Corporal Earl Johnston
Our Hometown Heroes
Worked at Griffin Hotel and Mitchell’s Drug Store
Earl Johnston worked at both the Griffin Hotel and Mitchell’s Drug Store as a young man. As many young men of the day, when the United States declared war on Germany and Japan, he joined the military. Johnston’s service to his country began on May 28, 1943 at Fort McPherson.
Born in 1924, Johnston was a graduate of Griffin High School. He was an outstanding player on the football team. Assigned to the First Cavalry Division of the U.S. Army, Johnston was sent overseas to fight in the Pacific Theater of operations. He was a part of several invasions and because of his bravery, he was promoted very quickly to the rank of Corporal. In one battle, Cpl. Johnston was wounded, but recovered enough to go back to fight on the front lines. His mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. John T. Johnston who lived at 903 West Broad Street, would receive the horrible news that their son had been killed in action on May 16, 1945.
Cpl. Johnston is buried at Ft. McKinley in the Philippines. Although Johnston did not come home alive, a community now honors the World War II, Hometown Hero. An individual plaque will be installed in Historic Downtown Griffin. The plaque is proudly sponsored by Walter Jones, Sr.