CARL G. JOHANSSON (JOHNSON)
Branch: U. S. Army
Status: Killed in action
Date of Service: WWI
Home Town: Sinclair Township
Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in WWI
Carl G. Johansson was born in Varmland, Varmskog, Sweden near the turn of the century to parents Mr. and Mrs. Johan Anderson. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith.
When Carl reached adulthood, his older brother Arvid Engdahl, born in 1880, had already immigrated to the United States in 1904. His brother Bror Johansson, born in 1885, immigrated in 1914. Arvid and Bror were farm laborers in Sweden but as they came to the U.S. they picked up lumbering and carpentering skills. Arvid settled in Clearwater County and bought a farm, first in Sinclair Township and then in Holst. Bror farmed nearby in Sinclair Township. Both married and had families and changed their surname to Johnson as was the American custom.
It is not known what year Carl joined his brothers in the United States but he came in time to get involved in World War I. Carl was either conscripted through the draft or joined the Army. He boarded the Italian troop transport ship Duca D’Acosta with 2027 other troops, including other members of his own unit, the 54th Pioneer Infantry Regiment commanded by Col. William G. Gates. The ship left Newport News on August 30, 1918 bound for France and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
A “Pioneer” unit is made up of men experienced in life in the open, skilled in woodcraft and simple carpentry. A Pioneer unit marches at the head of each battalion to clear a passage for it through woods or other obstructions, improves roads, makes bridges and does any minor engineering or construction work necessary. Carl’s background made him an excellent “Pioneer.”
It was less than two months later Carl’s next of kin, Bror, was notified that Carl had been killed in action in France on October 2, 1918. Pvt Johansson/Johnson is buried in grave 14, row 18, plot H in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne, France. World War I ended on November 11, 1918, only a month after Carl’s death.