Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Capt. Christopher B. Johnson

29, of Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
Johnson died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his OH-58D helicopter apparently collided with another OH-58D helicopter and crashed. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Wheeler Army Air Field, Hawaii. Died on October 16, 2004.

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"I met LT Chris Johnson when he reported in to the 4/7th Cavalry Squadron in Korea. I was the Executive Officer and the senior Army aviator for the Squadron in 1999 and Chris was a new LT just out of flight school. He was a bright and very young looking to this old Major but he was eager to learn about Army aviation and being a cavalry soldier. The SCO (Squadron Commanding Officer) was LTC Michael Formica and he was an Armor Officer so he relied on me to be his trusted aviation advisor. LTC Formica was completing his tour as the Squadron Commander in December 1999 and I was responsible for planning his farewell and change of command. I tasked LT Johnson to put together a video on a day in the life of the SCO. This was to be a video as seen from the eyes of the SCO so Chris was to take a video camera that started with the SCO waking up and going through all of his daily routines. It was also expected that this would have some humor spread throughout the video so it would be entertaining at LTC Formica's farewell ceremony. Chris did a superb job overall but had to actually go into LTC Formica's living quarters at Camp Gary Owen, Korea to film the recognizable surroundings. This filming of this video was to be a surprise to LTC Formica until we actually showed it during the farewell ceremony. Somehow Chris left his Army hat inside LTC Formica's living quarters while filming and had to go back later to retrieve it but when he went back, LTC Formica was home. Chris knocked on the door and politely asked the SCO for his hat which greatly puzzled LTC Formica. The following week at the farewell ceremony, the video Chris made was well received and enjoyed by all of the Cav soldiers. The best part was when LTC Formica told Chris, "Now I understand how you left your hat in my house". Chris was a good LT and I enjoyed working with him in the 4/7th Cav. I am very sorry that he left this world so soon. He had potential to be a great senior officer and leader. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. He is much loved and missed Cavalryman.
RIP Chris
Terence Reeves
Colonel, US Army Retired"
Colonel Terry Reeves of Fort Eustis, VA

"RIP hero. To your family - God bless you all. I hope time has brought you some peace in knowing that your hero is with God in heaven. I am so thankful for him and others who are willing to answer the call of duty. Thank you for allowing him to serve. I am grateful."
Michaelle Lowery of Excelsior Springs, MO

"To the family of:Christopher B. Johnson
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015.
Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga""

"Even after all of this time I still think of you Sir. Your 1SG"
SGM Jon T Clark of Virginia

"September 30, 2008
To the family of Capt. Christopher B. Johnson:
Christopher gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Dear Family of Christopher Johnson:

To honor the Missouri soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families, the professional portrait artists of the Grateful Hearts Project are offering to paint a portrait of the individual soldier for his family.

These 16"x20" original portriats are being offered completely free of charge in recognition of the sacrificies made by these brave soldiers and in condolence for their families loss.

for more information, please email us at gratefulheartsproj@sbcglobal.net

Sincerely;
The Artists of Grateful hearts"
J. Gragg of Lee's Summit, Mo.

"Sir, if it wasn't for you I would have died in that wasteland. When we were in danger it was your team that saved us. Even to a lesser degree, you were the one that helped me find my way when I was lost in Germany. Your attitude helped me cope whith this deployment and I wasn't even in your Division. I remember that I almost broke down when I heard the call over the radion, and saw the footage of your aircraft in flames. Your attitude helped ease the burden of that wasteland, I know others Felt rge same.
-PFC Whiteley, 1 CD 4 BDE 2/227 HHC S-2"
Ryan J. Whiteley of Vellejo, CA USA

"Chris, I will always remember riding motorcycles together in flight school. You were a true friend and a hero. Thanks for the memories."
CPT Lawrence Bengal of Fort Bliss, Texas

"St. Charles Democratic Alliance held a Tribute & Memorial to the 20 fallen soldiers from Missouri on 3/19/2005, the 2nd anniversary of the War in Iraq. Four families of the fallen attended the event, and nine families shared messages that were read during the tribute by Connie Greene, sister of fallen soldier Jamie Huggins. The event aired on all four local newscasts (Fox KTVI, KPLR, KSDK, KMOV.) Biographies of each of the fallen soldiers were read while photos of the soldiers were displayed. The event also included Bible readings, songs, keynotes speeches by Rev. Jason Samuel and Viet Nam Veteran Ken Peters, and a fellowship in the church hall immediately following the tribute. Our organization was sensitive to the fact that even though information on Missouriís fallen soldiers is a matter of open record, we had to go beyond the name, rank and serial number Ė we needed to share information on the fallen soldiers from the familyís perspective and present a tribute that each of the soldiers would have approved of. This was a day for honoring Missouriís finest, as well as the sacrifice the families made, and continue to make every day. Special thanks to the Burkhardt, Gottfried, Huggins and Spink families for traveling long distances to Transfiguration Church in Lake St. Louis to participate in this community tribute. (anngastler@charter.net)"
Ann Gastler of St. Charles Democratic Alliance of St. Peters, MO

"To the Family of Christopher B. Johnson, I served with him when he was stationed in Camp Doha, Kuwait with Third Army. I was saddend when I found out and have been trying to figure out what I could do to remember him by so I just bought a bracelet with his name on it and as soon as I get it I will never take it off. A group of us were friends of his and we all got scuba qualified together. I don't know if you have the pictures but I will gladly find them and post them to this site. Chris loved to fly and told me that if I wanted to fly to come to Campbell and he would give me a lift. Time never permitted that due to deployments. He was such a good person and I will truely miss him."
SSG "P" Zachary D. Smith zachary.smith@us.army.mil of FT Mcpherson, GA

"Sir,

I respect and miss you. You always had a smile. Vaya Con Dios and Aloha"
Mikey of Hawaii

"I am organizing a 3/19/2005 Tribute & Memorial Service Honoring Missouri's Fallen Soldiers, hosted by St. Charles Democratic Alliance. We plan to have a spiritual memorial tribute planned to honor the 18 fallen Missouri soldiers who died in Iraq. We wanted to let you know your beloved isn't forgotten and invite you to this tribute. If you're not able to be in Lake St. Louis on 3/19/05 but would like to send a message or letter that we could read on behalf of your family, again, we'd be honored. Again, my deepest sympathy and please know that Christopher is in my prayers."
Ann Gastler (anngastler@charter.net) of St. Peters, MO

"Ron,
There are no words I can say but that I am sorry and will always be there for you. Thank you Christopher for all you have done for us.
Christie"
Christie Hampshire of Polo, Missouri

"TO THE FAMILY OF Capt. CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON, MY THOUGHT AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU. MY COUSIN CWO3 WILLIAM BRENNAN WAS ALSO KILLED IN THE CRASH. WHEN WE GO TO HEAVEN GOD GIVES EVERYONE A JOB, AND WE ALL KNOW THAT GOD WILL HAVE WILL AND CHRIS FLYING HIS OWN KIOWAS. THEY WILL BE PATROLLING THE SKIS UP ABOVE JUST AS THEY DID DOWN HERE. THEY WILL BE GREATLY MISSED. MY COUSIN TALKED HIGHLY ABOUT CHRIS, I WILL I COULD OF HAD A CHANCE TO MEET HIM."
COUSIN OF CWO3 WILLIAM I. BRENNAN of CONNECTICUT

"thank you chris for your service to our country you were a brave man and i respect you for your service to all of us..and ronald i know how you feel because i also lost my son over there and i know it leaves a hole in your heart that will never heal"
scott bertoldie of independence , mo.

"Low Flight"

Dedicated to Christopher B. Johnson


Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,

And Hovered out of Ground Effect on Semi-Ridgid Blades.

Earthward I've Auto'ed, and met the Rising Brush of Non-Paved Terrain;

And done a thousand things you would never care to.

Skidded and Dropped and Flared Low in the Heat Soaked Roar.

Confined there, I've chased the Earthbound Traffic

And Lost the race due to Insignificant Headwinds.

Forward and up a Little in Ground Effect,

I've Topped the Admirals hedge with drooping turns,

Where never SkyHawk nor even Tomcat Flew.

Shaking and Pulling Collective, I've Lumberd

The Low untresspassed Halls of Victor Airways;

Put out my Hand, and Touched a Tree.

Today Christopher you Fly with Angels. Thank you for your Dedication and Sacrifice. "Godspeed Captain..."
Dennis B. Dray MAJ (R) AZ ARNG of Tucson, AZ

"Thank you Chris for serving our country. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten and your service always appreciated! To Chris's family, may you all find strength in these hard times!"
Marja of Omaha, NE

"Captain Johnson, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"thank you everyone for your support and prayer. if any of you have known Chris i would apreciate if you would share any storys you may have, thank you again"
Chris's little brother of Missouri

"TO THE LOVED ONES OF CHRIS JOHNSON-MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU IN THE LOSS OF CHRIS. I KNOW THERE ARE NO WORDS TO COMFORT YOU AT THIS TIME. CWO WILLIAM BRENNAN WHO WAS KILLED WITH CHRIS IS MY BROTHER. KEEP IN MIND THAT THEY HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE WHOM THEY FOUGHT FOR. I KNOW THIS WAS IMPORTANT TO WILL AND HE SAW THE IRAQI'S AS DESERVING AND APPRECIATIVE OF FREEDOM.
IF IT HELPS AT ALL, CHRIS IS IN GOOD COMPANY NOW . HE IS WITH WILL. THEY FLEW FOR THE TROOPS, NOW MAY THEY FLY WITH ANGELS. THEY WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS."
BRIANA WALL of WOODBURY,CT USA

"To Christopher's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten."
a grateful family in Phoenix, AZ

"Low Flight"

Dedicated to Christopher B. Johnson


Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,

And Hovered out of Ground Effect on Semi-Ridgid Blades.

Earthward I've Auto'ed, and met the Rising Brush of Non-Paved Terrain;

And done a thousand things you would never care to.

Skidded and Dropped and Flared Low in the Heat Soaked Roar.

Confined there, I've chased the Earthbound Traffic

And Lost the race due to Insignificant Headwinds.

Forward and up a Little in Ground Effect,

I've Topped the Admirals hedge with drooping turns,

Where never SkyHawk nor even Tomcat Flew.

Shaking and Pulling Collective, I've Lumberd

The Low untresspassed Halls of Victor Airways;

Put out my Hand, and Touched a Tree.

Today Christopher you fly with the Angels. Thank you for your Dedication and Sacrifice. "Godspeed Captain..."
Dennis B. Dray Major (R) AZARNG of Tucson, AZ

"To the family of Christopher;

Our sincerest condolences for your loss. Christopher is a true American hero and will always be remembered by his bravery and sacrifice he gave to our country. Our family has also suffered the loss of my nephew in this battle for freedom. May God bless you during this difficult time."
Vic and Tammy McClain--azquail@att.net of Tucson, AZ

"A great classmate, company-mate, and friend. Well done, Chris, be thou at peace."
John Fogarty of Nashville, TN

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Christopher, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To Christophers family, We're so sorry for your loss. We have you in our prayers. He died fighting a cause to protect peace and freedom as we know it. We also lost a nephew in the war, so we know the pain you suffer. They'll never be forgotten in our hearts."
The Kelly Family of Pleasant Mount,Pa.

"To Christopher's Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"My deepest sympathy, our family has also suffered the loss of a precious life in this battle for freedom. May God bless you and help you through this time. Forever in our hearts a HERO Christopher B. Johnson."
Amy & Aaron Monier of Waterford, MI.

"Your soldiers bravery will not be forgotten. May you find peace and courage in the memory of Chris's honorable service to his country. God bless you."
of Cabot, Arkansas

"Thank you Christopher Johnson, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Capt. Christopher Johnson:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Christopher for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Capt. Christopher Johnson:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Christopher, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on