Our Post namesake, CPL. David Johnston served with MIKE CO 3rd Battalion 5th Marines during his tour in Vietnam. CPL. Johnston was K.I.A. 3 MAR 69 during OPERATION TAYLOR COMMON. As a result of his actions during the operation, CPL. Johnston was awarded the Bronze Star (posthumously).
The link below to OUR MARINES (Dedicated to the Marines of M CO 3/5) at www.combatwife.net, chronicles the history of MIKE CO in Vietnam through the eyes of the Marines of MIKE CO. It was through the OUR MARINES web page and the stories therein that led to the reuniting (in 2007) 38 years after that fateful day in MAR 69, of the Marines of M 3/5 with their fallen brother CPL. Johnston.
Post 283 History
In early 1981, nearly 30 veterans of the Pickerington area met in the Pickerington High School to form an American Legion Post (it has been reported that an American Legion Post had previously existed in Pickerington in 1919 though this post’s name and number is unknown).
A decision was made by the membership to honor the memory of Pickerington High School's only casualty of the Vietnam War. The David Johnston Memorial Post, stands as a lasting tribute to Corporal David Johnston, MIKE Company/3rd Battalion/5th Regiment/1st Marine Division who was killed in action during OPERATION TAYLOR COMMON, 3 March 1969 in Quang Nam Province, South Viet Nam.
On May 13, 1985, members approved and signed a contract to purchase 2.179 acres located at the corner of Pickerington and Refugee Roads. In late 1985, Commander Jerry Burroughs and 86 members broke ground for the present Post home. Legionaries from Post 283, Lithopolis, Millersport, Lancaster, Bremen, and Wellston assisted in the construction. Through the years, the Post has continued to expand to better serve the veterans and citizens of Pickerington and surrounding communities by adding a rental hall, expanded lounge, state-of-the-art sound and video systems, and the recently dedicated (Memorial Day 2007) Veterans Memorial Park and the CPL. Dustin Derga Memorial Shelter House.