Mrs. Johnson was 21 when she volunteered for a tour of duty with the Army Air Corps. She went into service as a second lieutenant in February 1944 and stayed two years as a charge nurse in the hospital wards. She was promoted to first lieutenant while in Japan.
When the war ended, she was in the Philippines expecting to help soldiers wounded after the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
"We were expecting to have 3,000 servicemen from Japan, but instead, only saw a few from Australia and other places," she said. "The Americans wounded had been killed by the Japanese."
"The atomic bomb was a terrible thing, but it saved thousands of Americans and for that reason, it was a good thing," she said.
Mrs. Johnson said Manila Bay was full of sunken ships. She said the nurses worked six days a week and night-duty personnel worked 12-hour shifts for 30 days.
She was grateful that most of the servicemen who were in hospitals there were not badly wounded or sick and were ready to go home.
She went on to Japan but never left the compound because of the threat of the enemy. She worked in a hospital 70 miles from Tokyo, then returned home in February 1946.
She recalled that Americans could get most anything they wanted in Japan and Manila if they had American cigarettes and candy. She traded some for souvenirs for her four sisters.
Life was fairly easy as far as housework for the nurses.
They had maids to clean and do laundry. "The U.S. government hired the maids, who were in need of money, to do the work, just to help out," she said. "We had one woman who had been married to an American missionary who was nice to us. She could speak English."
James Johnson was working in a post office at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, before he went into the Signal Corps. He took basic training in 1942 at Camp Crowder, Mo., then headed for England to spend nine months.
The battles began after he crossed the English Channel into France. His ship sank and was used as a landing barge. When the war ended, Johnson was on Nazi Avenue, Berlin, Germany.
For his service, he earned five Bronze Stars that equaled a Silver Star.
Johnson was in the 1st Armored Division under Gen. Omer Bradley when the battles began. He spent 23 months in Europe during the battles.
When he came home, he lost most of his war souvenirs except his battle jacket and a swastika, and three medals taken from a German soldier.
A few pictures and her dress uniform are among the memorabilia that Mrs. Johnson has.
Most of their belongings were destroyed when their house in the Little South community of Casey County burned about 10 years after they were married. They moved to Perryville where they have lived for 60 years.
Couple met after war
After her military duty ended, Mrs. Johnson went home to Evansville, Ind. She was on her way to Pensacola, Fla., when she stopped in Boyle County to visit a friend, Nancy Cherry, of Forkland. She stayed to work at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center.
She met her future husband, and after a two-month courtship, they were married in a double wedding ceremony with Cherry and Carl Roller of Lebanon.
Mrs. Johnson did private duty nursing while rearing their four young children. After the youngest began school, Mrs. Johnson became an instructor with Danville School of Practical Nursing and earned a Bachelor of Nursing degree. She worked 22 years before she retired.
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Johnson farmed, worked in a warehouse and was an adjuster for a crop insurance company until he retired a few years ago. He also served on the Perryville City Council.
The Johnsons both had ancestors in the Revolutionary War, who came across the Allegheny Mountains to settle on land awarded them for service in the war.
Her ancestors also served with the Union and his with the Southern forces during the Civil War.