James Edwin Johnston began his naval career April 20, 1917. First stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as assistant paymaster, and on March 31, 1918, was assigned to the transport ship U.S.S. President Lincoln, with duties as paymaster.
Believing they had left the U-Boat danger zone, the Lincoln left the convoy to sail at a faster speed for the US. Sunk by German U-Boat 90 approximately 600 miles west of the French coast. With the sinking of the President Lincoln, Ensign Johnston lost his life May 31, 1918.
Burial at Brookwood American ABMC Cemetery and Memorial. Brookwood, Surrey, England
Mother: Mrs. Willie Belle Johnston, 939 North 5th Avenue, Knoxville
- Rank: Ensign
- Date of birth: 4 November 1892
- Date of death: 31 May 1918
- County: Knox
- Hometown: Knoxville
- Service Branch: Navy
- Division/Assignment: USS President Lincoln
- Theater: Europe
- Conflict: World War I
- Burial/Memorial Location: Brookwood American Cemetery, Brookwood, England
- Location In Memorial: Pillar IV, Middle Panel
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