In Memory

Lt. Col. Gilbert Eugen Johnson

Gilbert (Gil) Eugene Johnson, age 83 of Fairfield Glade, TN was called home to the Lord on 5 March 2016. He was born 24 October 1932 in Rockford, Illinois the son of Reuben and Lulu (Buskie) Johnson. Gil married Lura Georgiann King in December 1953. Gil graduated from West Rockford High School and St. Olaf College with a BA in Biology and had a MA in Space Systems Management. Gil entered the Air Force as a 2nd Lt. in 1955 assigned to Wright-Patterson AFB where he was assigned duty as a Judo instructor. He was reassigned to the Aero Med Lab in the Stress and Fatigue section working in zero G and acceleration studies. In 1959 he was reassigned to Lowery AFB as a student on the Mace Missile program and in 1960 reassigned to Orlando AFB for missile crew training with a subsequent assignment to Osan AFB in Korea as a missile crew commander. On completion of this assignment he was reassigned to Walker AFB as a Combat Crew Commander on the Atlas F missile. Gil and his crew were selected as the Air Force missile crew to “buy off” the newly completed missile silos for the Air Force. Gil and his crew were assigned in addition to regular combat crew duty as a lead instructor crew and alternate command post duties. With the shutdown of the Atlas program Gil was reassigned to Otis AFB and duty as Maintenance Control Officer of the BOMARC Air Defense Missile site at Otis. Gil was also given the additional duty of Disaster Preparedness Officer. Eighteen months later he was selected for reassignment to Vandenberg AFB and the 310th Aerospace Defense Squadron with the Thor Anti-satellite program. Gil served as a Flight Maintenance Officer with rotational crews to Johnston Island; as group Quality Control Officer; and as Chief of the Maintenance Division. In January 1971 he was reassigned to HQ 14th Air Force as a member of the Long Range Planning Division. When reorganization eliminated the division he was reassigned to HQ ADC as the Chief of the Missile Launch Branch. He was subsequently reassigned as Chief of Safety for 14th Air Force. In 1975 he was reassigned to Thule Greenland as Chief of Operations for the 12th Missile Warning Radar Squadron. Upon completion of this tour of duty he was reassigned to Ellsworth AFB as Chief of the Quality Control Division of the 44th Strategic Missile Wing. He was reassigned to the position of Chief of the Maintenance Control Division of the wing with additional duty as Deputy Commander of Maintenance. In 1980 he was reassigned to NORAD in Cheyenne Mountain where he served as a Space Surveillance Officer, a Space Defense Officer and the Chief of the Standardization and Evaluation Division. Gil retired from the Air Force on 1 December 1981 as LtCol. Gil was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Readiness Medal, the National Defense Medal, and the Korean Defense Service Medal. In 1982 Gil was employed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in the Long Range Planning Division. Gil developed space system requirements documents for Air Force Space Command and US Space Command. He retired in 1992 from SAIC. In 1994 he accepted a job offer from Aeronautical Radio Corporation to develop requirements documents for a NOAA weather satellite system. Upon completion of this project he retired for good to fish and garden. In 2001 moved to Fairfield Glade, TN. Gil became a Master Gardener after moving to Tennessee and was the editor of the Cumberland County Master Gardener Newsletter for 6 years. Gil was a life member of MOAA as well as a member of the Upper Cumberland Chapter of MOAA and was editor of their newsletter for 4 years. Gil is survived by his beloved wife Lura Georgiann Johnson; son, Brian Johnson (Kathleen); daughters, Karla McKinney (James) and Karen Foster (Richard); grandchildren, Sarah, Gregory, Rachel (Josh) and Timothy ; sister, Margot Facklam; and brother, Michael Johnson. He was preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother Martin. Gil was a member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Crossville TN since 2001 where he had served as an Elder, Lector, and Church Council Secretary. He will be interred in the church’s columbarium.