North Santa Rosa

May 4 event honors heroic black soldier killed in Korean Conflict

PERDIDO KEY, Fla. April 25 – Ceremonies will be held at Johnson Beach at 10 a.m. May 4 to honor the memory of the first African-American from the Pensacola area to die in the Korean Conflict.

Private Rosamond Johnson Jr. was killed on July 26, 1950. He had carried two wounded men to safety under enemy fire and was killed going back to help a third comrade. Johnson was 17; he enlisted in the U.S. Army when he was 15, about the time that President Truman ordered the U.S. military to become integrated.

The beach – part of Gulf Islands National Seashore — was named after the young hero. This was especially fitting because prior to integration, Perdido Key beaches were among the few beaches where blacks were allowed. Pensacola Beach had been set aside for whites. A permanent monument in Johnson’s honor was erected at Johnson Beach in 1996.

The ceremonies will include an invocation and benediction by Dr. James H. Miller Sr., pastor of the First Baptist Church of Warrington and a song by Pensacola artist Sonja Griffin Evans. Speakers will include Escambia County Commissioner Lumon May, Park Superintendent Daniel Brown, and Alison Davenport, past president of the Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Information Center. The master of ceremonies will be Eugene Franklin of Pensacola, director of the National Cultural Heritage Tourism Center. The service will include a color guard, chorus and bugler from the Performance Unit of the Navy.


Media note: For more details, contact Caron Sjoberg or Mark O’Brien at (850) 434-9095 or or


About Perdido Key

Perdido Key is one of the prettiest beaches on the Gulf Coast, with plenty of free public access to the water and the beach. A 16-mile-long barrier island, it’s located between Pensacola, Fla., and Orange Beach, Ala. Perdido Key is home to numerous locally owned restaurants, clubs and shops as well as a great mix of seaside lodging – everything from elegant penthouses to primitive camping.

Posted by on Apr 28 2013. Filed under Events, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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