Monday, October 08, 2007

My Cousin Ernest, World War II Casualty

Click here and scroll down to "Casualties from U.S.S. Neosho."

Ernest Claude Johnson was the youngest son of my great grandaunt, Cora Clark Johnson, and her husband Aaron. He died after the Battle of Coral Sea (east of the coast of Australia in the South Pacific). After his ship, the U.S.S. Neosho, was attacked on May 7, 1942, he and 67 other men climbed aboard life rafts, lashed them together, and set themselves adrift, thinking the Neosho would sink. It didn't.

The men who clung to the remnant of the Neosho would be rescued four days later. The 68 men floating aimlessly on the raft would spend the next nine days suffering from lack of food and fresh water. Some were killed by sharks; others became delirious and drank sea water, and died quickly after.

Of those 68 men, only four survived to be rescued. They were taken back to the States in critical condition, and only two of those four would survive.


  1. I didn't know you had this genealogy blog, I love it. Is there anything you can't do?

    I have been watching the WWII sieries on PBS and am rivited. Great story, so sad.