Right click on player to
play TAPS


Born on Nov. 20, 1949
Casualty was on Mar. 3, 1969

Panel 30W - - Line 25

M Co. 3/5, half of 1st squad, 1st plt., Aug. '68
Unidentified Marine, Les Thompson, Dave Johnston, Richard Reed
(picture courtesy of Ron Thayer)

Cpl. David Johnston served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, M Co. He was Killed In Action during Operation TAYLOR COMMON. Cpl. Johnston's name stands proudly on the Mike 3/5 Wall of Honor. Semper Fi, Brother Marine. We will never forget.

1st squad, 1st plt. "M" Co. 3/5, late Jan. 1969

Pictured standing from L-R: Ron Christianson (Millville, CA), Les Thompson (Orlando, FL), Richard Reed (Knoxville, IA), Mike Alden (Manly, IA), David Johnston (Pinkerting, Ohio), Simpson, and kneeling, Luther Maxwell (only known picture of Luther, unless someone else has one they don't know about).To anyone not aware, Christianson,Thompson, and Johnston were K.I.A. on Hill 332. Also in rememberance K.I.A. on 332, Dennis Merryman, Joey Freeman. I pass this picture on with a sincere appreciation for the Freemans and Richard Reed for sharing this wonderful picture of members of 1st squad, 1st plt. "M" Co. 3/5. Semper FI.~Mike Alden


Forever in my thoughts

We spent many months together in the same squad. I knew of you, very well, but personally, I did not. I always felt you had too many other Marines in your life, and I would stand back.You were a very good leader, and I respected you. You were a Marine that I knew would go out of his way to help in any situation.You fell by enemy fire beside me. I reached out and touched you. I looked at your face.You were at rest. David, this is my memorial to you. I will never forget you. I think of you often. I have prayed to God, I continue to pray to God to place his eternal love in you, and give you peace and happiness forever. I salute you as you were an outstanding Marine. Forever in my thoughts, Respectfully, Michael Alden


Back: Carlson, David Johnston, Richard Reed, Burns
Front: Ron Thayer, Les Thompson
(picture courtesy of Ron Thayer)
(Les Thompson was Killed In Action 5 March 1969, see Leslie Thompson Memorial page)

Dave Johnston (right) and Rock Giambrocco
(Picture courtesy of Rock Giambrocco)

Thanks for My Life

My name is Rocco E. Giambrocco. I served with Dave in the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Mike Company during all of 1968 and 1969 until the day he was KIA. I was wounded in the same action.

Dave and I had also been wounded at the same time in May 1968 on Hill 1192. We took heavy casualties in that battle and we lost the third member of our little group, Rick Hoffman. I was wounded first - I had been walking point. Rick came to my aid along with Dave. Rick was shot in the head and Dave and I pulled him to a safer position and I defended while Dave attempted to save Rick's life.

Rick lasted for several hours and then quietly passed away. The small-arms fire was extremely heavy and Dave decided it was time to get me out of there. In that attempt, he was wounded by shrapnel from an exploding mortar.

Dave still pulled me to safety and we awaited rescue by chopper. I went out on the chopper first, and we were shot down. Dave came out on another chopper and we eventually hooked up again at the NSA Hospital in Da Nang. As we recovered, we went to a place on the base and had matching cigarette lighters made and we kept them as "good luck charms."

On March 1, 1969 I was wounded and evacuated by chopper. Dave was KIA two days later. His death haunted me for decades. It still does. Dave was my friend and he was the man who saved my life. I owed him mine. He was a good Marine, a GREAT friend, and a tremendous young man. I miss his laugh and smile, I can still hear his voice and the accent he gave to some words because he was from Ohio. He used to laugh at MY accent from Massachusetts.

I tried to locate Dave's family for many years. I even wrote to the Office of the Governor in Ohio and they actually researched for me and responded. Unfortunately they could not locate his family.

I eventually took the lighter that matched his, and I buried it with an American flag in a beautiful wooded area in Ashby, Massachusetts. I carved his name and information on a marker and I left it. I never returned to it. I tried to put it all behind me. I cannot. 

I will be riding my Harley to Washington DC just prior to Memorial Day 2000. I will visit The Wall and I will visit Dave. I will say a prayer for him, thank him for the life he gave back to me, and tell him that he is thought of often, and loved by his friend from 'M' Company 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment 1st Marine Division. Unit - Corps - God - Country.

God Bless you Dave, and thank you. Wish I had you to talk with now and then. You are remembered. By the way, the word for the jungle is 'BUSH' not ' BOOSH'. Hahaha. Remember? 
Semper Fi, brother. ~Rock 

(Sent in by Mike Alden, June 8, 2007)

(click image to enlarge)


The Memorial Day services were more than anyone could ask! Just one of the best things we all got together for, honoring David Johnston. David's sister was there, which was a surprize for a lot of members of the POST #283 OF THE AMERICAN LEGION and the Mike Co. guys. ALSO, none of us knew David has a brother, Robert. That topped the cake! We were definately not expecting this. We came to finish what we couldn't for 38 years. To pay our respects to David and honor him. David's sister and brother saw what brotherhood and loyality, and love we have among us, and for their brother. I believe a whole new outlook for David's family has taken place, especially concerning the United States Marine Corps and our country. All of us who went to honor David, Capt.Pachello's letter of honor for his former Marines and David, to go to a fellow Marine's resting place after 38 years is why "Semper Fi" stands proudly in the United States Marine Corps...We ARE always faithfull, I am proud to say....Mike Alden

(click image to enlarge)

Left: Lt. Ed Browder, Paul O'Connell, behind Paul's left is Joe Smith, behind Joe is Richard Reed, in front of Richard is "Rock" Giambrocco. Rock has his arm around David's sister. Behind David's sister is Jim Turnage. Behind Jim is Lt. Tom Mahlum. Right side of Marine flag,Tom Wiseman. Behind Tom is what you can see of Ron Thayer, to Ron's left is Corpsman Bob Aloisio. In front of Tom Wiseman is David's brother, Bob, Robert's son is next. Behind Robert's son is Art Diablo, I'm next, Mike Alden, then Jerry Lomax, and an unknown to me. The gentleman was a very good friend of David's.