DEWEY G. JOHNSTON, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Dewey Johnston '34

Date of birth: January 20, 1910

Date of death: October 31, 1941

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1934 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Dewey was lost when USS Reuben James (DD 245) sunk by a torpedo attack from German submarine U-552 near Iceland on October 31, 1941. He was survived by his parents, Albert and Mary.

Obituary

From Find A Grave:

11/1/1941- The Daily Oklahoman

Lieut. Dewey G. Johnston, 31 year old son of Mr & Mrs Albert Johnston, Amber, Grady County, who was listed among the officers of the torpedoed destroyer Reuben James, still missing Friday night, had been on the Reuben James more than 3 years, his mother said. He had been in Iceland in September and October. The last letter the Johnstons received, however, was postmarked Portland, Maine. Johnston, listed by the navy department as one of the seven officers on the ship, was a native of Newcastle.

He attended high school in Amber and was appointed to the naval academy in Annapolis in 1929, being graduated in 1934. Before his service on the Reuben James, he had been assigned to the cruiser Chicago and the battleship Arkansas. He also attended the U.S. Naval finance and supply school in Philadelphia before joining the staff of the destroyer.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

January 1936

Ensign, USS Yarnall

Others at this command: LTjg Arthur Vorpahl '32.

April 1936

Ensign, USS Yarnall

Others at this command: LTjg Arthur Vorpahl '32.

July 1936

Ensign, USS Yarnall

January 1937

Ensign, USS Arkansas

Others at this command: LT Raymond Hansen '22.

April 1937

Ensign, USS Arkansas

Others at this command: LT Raymond Hansen '22.

September 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Naval Finance and Supply School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Others at this command: ENS Ned Wentz '33.

January 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Naval Finance and Supply School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Others at this command: ENS Ned Wentz '33.

July 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Reuben James

Others at this command: LCDR Edward Metcalfe '22.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Samuel Moore '13 (Destroyer Division 21).

January 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Reuben James

Others at this command: LCDR Edward Metcalfe '22.

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Reuben James

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Reuben James

Others at this command: LT Heywood Edwards '26, LT Samuel Dealey '30, and ENS Alexander Wadsworth, III '39.

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Reuben James

Others at this command: LT Heywood Edwards '26, LT Samuel Dealey '30, ENS James Belden, II '36, and ENS Alexander Wadsworth, III '39.

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Reuben James

Others at this command: LT Heywood Edwards '26, LT Samuel Dealey '30, ENS James Belden, II '36, ENS Alexander Wadsworth, III '39, and ENS Craig Spowers '41.


Class of 1934

Dewey is one of 41 members of the Class of 1934 on Virtual Memorial Hall.