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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's tab courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS George A. Johnson (DE 583)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - W - I
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: China Service Medal
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 1 star - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal
Third Row: World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal - Philippine Liberation Ribbon w/ 1 star

Class: Rudderow
Type: TEV (turbo-electric drive, long hull, 5" guns)
Displacement: 1,450 tons (light), 1,810 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 13' 9" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 CE boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 5,050 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 2 - 5"/38 Mk30, 4 - 40mm Mk1 AA (2x2), 10 x 20mm/70 Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (230 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors (40), 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks (60)
Complement: 12 / 192
George A. Johnson (DE 583) Building and Operational Data:
  • 24 November 1943: Keel laid by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, Mass.
  • 12 January 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Alfred R. Johnson, Private Johnson's mother
  • 15 April 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr Alvin Robinson in command
  • 31 May 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal.
  • August 1946: Assigned as 12th Naval District training ship,
  • 29 September 1950: Placed "In Commission, In Reserve", assigned to NRT, 12th Naval District at San Diego
  • September 1957: Decommissioned at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, Cal.
  • 1 November 1965: Struck from the NVR
  • 19 September 1966: Sold for scrapping
  • 12 October 1966: Broke her towline leaving San Francisco and drifted aground at Pacifica, Cal., scrapped in place
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    George A. Johnson 127k Artist's conception of George A. Johnson by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett, with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company, Navy Yard Associates, offers prints of most destroyers, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. ALL the destroyer escorts ARE available in their WWII configuration. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. When you purchase artwork from them, please indicate that you heard about their work from Navsource. Navy Yard Associates
    George A. Johnson 46k George Alfred Johnson was born in Fleetwood, Pa. on 26 September 1922 and was the first of seven children: George, Gloria, Mary Jane, Don, Gary, Edna Mae, and William. He was a member of the YMCA, worked part time as a pin-boy at the Y bowling alleys, and later as a welder at Lukens Steel. He is remembered as a very hard worker, and really gave himself to his family and friends. George attended Scott High School in Coatesville, Class of 1942. He left school his senior year to enlist in the Marine Corps on 28 January 1942. He went through basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina, and advanced infantry training at Quantico, Virginia before sailing for the Pacific in April 1942. Attached to the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, Private Johnson participated in the invasion of Tulagi, Solomon Islands, 7 August 1942. During mop-up operations 2 days later, his squad came under rifle fire from a sniper's nest in a nearby cave. Private Johnson rushed to the mouth of the cave and continued to throw in grenades until he was killed, allowing his squad to advance. For his indomitable fighting spirit and outstanding bravery, Private Johnson was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart.

    USS George A. Johnson (DE 583) (1944-1957) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo Courtesy of  Chester County, Pennsylvania Hall of Heroes thanks to David G. Williams - Administrative Project Leader)
    Bill Gonyo
    George A. Johnson 148k 12 January 1944: Hingham, Mass. - USS George A. Johnson enters the water for the first time.
    George A. Johnson 764k date/location unknown: A view of George A. Johnson underway. (U.S. Navy photos #CP-DE-583 80-G-245444 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.; courtesy of  Chris Wright) Ed Zajkowski
    George A. Johnson 294k Two wartime portraits of George A. Johnson that were given as a panorama view to crewmembers. The photos were in a frame on each side of the War Cruise Map shown below in the memorabilia section. They were probably taken soon after Johnson's return to San Diego on 5 November 1945.

    The top photo was done by Thompson Photo of Los Angeles, Cal.

    The bottom photo of this trio is Paul's Dad, QM1 Edward F. Kemper, the photo was supplied by Paul's Mom, Marie.
    Paul Kemper
    George A. Johnson 368k
    George A. Johnson 33k
    George A. Johnson 738k 22 August 1948: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - USS George A. Johnson (DE 583) moored port side to on a port visit to Vancouver. (Photograph by Walter E. Frost) (Photo #AM1506-S3-3-: CVA 447-4737.2 from the City of Vancouver Archives) Navsource
    George A. Johnson 566k 23 August 1948: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - USS George A. Johnson (DE 583) lies off while preparing to depart Vancouver. (Photograph by Walter E. Frost) (Photo #AM1506-S3-3-: CVA 447-4738 from the City of Vancouver Archives) Mike Green
    George A. Johnson 411k 23 August 1948: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - Two views of USS George A. Johnson (DE 583) outbound following a port visit to Vancouver. (Photograph by Walter E. Frost) (Photo #AM1506-S3-3-: CVA 447-4737.1 and AM1506-S3-3-: CVA 447-4737 from the City of Vancouver Archives) Navsource
    George A. Johnson 380k
    George A. Johnson 668k 18 June 1949: Vallejo, Cal.- USS Charles A. Johnson (DE 583) off Mare Island with 130 civilians aboard from the National Editorial Association. Darryl Baker
    George A. Johnson 405k -- August 1949: Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Cal. - USS George A. Johnson (DE 583) in the Mare Island Channel. She is on the east side of the channel opposite from Mare Island. (U.S. Navy photo #DE-583-4208-8-49TH)
    George A. Johnson 658k -- August 1949: Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Cal. - USS George A. Johnson (DE 583) in the Mare Island Channel. She is on the Mare Island side of the channel. (U.S. Navy photo #DE-583-4209-8-49TH)
    George A. Johnson 44k -- October 1952: Highlining with USS Thomas F. Nickel (DE 587) during a reserve cruise from San Diego to Pearl Harbor. Bob LeBaron
    George A. Johnson 704k 27 June 1955: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - USS George A. Johnson (DE 583) stands off while preparing to moor for a port visit to Vancouver. (Photograph by Walter E. Frost) (Photo #AM1506-S3-3-: CVA 447-4738 from the City of Vancouver Archives) Navsource
    George A. Johnson 482k 16 April 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - USS George A. Johnson is berthed at Mare Island. (U.S. Navy photo #DE 29260-4-56) Darryl Baker
    George A. Johnson 97k Beached after breaking tow enroute to San Diego, just prior to being broken up. -
    George A. Johnson 135k This is a picture I took in 1966 of the destroyer escort George A. Johnson. It had broken a tow line while under tow from San Francisco to San Diego having been sold for scrap. She washed up on the beach in Pacifica, Cal. just south of San Francisco. This was about a mile from my home at the time and this photo was taken the morning after it had beached. It was stuck hard as it came ashore on a high tide and had to be cut up and hauled away by truck. This was quite the attraction for several weeks. A couple of people managed to climb aboard and attempt to claim maritime salvage rights. They were quickly removed by the rightful owners. Richard Forgie
    George A. Johnson 37k A news photo showing people walking near the beached George A. Johnson, from the Turkish newspaper Miliyet, published on 16 November 1966. CŁneyt Demir
    George A. Johnson 221k 3 February 1967: Two clippings from the San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard newspaper regarding the scrapping of George A. Johnson. San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard consisted of Mare Island and Hunters Point Naval Shipyards. It was the Navy's attempt to cut the overhead, but didn't work. Darryl Baker

    Additional Memorabilia
    Ship's Wartime Cruise Map
    Geo. A. Johnson
    Courtesy of Paul Kemper

    View the USS George A. Johnson (DE 583) DANFS history entry
    located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Robert Hood, AMSC, USN(ret) (mid-'50's)
    Address: 11666 Co. Rd. 120 / Carthage MO 64836
    Phone: (417) 358-5182

    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
    made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
    a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists or rosters available. Please see the Frequently Asked
    Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS George A. Johnson
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    To The DE Photo Index Page Back To The Main Photo Index

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    This Page Is Created And Maintained by Mike Smolinski
    This Page Created And Maintained by Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated 08 February 2016