Jean Johnson Marston says, "Once in awhile, when I get reflective about my life, I start Googling the date (Friday, April 22, 1966) and location (Oklahoma) of the military plane crash that took my brother's life.
Yesterday, I came upon the American Flyers Memorial Park site, where they asked about a survival list. My brother Ralph D. Johnson, age 19, from Yonkers, New York survived the initial crash but died on Mother's Day, May 8, 1966, 16 days later. There was no feedback of information in those days. No one ever knew he died. So he should not be on the list.
"My parents, Bill and Ann Johnson flew to his bedside at Brooke Army Medical Center. I believe that is part of Fort Sam Houston Medical Center. I only found out about the amazing Memorial Butch Bridges put together about 20 months ago. I have been saving up and plan to visit Oklahoma this Memorial Day. My brother's death shaped my life good and bad. Now with that Memorial, there has finally been closure for me, something to the end of my mother's life, she asked for ... and never had.
"I remember my brother told my Mom, "It was awful." He woke up propped against a tree with a deceased soldier on his lap. It was raining and everything was on fire. There was a wonderful Nurse or maybe a local mother that spent some time with my brother. She wrote some comforting words to our family. I don't remember her name but know that we Thank You!"