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World War II Veteran, Kenneth G. Johnson Dies at 92

Purple Heart recipient and member of the Montclair Engineering Society and the Essex Masonic Lodge #7 for over 50 years.

Kenneth G. Johnson
Kenneth G. Johnson
Kenneth G. Johnson, 92, of Brick, NJ, died on Memorial Day at Ocean Medical Center. A longtime resident of Brielle, Ken was a 1940 graduate of Glen Ridge High School, attended Newark College of Engineering, and held a B. S. Degree in Engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He worked for Western Electric Company, the manufacturing division of AT&T for 40 years. He was a member of the Montclair Engineering Society and the Essex Masonic Lodge #7 for over 50 years.

Ken served in the Screaming Eagles, 101st Airborne, Company H, 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment from its inception in September, 1942 to the end of World War II in 1945. He reported to Camp Toccoa, Georgia and was one of the 2,100 trainees, out of 7,000 who had entered the program, to qualify as a paratrooper. Ken was wounded in action on 6/6/44 in Normandy and on 1/5/45 in Bastogne. He participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day - jumping in the night before on June 5th, the invasion of Holland, and the siege of Bastogne in The Battle of the Bulge. Ken received 3 Battle Stars from each campaign. His military awards include: Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster [Normandy and Bastogne-the only division to receive it twice], Bronze Star, Victory Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, 3 Bronze Service Stars, 1 Bronze Service Arrowhead, Orange Lanyard of the Royal Netherlands Army, French Croix de Guerre with Palm, Belgian Fourragère, and most importantly, the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster [Normandy and Bastogne]. Most recently Ken received the French Legion of Honor and the Distinguished Member of the Regiment award. He was a Life Member of the 101st Airborne Association, National and Local NJ/NY Chapters, the 506 Infantry Regiment Association, and the Blind Veterans Association.

Ken was predeceased by his parents, Frithiof and Gerda, both born in Sweden; his dear wife of 60 years, Margaret; and 2 grandchildren, Larissa and Christopher Kenneth. He is survived by his daughters, Diane and her husband Kenneth and Carol and her husband Fred; 3 grandsons, Brian, Christopher, and Jamie; and 3 great-grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Ethan. A Memorial Gathering will be held at Van Hise & Callagan Funeral Home, 812 Arnold Avenue in Point Pleasant Beach on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. A Memorial Service will begin at 11:30 a.m. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the Macular Degeneration Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 531313, Henderson, NV 89053 or the Associated Humane Societies at Popcorn Park, 1 Humane Way, Forked River, NJ.

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