Lt. Alan. S. Johnson
Rockport — Lt. (U.S. Army Air Corps) Alan S. Johnson took his final bombing run Jan. 28, 2014, when he was shot down by an enemy lymphoma.
Alan was born on the evening of May 2, 1924, in Camden. His squadron leader (father) was Elmer Lue [sic] Johnson, aka Gramps. His wing commander (mother and Elmer’s immediate superior) was Emily Young Johnson, aka Nannie Emmie. The Johnson hangar also housed three aircraft riveters (Alan’s twin sisters Rita Johnson Kennedy and Frieda Johnson Dalton, and eldest sister Barbara Tarantino). The family ran a working dairy farm on High Street in Lincolnville. Hard as farm life was, Alan was later appreciative that it sustained them through the Depression. The farm taught him the value of hard work; it also convinced him that haying, milking cows in the wee hours, delivering milk during snowstorms, and shoveling manure from sweltering stalls would not belong in his future.
Alan enrolled at the University of Maine in 1942, majoring in mechanical engineering. His studies were interrupted when, in ’43, he volunteered for and was accepted into the Army Air Corps’ Officers’ Candidate School.
Before going overseas he returned to Lincolnville on leave. On a blind date at the Waldo Theater in Waldoboro, Alan met the woman who was to become the love of his life, Allegra Noyes of Rockport.
Later in ’44, now a newly-minted 2nd lieutenant and co-pilot of a 4-engine B-24 Liberator, he flew from Maine to Iceland and, after refueling, to southern England. Shortly thereafter Alan flew combat missions over Germany.
At war’s end, Alan returned to the Camden/Lincolnville/Rockport area where he and Allegra rekindled their romance. In short order they got engaged and were married June 26, 1946. They moved to an apartment in Bangor where Alan completed his studies at the University of Maine. In the spring of ’47 he received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and promptly went job hunting.
An avid pilot, Alan initially sought work with the airlines. Due to the glut of pilots returning from the war he broadened his job search. He was ultimately hired by American Telephone and Telegraph. He worked for AT&T, or one of its affiliates, for his entire professional career.
The couple moved to the Boston area in the later ‘40s where Alan began his communications career and where their first son, Dwight Alan, was born Nov. 30, 1950, followed by their second (and much better looking) son, Eric Edward, Oct. 21, 1952.
In addition to being a loving husband and doting new father, Alan worked hard at AT&T. His managerial talents did not go unnoticed.
His first big promotion resulted in a family move to Portland. Three subsequent promotions took the family to Summit, N.J., Reading, Mass., and Hopkinton, N.H., where Alan retired in 1984 at the age of 59.
Alan and Allegra were busy in retirement. During the winters of the later '80s and early '90s they rented an apartment in Salt Lake City where, accompanied by a troupe of retirees, they skiied Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, Brighton, and Sundance. They also bought a motor home and toured around the country.
Allegra was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and, after a ferocious battle, passed away Nov. 14, 1993. Alan provided all of Allegra’s medical care during the 22-month ordeal, a fact that astounded the two nurses from the Visiting Nurse Association who arrived the final weekend of Allegra’s life. This labor of love was Alan’s the most grueling mission. It was also his finest moment.
Alan later connected with a former Camden High School girlfriend, the widowed Mary Hatch Burgess of Farmingdale. They were married Dec. 29, 1994. She died Oct. 3, 2013.
Alan is greatly missed by his two sons, Dwight and Eric. He loved his sisters, nieces and nephews; also his former brothers- and sisters-in-law and their children. Alan and Allegra were particularly close to Marge and Doug Young of Thomaston.
There will be a gathering for family and friends Saturday, June 7, at 12:30 p.m., at Long Funeral Home, 9 Mountain St., Camden. Burial will follow in the Sea View Cemetery, Russell Avenue, Rockport. Condolences may be shared with the Johnson family at longfuneralhomecamden.com.