POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – It was a special Memorial Day at the Bannock County Veterans Memorial Building, where they honored the legacy of a Pocatello hero.

Former United States Marine James E. Johnson will have his impact forever felt in the building’s museum, with his Medal of Honor now on display.

“James E. Johnson is Pocatello’s only Medal of Honor recipient,” said building historian Miguel Dominic. “He served for two years, came home and then decided to re-enlist. Then on the second enlistment, that’s how he ended up earning the Medal of Honor.”

James E. Johnson was a Marine during the Korean War and on December 2, 1950, he sacrificed himself for his fellow men. 

“In his capacity, he saved numerous people and numerous men,” said Bannock County Veterans Memorial Association VP Phillip Clifton. “The last story was he was still fighting hand-in-hand with the enemy while his other Marines were getting away safely.”

Johnson’s body was never recovered and he was declared missing in action.

Johnson is memorialized at the Arlington National Cemetery, and now has the spotlight at the museum.

Dominic says it took two years to obtain the Medal of Honor, and says without the blessing of James’s daughter Stephanie Johnson, this would not have been possible.

“To me, it’s very important, because it keeps his memory alive and his daughter knows that we’ve always kept Pocatello’s hometown hero memory alive here in the building,” Dominic said. 

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