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News Story
Updated: 03/31/2014 02:15:16PM

Johnson received Silver Star for turning on carrier’s sprinklers

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SUN PHOTO BY DON MOORE
Former electrician's mate Richard Johnson, 87, of Circlewood subdivision in South Venice, holds his Purple Heart and Silver Star medal for gallantry. Johnson served aboard the carrier USS Ticonderoga during World War II when it was hit by two kamikazes. His actions during the fire helped save the carrier.

By DON MOORE

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Richard Johnson barely escaped with his life when a couple of Japanese kamikaze aircraft struck the carrier USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) within minutes of each other the afternoon of Jan. 21, 1945, off the coast of Formosa during World War II.

“As we were going through the Straits of Formosa, we got hit by two Japanese suicide planes. I just got off general quarters in the engine room and was heading topside to get a cup of coffee when I heard this ‘boom, boom, boom!’ I came out of the elevator at the hangar deck. About that time the kamikaze hit 50 feet from me and threw burning gasoline all over,” recalled the 87-year-old former sailor, who now resides in Circlewood, a South Venice subdivision,

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