Howard Johnson (American football)

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Howard Johnson
Smiley Johnson Field (thumbnail).jpg
Marines gather around the sign denoting the dedication of Smiley Johnson Field on Maui.
Date of birth (1916-09-22)September 22, 1916
Place of birth Murfreesboro, Tennessee, United States
Date of death February 19, 1945(1945-02-19) (aged 28)
Place of death Iwo Jima, Japan 
Career information
Position(s) Guard
College Georgia
Career history
As player
1940-1941 Green Bay Packers
Career stats
Military career
Allegiance United States United States
Service/branch U.S. Marines seal United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1942–1945
Rank 1st Lt. First Lieutenant
Unit 4THMARDIV.svg Marine Division
USMC - 3rd Battalion 23rd Marines.png 23rd Marines

World War II

Awards 2x Silver Star

Howard White "Smiley" Johnson (September 22, 1916 – February 19, 1945) was a professional American football offensive lineman in the National Football League. He played the 1937, 1938 and 1939 college football seasons at the University of Georgia before joining the Green Bay Packers for the 1940 and 1941 seasons.[1] He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1942 and served with I Company, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines of the 4th Marine Division through the battles of Kwajalein, Saipan (earning a Silver Star), and Tinian.[2] On February 19, 1945, 1st Lieutenant Johnson was killed in action at the Battle of Iwo Jima, and awarded a second Silver Star posthumously. He was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 2, 1949.[3]


  1. ^ "Battlefield heroes: Smiley Johnson". Cold, Hard Football Facts. May 24, 2007. Retrieved 16 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Lawrence, Dave (March 4, 2005). "New HOF Display Honors Packers War Hero". Green Bay Packers. Archived from the original on 2008-10-13. Retrieved 16 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Howard Write Johnson at Find a Grave