Veteran of the Month – July 2014

The Ohio County Historical Society and Veterans Museum have chosen to pay tribute during
the month of July to a soldier from Ohio County who gave his all in combat for his country
during WWII.

PVT. Azim Edward Johnson was born in November 1923 in Ohio County to Arthur Edward
and Iris Johnson. He was educated in the local rural schools in the county before volunteering
for service with the US Army in November, 1943. From Louisville, he was sent to Camp Fannin
in Texas for his basic training, then to California where he set sail in April 1944 headed to New
Guinea. From there he went to the Phillipine Islands in December 1944. He was involved in
the invasion of the Lingayen Gulf on the following January 9th. Azim was with Company E,
20th Infantry Division.

The last word received from Pvt. Johnson was a letter he had written while he was in convoy
to the Luzon Island, which was to be his last scene of action. A War Department message to
his family was dated February 12, 1945 and read as follows: “The Secretary of War desires me
to express his deepest regret that your son, Private Azim Edward Johnson was killed in action
on the 22nd day of January, 1945, on the island of Luzon.” The family was later advised that
he had been hit by a sniper.

His remains were shipped “home” to Ohio County in August, 1948 and he was laid to rest in
the Hopewell Cemetery, near McHenry beside his parents. His other family members included
his brothers, William Edward and Ray Johnson, and his sisters Catherine (Mrs. Glenn Dortch),
Hazel Regena (Mrs Carl F Embry), and Ruby Lanier. All siblings are deceased, but their
descendants are still residing in Ohio County. (Some information was supplied by local

family members including his oldest nephew, Don Dortch, of Franklin, KY who was a
child of apx. 8 or 10 yrs old and remembers his uncle vividly . Also, Pvt. Johnson’s brother
Ray’s wife, Kaye, helped with this information).

An exhibit in honor of this KIA WWII soldier will be highlighted during the month of July
at the Ohio County Veterans Museum, which is located at 415 Mulberry St. in Hartford.
Hours are from 9 to 3 on Saturdays. There is no admission charged, but donations are

The museum is not affiliated with any federal, state or local Veteran’s organizations
and is operated by volunteers of the Ohio County Historical Society to honor local
veterans and military personnel, present and past, for their service to our country.

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