Johnson, William David, VADM

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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1952-1953, 131X, CTF 77
Service Years
1917 - 1953
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Johnson, William David, VADM USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Montgomery Alabama
Last Address
San Francisco, CA

Date of Passing
May 26, 1967
Location of Interment
U.S Naval Academy Cemetery - Annapolis, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
US Navy Vice Admiral. Johnson graduated from the United States Navy Academy in 1921. Prior to the World War II Johnson was a Lt. Commander and commanding officer of Flight Squadron VP44-6 VPB as part of Patrol Wing Four. In World War II he was the recipient of the Navy Cross as commanding officer of the escort carrier U.S.S Suwanee CVE 27 for providing aerial support for amphibious attack groups landing on the shores of Leyte Gulf, Philippines during the final week of October 1944. He was seriously wounded in this engagement, but continued to operate his ship while directing numerous aerial strikes against the Japanese Fleet in the Gulf. During the Korean War he was a Rear Admiral who commanded Task Force 77 in 1953. Johnson retired as a Vice Admiral.
Other Comments:

  1. Navy Cross


    Awarded for actions during the World War II

    The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain William David Johnson, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Escort Carrier U.S.S. SUWANEE (CVE-27), while that vessel was engaged in furnishing aerial support to our Amphibious Attack Groups landing on the shores of Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands, from 18 to 27 October 1944. With his ship severely damaged by enemy aerial attack during the Battle off Samar Island, on 25 October, Captain Johnson continued to operate his ship with outstanding professional skill, directing numerous vigorous aerial strikes against the Japanese Fleet in Leyte Gulf and thereby contributing to the extensive and costly damage inflicted on hostile surface units. Although seriously wounded, he skillfully maneuvered his crippled ship through hazardous submarine infested waters and effected a safe withdrawal from the combat area. By his forceful leadership, and superb tactical ability, Captain Johnson was in large measure responsible for the success of our forces during this decisive engagement and his steadfast devotion to duty throughout these hazardous operations was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

    General Orders: Commander 7th Fleet: Serial 0195

    Action Date: October 18 - 27, 1944

    Service: Navy

    Rank: Captain

    Company: Commanding Officer

    Division: U.S.S. Suwanee (CVE-27)

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Naval Aviator Wings
Command at Sea

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
VP-44US NavyCTF 77
  1939-1942, 131X, VP-44
  1943-1944, 131X, USS Suwanee (CVE-27)
  1952-1953, 131X, CTF 77
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Marshall Islands Operation
  1944-1944 Marshall Islands Operation (1944)/Battle of Kwajalein Atoll (Operation Flintlock)
  1944-1944 New Guinea Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Morotai
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1917-1921, United States Naval Academy
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