JOHNSTON, Brian Ronald
Acting Colour Sergeant Johnston was killed during operations in the Falkland Islands.
He was killed on board Landing Craft Utility F4 from HMS Fearless during the Falklands Conflict in 1982. With the British Army’s 5 Brigade separated from their vital communications vehicles back at Goose Green, F4 under the command of C/Sgt Brian Johnston had been dispatched in poorly charted waters and under significant threat of air attack. In a remarkable feat of pilotage, in darkness and without modern navigational aids, Brian Johnston reached Goose Green in good order and loaded the vehicles.
Shortly afterwards, the landing craft was bombed and sunk by Argentine Skyhawks and all but two of LCU F4’s crew were killed including C/Sgt Johnston, Sergeant R J Rotheram, Marine A J Rundle, Marine R D Griffin, Mechanical Engineering Artificer (Propulsion) A S James, and Leading Marine Engineer (Mechanical) D Miller. (1)
He had earlier been awarded the QGM.
Colour Sergeant Johnston, coxswain of LCU F4, was working in the vicinity of HMS Antelope when her unexploded bomb detonated, starting an immediate fire which caused her crew, already at emergency stations, to be ordered to abandon ship. Without hesitation Colour Sergeant Johnston laid his craft alongside the Antelope and began to fight the fire and take off survivors. At approximately 2200hrs he was ordered to stay clear of the ship because of the severity of the fire and the presence of a second unexploded bomb. Colour Sergeant Johnston remained alongside until his load was complete. In all LCU F4 rescued over 100 survivors from the Antelope.
On 8 June, LCU F4 was attacked by enemy aircraft in Choiseul Sound. During this action Colour Sergeant Johnston and five of his crew were killed. Colour Sergeant Johnston's selfless bravery in the face of extreme danger was in the highest traditions of the Corps. (2)Sources (1) Royal Navy/MOD website (2) London Gazettes Supp. 49134, page 12841.
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