Herbert G. Johns – First Lieutenant, United States Army Air Force

A trans-Atlantic race against death which started in France was lost by First Lieutenant Herbert G. Johns, 26, when he died July 14, 1945 in Newfoundland, it was learned through army reports received here by the officer’s family.

The Lieutenant, who had been serving as a flying control officer with the Troop Carrier Command, Ninth Air Force, died in the dispensary at Harmon Field, Newfoundland, after having been taken from a hospital plane which rushed him to this country. According to information from the army, First Lieutenant Johns died of leukemia, a blood disease considered incurable. It was not known whether he was being returned to this country for treatment or if he was being brought home to see his family before he died.

Over the Atlantic the condition of First Lieutenant Johns became worse, and at the Newfoundland base he was removed to the airfield dispensary, where he died soon afterward. First Lieutenant Johns was buried with full military honors at the base cemetery at Harmon Field, his family was notified.

Surviving the soldier were his wife, Clare Marie (nee Morrison), 3157 W. 165th Street; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter E. Johns, 19450 S. Lake Shore Boulevard, Euclid; a brother, Edward N. Johns, and a sister, Miss Marie L. Johns.

First Lieutenant Johns was a graduate of Western Reserve University and had completed one year of medical training at the university when he entered service in August, 1942. He went overseas in 1943. Services were held at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church.

First Lieutenant Johns is interred in Newfoundland.

Information as gathered from the Cleveland Press & Plain Dealer, July 19, 1945.

Clare Marie Crane was a USO Hostess from 1942 to 1945, in Cleveland, Ohio. She married Lieutenant Herbert G. Johns, who served in the European Front from 1942 to 1945. Her collection contains civilian as well as military items, including a window banner, prayer book, newspaper clippings, foot locker return tag, eighteen letters, twenty-three photographs, and this base ID.

Like many women in wartime, Clare Johns cherished her husband's letters home–they had been married only five months before he shipped out to England as a communications officer. As the war in Europe wound down, Herbert received orders to move to the Pacific Theater, but he never made it. A physical exam revealed that he had leukemia; the Army tried to bring him home, but he died en route, in a hospital in Newfoundland, only 10 days after his initial diagnosis.

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  • 1LT AAF, USA
  • DATE OF DEATH: 05/14/1945

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