Retired Rear Admiral, Paul Stafford Johnson, Jr., born September 13, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois to Paul Stafford Johnson, Sr. and Inita Mae Busch passed away on August 3, 2014.
He was a graduate of Maine Township in Park Ridge, Illinois and Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Paul was an avid handball player and sports enthusiast, who also devoted his time to being a published author and Naval Recruiter. His love of sports led him to several accolades for football, wrestling, track and field, and boxing to name a few. At a young age he was also an accomplished accordion player.
Paul, “Killer” as known to many, was a decorated Navy combat veteran who participated in many Cold War actions and made hundreds of carrier landings. In two consecutive quarters in 1963 and 1964, Johnson received the USAF “Top Gun” Award with the 352nd TFS Yellow Jackets. Also, in 1964, he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal by General Curtis LeMay.
Johnson served as a Naval Exchange Officer flying with the 354th Tactical Air Wing for two years where he was the Lead Crew of Composite Air Strike Force. In his role of “D” Flight Commander in the 352nd Tactical Fighter Squadron Yellow Jackets, he flew secret missions across the Bering Straits into Russia, missions into Yemen and Libya, and down the Red Sea from Jidda, Saudi Arabia. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, he briefed President John F. Kennedy, along with Secretary of defense Robert McNamara, General Curtis LeMay, and General Sweeney.
He married his high school sweetheart, Leona Meta Riedemann, on March 12, 1957, who preceded him in death along with his parents and brother Thomas. Paul is survived by many loving family members and friends. Private services will be held at a later date and inurnment will be at the Dallas Ft. Worth National Cemetery at a later date.
If, in lieu of flowers, you prefer to make a donation, the family requests that they be to The Naval Museum at www.navalaviationmuseum.org, The Wounded Warrior Project via www.woundedwarriorproject.org, or towww.daedalians.org/CFIP, The Cadet Flight Indoctrination Program that seeks to identify, screen and select eligible applicants for participation in a flight training program designed to enhance their motivation to pursue a career in military aviation.
“BLUE SKIES AND SMOOTH SAILING”, Dad!