Christmas at war: Sent to Korea by mistake

2Lt Vic Johnson in Korea
LCol Vic Johnson, CD (Ret'd) 2008
Publication Date 
20 Dec 2018

From Legion Magazine 19 December 2018

Story by Stephen J Thorne

"James Victor (Vic) Johnson was a 25-year-old second lieutenant still in training at the Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering in Chilliwack, B.C., when he was mistakenly tagged to go off to war just before Christmas 1951.

The Eston, Sask., native had been in no rush to get to the front, but there were two Second Lieutenant Johnsons in training at the time and the other one, who had served several years and wanted a field assignment, had expressed his desire to go.

“When an assignment came up for a lieutenant to go to Korea, the general told the adjutant to send for Lieut. Johnson,” he recalls. “The adjutant sent the runner to get Lieut. Johnson out of his class, and he brought back the wrong lieutenant.

“While I was in Korea, I ran into the other Lieut. Johnson, who informed me of the error and was quite angry with me for having stolen his posting.”

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