316: GEORGE MARION JOHNSON FIREMAN FIRST CLASS USS Bowditch (AG-30)

This entry was posted by Monday, 13 December, 2010
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George Marion Johnson

BIRTH 10 Mar 1915

Hansford County, Texas, USA

DEATH 14 Jul 2009 (aged 94)

Elkhart, Morton County, Kansas, USA

BURIAL Texhoma Cemetery

Texhoma, Sherman County, Texas, USA  Show Map

PLOT Section 7a Block 317 Lot 1 Space 2
MEMORIAL ID 39475150

 

World War II Vet

George Marion Johnson, 91, lifelong Texhoma area resident, passed away July 14, 2009 at the Morton County Care Center in Elkhart, Kansas.

George was born on March 10, 1918 in the Oslo Community to George Herman and Alta (Hitt) Johnson in which he was the first born of his generation in the community.
Grandfather of Brecklynn Michelle Johnson
Grandson of Lewis J. & Helena Halverson Johnson

George was married to Joye Belle Turpen on March 8, 1941 in Guymon, Oklahoma.

He served his country proudly during World War II as Fireman 1st Class in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Bowditch during the Okinawa campaign where he was honorably awarded the Battle Star and the Asiatic and American ribbons. He was honorably discharged from the Navy on December 28, 1945.

He worked for the Rock Island Railroad, Western Gas Company, Southern Union Gas Company and the Southwestern Electric Company and retired with Texas County District #3 of Oklahoma in 1980.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 50 years; an infant daughter, Donetta Belle; a son, Marion (Skip) Johnson; two granddaughters: Lindsay Ann and Lacey Lynne Loosemore; one brother, Russell Faye Johnson and one sister, Opal Mae Irwin.

Survivors include two sons: Walter (Jeep) Johnson and wife, Beverly of Altus, Oklahoma and Francis (Frittz) Johnson and wife, Susie of Maysville, Oklahoma; three daughters: Linda Schreiner and husband, Randy of Texhoma, Oklahoma, Mary Bankston and husband, Glen of Straight, Oklahoma, and Deann Loosemore and husband, Raymond of Texhoma; and daughter-in-law, Pat Johnson of Texhoma. He is also survived by one brother, John Johnson of Amarillo, Texas; four sisters: Elsie Ritter of Hugoton, Kansas, Myrtle Ann Hedgecoke of Irving, Texas, Grace Pierce of Amarillo and Nancy Bruner of Louisville, Kentucky; 16 grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

A Rosary will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 17th at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Guymon. The Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 18th also at St. Peter’s Catholic Church with Father Roberto Quandt, celebrant. Graveside services with U.S. Navy honors will be at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Texhoma Cemetery.

The Johnson family suggests that memorials be made to the St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Memorials will be accepted at the Church Office or at the Bunch – Roberts Funeral Home, PO Box 1112, Guymon, Oklahoma 73942. Friends can sign the online guest book and leave condolences at www.bunchroberts.com

USS Bowditch (AG-30)

USS Bowditch underway after a refit, 6 December 1941
History
United States
Name USS Bowditch (AG-30)
Namesake Nathaniel Bowditch
Builder Burmeister and Wain
Launched 1919 as Santa Inez
Acquired 4 March 1940
Commissioned 12 March 1940
Decommissioned 31 January 1947
Reclassified (AGS-4) 1 December 1943
Honors and
awards
Three battle stars
Fate Maritime Commission
General characteristics
Displacement 5,405 tons
Length 386′
Beam 53′
Draft 21′ 6″
Speed 12 knots
Complement 406
Armament 4 x 3 in (76 mm)/50

USS Bowditch (AG 30) was first launched in 1929 by Burmeister and Wain in Copenhagen, Denmark, as the passenger ship Santa Inez. She was later purchased by the United States Navy on 4 March 1940 and temporarily commissioned on 12 March 1940. She was outfitted as a surveying vessel by the Norfolk Navy Yard and commissioned again on 1 July 1940, with Commander E. E. Duval in command.

Following the commissioning of the USS Bowditch the ship made numerous geodetic surveys in places such as Little Placentia Bay, NewfoundlandBermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti. Departing Norfolk on 9 January 1942, she steamed south to conduct surveys of the waters between Panama and Colombia, off the Galápagos Islands, and off the Cocos Islands in Costa Rica. Returning to Norfolk for repairs on 21 November 1942, she departed for south again on 17 February 1943. After survey work in the Caribbean through May, she transited the Panama Canal to work along the coasts of Panama, Colombia, and EcuadorBowditch was reclassified as “AGS-4” on 1 December 1943.

Assigned to Service Force, Pacific Fleet, she arrived at Pearl Harbor 6 January 1944. Bowditch served as a survey ship during the invasion of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls (4 February – 2 April 1944); occupation of Saipan (22 July – 4 October); and the capture of Okinawa (18 April – 2 September 1945). While off Okinawa she helped rescue survivors of USS Montgomery and USS ForceBowditch remained off Okinawa until 3 November 1945 when she departed for the United States. She arrived at San Francisco 29 November. On 17 February 1946 she sailed for Bikini Atoll to begin preliminary surveys for Operation Crossroads. She continued surveying at Bikini after the atomic bomb tests, returning to San Francisco 19 October 1946.

Bowditch left San Francisco for Norfolk 23 November and was decommissioned there 31 January 1947. She was transferred to the Maritime Commission 9 June 1948.

Bowditch received three battle stars for her World War II service.

 


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