OBITUARY

Ret. Rear Adm. Paul Stafford Johnson Jr.

September 13, 1933August 3, 2014

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 to www.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!

REMEMBERING

Ret. Rear Adm. Paul Stafford Johnson Jr.

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Joe Marinello

September 13, 2014

As a new maintenance officer, and 2/lt assigned to the 352TFS, I made a NATO
Rotation to Italy. Paul took me under his wing and helped me get prepared for my career. Taught me racquet ball, while whipping me every time. Watching him and seeing the way he carried himself, he was an excellent role model

August 20, 2014

Paul and I had many battles on the handball courts for a lot of years. It was a pleasure knowing Paul, Leona, Julie, Jennifer, and P-3. Paul was an animal who continued playing handball as long as he could stand on both feet, which was over 20 years past when I gave up the game and went to racquetball. I am praying for you Julie, Jennifer, and P-3. Earl Swain, Euless, TX.

Kim Tucker

August 18, 2014

Julie, Jen, and Paul, I just heard the news about your dad and my deepest sympathy to you and your family.I will never forget your dad coming over when mom passed away. He was so kind and supportive. It meant a lot. And all the memories of your parents and ours through the years. The club, the swim meets, parties, GARAGE SALES! Well we know there is a Carry Back party going on in Heaven now!
With Love,
Kim Tucker

KEITH CONNOLLY

August 16, 2014

Paul and I were old squadron mates. The good times we had together are history but they are GREAT memories. Lot's of laughs and spirited fun. I shall miss him deeply but I'm honored that we were aviators together. Stay Air Force and keep on flying!!! kbc and maaaaaa

Rick Sack

August 14, 2014

I spent thousands of hours with Paul in the handball court. We also shared flying war stories as well. I watched Julie, Paul, and Jennifer grow up and had meals at their house and at restaurants. Leona was always a kind person to me and was smiling frequently. I will miss Paul and Leona but will never forget them.

Don Dollar

August 13, 2014

I had the honor to be trained in a killer flight lead by Paul in 1964 at Cecil Field. What a leader of men he was. I owe him much.

Jeanie Derum

August 13, 2014

Julie, so sorry about losing your dad. Keeping you and family in prayer.

Kristi Harris

August 12, 2014

I'm so glad to have met Paul and read his book about his life. My dad was in Alaska in the air force the same time he was in Alaska! Although they did not remember meeting each other, Paul called me at work one morning from a reunion and had a General on the phone that remembered my dad being a great guy. I felt so proud and it was such a huge compliment to my dad and my family :) THANKS Paul. I miss seeing you at Brookhaven already.

Tamara Mann

August 12, 2014

I am so sorry for your loss, Julie, Jen, Paul and family. Paul and Leona were such a big part of my childhood. I will never forget either of them.

Callie Snyder

August 11, 2014

Paul and Leona were true friends and will be greatly missed. I can't express how much it meant to our family to have them there when my husband Duke passed away in 2004.