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Johnston Dunlop was born 19 October 1938 and attended high school in Auburn, New York. He was a member of the city's high school swimming team and was a State Sectional champion in diving and breast stroke. At the age of 23, Johnston Dunlop enlisted in the Regular Army and started his career as a Soldier. He completed Ranger training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and on 19 March 1967, Dunlop commenced his tour in the Republic of South Vietnam. Serving as a Patrol Leader with Company E, 50th Infantry, Long Range Patrol, 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta, he carried out numerous missions against hostile Viet Cong and North Vietnam Regular Army forces. It was on a long range patrol 16 April 1968 that Staff Sergeant Dunlop was killed while trying to save First Sergeant Joseph Melvin Jones.

At the age of 29, Staff Sergeant Johnston Dunlop died a Warrior's death in the first month of his extended tour in Vietnam. He gave all he had and then some in his quest to complete the mission. As a result of his gallant actions while engaging the enemy, he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Through his selfless service and dedication to duty he made the ultimate sacrifice in upholding the highest traditions of the Ranger Creed, "I will never leave a fallen comrade behind." Staff Sergeant Dunlop by way of his gallant actions truly exemplified the Ranger Motto, "Rangers Lead the Way." SSG Dunlop is buried at Fort Hill Cemetery, Auburn, NY. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign and Combat Infantry Badge.

Each year at the 5th Ranger Training Battalion Open House, the USMRA has the honor of placing the names of Fallen Rangers on a road sign at the bridge that crosses the Etowah River on Camp Frank D. Merrill. On 13 May 2006, Dunlop was one of those honored.