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Captain Frank Johnson was born in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1900, and will celebrate 38 years with the Coast and Geodetic Survey on August 18, 1956. He graduated from Tufts College in June 1924, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering.

His first assignments were to the BACHE on the Georgia coast and then to the old launch ELSIE on Lake Okeechobee, Florida. From one extreme to another, his next assignment took him to southeast Alaska and Puget Sound for tides and currents. In 1926, he went back to the BACHE in the Gulf of Mexico. These range of assignments continued as he pursued his career to Long Island, the SURVEYOR, the GUIDE, and geodetic parties in various parts of the United States. In 1936 he served as Bureau representative to the Texas Centennial in Dallas, Texas. This was followed by a short assignment in the Washington Office, and then 6 months as Technical Advisor to the Pennsylvania State Planning Board.

Back to field work in Geodesy in 1937, he continued as chief of party until he became navigating officer of the GUIDE in 1940, and from there to the PIONEER.

In 1942, he was transferred to the jurisdiction of the War Department, his first assignment being Battalion Survey Officer with the 14th Field Artillery Observation Battalion at Arcadia, California. Other assignments took him to Fort Bragg, Fort Sill, Camp Roberts, and Fort Lewis, Washington before going overseas to the European theater. He saw service in Normandy, Rhineland, Northern France, Ardennes, and Central Europe, receiving the Bronze Star Medal and oak leaf cluster and attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

He was returned to the Coast Survey in 1946, and spent a few months in Washington assisting in the preparation of the "Regulations of the Coast and Geodetic Survey." In May 1946, he was assigned for 2 years to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he was supervisor of instructions at the Artillery School. Then followed an assignment as Executive Officer on the HYDROGRAPHER and 2 years as Supervisor of the Eastern District office in New York. In March 1952, he went west again, this time as executive officer on the EXPLORER for duty in the Aleutians. While on this assignment, he was especially commended for his good judgment and skillful seamanship in rendering assistant to and refloating the stranded vessel S. S. EUGENIA CHANDRIS. This vessel, a 7,000-ton Greek freighter 240 feet in length, was found by the EXPLORER near the center of the west coast of Amatignak Island with her bow aground in an unsounded area where uncharted shoals might exist. To permit the EXPLORER to maneuver close enough to the CHANDRIS to pass a towline, a launch took soundings in the seaward approach to the stranded vessel. Commander Johnson supervised this assistance.

He was on the stern of the CHANDRIS while the anchor was rigged and carried to seaward. He was on the bridge of that vessel while she was being floated free and maneuvered into deep water.

For 1 month in 1954, he was Commanding Officer of the PATTON and was then reassigned as Commanding Officer of the SURVEYOR for another season in Alaska. In January 1956, he was attached to the Seattle District Office.

A hard-working officer with a mild temperament, he is known throughout the service for his hearty laugh.

Rear Admiral Frank Gerard Johnson, NOAA (retired)

July 19, 1900 - April 3, 1981.

Rear Admiral Frank G. Johnson was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. He attended Tufts College where he graduated in 1924 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering.

Following his graduation he was appointed to the Corps as a Deck Officer. He was then appointed as an Ensign in May 1925. His various assignments during his 36-year career included being assigned to the following ships: BACHE, GUIDE, PIONEER, HYDROGRAPHER, and EXPLORER as the Executive Officer, and the PATTON and SURVEYOR as Commanding Officer. His other assignments included Tides and Current, Hydrography, Geodesy, Triangulation, Processing, the San Francisco Office, the Eastern District Office and in Washington, D.C. After his retirement on November 1, 1959, he was recalled to active duty to complete his report on the construction of the NOAA Ship SURVEYOR. He served until October 31, 1960.

During World War II, Admiral Johnson was transferred to the U.S. Army where he served as Corps Artillery Survey Officer. He was assigned in the United States at Camp Roberts, Ft. Bragg, Ft. Lewis, and Ft. Sill; overseas he served in England, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, and Czechoslovakia.

Admiral Johnson was awarded an honorary promotion to the rank of Rear Admiral in accordance with the Act of June 6, 1942, (33 USC 864e). This honor was based of his having received the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in military operations in France from September 10, 1944 to November 8, 1944, and having received a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster for military operations in Germany in March 1945.

Admiral Johnson is survived by his wife, Rebecca O. and son, John M. Johnson.


?, 7 & 8/1956
NOAA CORPS BULLETIN, 5/1/1981

 


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