge certificate. The Bronze Star Medal is the fourth-highest individual military award and the ninth-highest by order of precedence in the US military. It is awarded for acts of heroism, acts of merit or meritorious service in a combat zone. In Mr. Johnson’s case, he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in active ground combat.
“Being able to award medals to a hero like Mr. Johnson is a privilege and a highlight for my office,” said Perlmutter. “I’m honored to be able to be a part of providing this well-deserved recognition for Mr. Johnson.”
The ceremony took place at American Legion Post 178 in Lakewood with more than 80 of Mr. Johnson’s family members and friends in attendance. Mr. Johnson will turn 100 years old in October.
About Private First Class Buford Johnson
Buford Johnson was drafted into the United States Army on June 18, 1943 and served until September 1945. During this time, he served as a half-track driver, gunner driver and a convoy driver. On August 10, 1944, Johnson was deployed to the United Kingdom where he and his company crossed the English Channel and landed in France. Johnson and his company were on the beach for three days and three nights, marched by foot, traveled by train, and finally arrived at their trucks. After driving more than 40 miles to deliver their supplies, they then marched seven miles over the mountains of France to the front lines.
Johnson served in France, Germany, Normandy, and Northern France in the 5th Division, 3rd Army under the command of General George Patton during the Battle of the Bulge. On November 10, 1944, Johnson was injured by a piece of shrapnel that hit below his knee. After receiving battlefield care, he returned to fighting on the front lines.
After Johnson returned home, he worked in both Wyoming and Montana as a ranch hand performing jobs including fence mending, cattle herding and irrigation work for 40 years. Seventeen years ago, Johnson moved to the Denver metro area where he now lives with his daughter, Darlene, and son-in-law, Vincent.
Johnson has been a member of the American Legion for over 60 years and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for 5 years. He has 10 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.