Charlie Johnson Legacy Fund

Charlie Johnson, Arlington High School Class of 1951, spent only one year of his high school career at Arlington, yet his life anddeath has inspired thousands of Arlington students. In high school, Charlie was elected as the senior class vice-president, played football, basketball and baseball, and participated in band and chorus.  He was voted by his peers to be the “most friendly,” having the “best physique,” and displaying the “best manners.”  He also earned the “Babe Ruth” award for outstanding sportsmanship and fair play.

On June 12, 1953 Charlie Johnson died as he had lived –thinking of others before himself.  Charlie was killed in action at Out Post Harry in the hills of Korea while single- handedly trying to hold off enemy forces and protect eight wounded soldiers, including fellow Arlington graduate Donald Dingee.

Following Charlie’s death, while lying in the hospital recovering from his wounds, Don Dingee made a pact with Charlie.  “I’m going to have a family big enough for the both of us.”  And he did.  Dingee has seven children and eight grandchildren.  One son is now a popular math teacher at Arlington Middle School.   

When asked about Charlie, his former classmates have only praise – courageous, generous, selfless, well-mannered, gentle, talented – A HERO. 

Charlie’s classmates have established a fund in honor of Charlie and the values for which he was beloved.  Plans include a bronze statue; a display of Charlie’s medals; scholarships for Arlington High School seniors who reflect the values of honor, integrity, and selfless service to others; and most importantly significant programs to identify and teach character to Arlington students.

Charlie Johnson Home Page

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