Accident victim was American hero

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Accident victim was  American  hero In a tragic twist of irony, an American hero who survived traumatic wounds in the line of duty during his multiple deployments to the Middle East was killed last week in a vehicular accident.

According to a report from the California Highway Patrol, Timo-thy Michael Johns, a 42-year-old stationed at the Explosive Ord-nance Disposal Detachment at China Lake, died in a single-vehicle accident April 27 while traveling a northbound ramp from State Route 178 to U.S. Highway 395. Johns reportedly succumbed to his injuries after being transported to Kern Medical Center.

While the China Lake and naval communities mourn the loss of one of their own, a retired EOD officer paid tribute to Johns’ service to his country in a New York Times blog post on May 2 (see related story, this page).

“Senior Chief Timmy Johns was a respected member of the China Lake chiefs’ mess and our community,” said Naval Air Weapons Station Command Master Chief Charles Grandin.

“He will be remembered as a proven leader who possessed great ideas and the drive to get things done. His passion and dedication for his profession, his sailors and our Navy was extraordinary. He will be missed, but never forgotten.”

Though Johns was deployed at China Lake during the time of the accident, his home of record is Hobart, Indana.

He joined the Navy in 1989 — the first of his family to serve since his grandfather during World War II. “It seemed the best option for a young man in a small midwestern town with a slow economy,” states his biography on file with the Navy.

Nearly 24 years since joining, he has served all over the world protecting his brothers and sisters in the military. He died only a few days short of his one-year anniversary of reporting for duty at China Lake.

During his years of service, he earned numerous awards, including the Broze Star with a V (for valor), a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, a Purple Heart and two Combat Action Ribbons.

Among the numerous online tributes to Johns are videos posted by Grandin, found at and

Story First Published: 2013-05-08