Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Sergeant Lee Johnson of 2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) died in Afghanistan. He had been taking part in operations to recapture the town of Musa Qaleh when an explosive device detonated as his vehicle struggled on difficult terrain, killing him and seriously injuring the driver, who was thrown clear.
Sergeant Johnson had joined the army in 1990, and served twice in Afghanistan, five times in Northern Ireland, and once in the former Yugoslavia. He inspired affection and respect, and was described as “a supreme soldier”. He was meant to be on leave, and had been looking forward to taking his family camping and fishing; however, he cancelled his leave as he felt it was important to be in Afghanistan at that particular time.
Warrant Officer 1 RSM Hind, Regimental Sergeant Major, said: “I first met then-Corporal Johnson when I arrived at the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment. It struck me straight away that this enthusiastic, professional and without a shadow of doubt the keenest JNCO in the Battalion was a soldier to watch. Any soldier or officer who is reading this and has had the privilege of working with Sergeant Johnson will know that it is by no way an exaggeration that he was a fine soldier. He was liked and respected by everyone and seemed to have boundless amounts of energy and tenacity. He was an absolute professional. As Regimental Sergeant Major you are meant to be impartial. I will have to confess that Sergeant Johnson was a favourite of mine, because he was one of the finest soldiers that I have met and the iconic Infantry Platoon Sergeant.”
Lee, from Stockton-on-Tees, was 33 years old and left behind his fiancee and their two small children.