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Theodore Jay Johnston


1923 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Theodore Jay Johnston Obituary
Theodore Jay Johnston

Decorated WWII Bomber Pilot

Sir Theodore Jay ("T.J.") Johnston

398th Bomb Group Pilot, 600th Squadron, Eighth Air Force

1923 ~ 2013

Theodore Jay ("T.J.") Johnston was born in Olympia, Washington on October 12, 1923 to Jay Johnston and Helen May Shultis Johnston. He passed peacefully on November 23, 2013.

Growing up in Olympia, T.J. spent many happy hours in his small boat on Puget Sound. Following graduation from Olympia High School in 1941,TJ worked as a mechanic for a small aviation company until December 7th's Pearl Harbor attack. On January 2, 1942 he began his 37 year career with the Boeing Company working as a preflight mechanic on DB-7's and B-17's.

In February 1944, Johnston was awarded pilot wings, promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and left for the European theater. Assigned to the 8th Air Force, 398th Heavy Bomb Group, he was stationed in a little village called Nuthampstead, England. As lead pilot & Captain of B17's, TJ flew 30 missions over France and Germany, finishing his tour in March 1945. For his service he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Five Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal. Ted retired from the Air Force Reserve as a Major. In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious "Chevali Legion d' Honneur" by the French government, the equivalent of British knighthood.

Ted attended St. Martin's University in Olympia and the University of Washington, graduating with a B.A. in Industrial Design. He was a man of many talents: a gifted artist, a skilled golfer, an excellent mechanic as well as mean card player. Ted was always a willing volunteer in his community. He especially enjoyed his years as a Docent at the Museum of Flight.

Theodore is survived by his brother, Norman Johnston (Jane) of Seattle; sons J.T. Johnston (Stephanie) of Kodiak, AK, Stephen T. Johnston (Gary) of Seattle and daughter, Deborah Ann Daley of Scottsdale AZ and two grandchildren, Matthew J. Bradshaw of Seattle and Elyse M. L. Johnston of Kodiak, AK.

Ted will be interred next to his wife of 65 years, Dorothy Ann Brundage Johnston at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA. His memorial service will be held at Southminster Presbyterian Church, 19834 8th Ave South, Des Moines, WA at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 21, 2013. A reception will follow at Wesley Gardens, 815 S. 216 Street, Des Moines. WA.

Remembrances may be made to Southminster Presbyterian Church.
Published in The Seattle Times from Dec. 14 to Dec. 15, 2013
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