CAPT William S. Johnson IV, USN (Ret.) '63
'60's Classes: Chair, Council of Class Presidents

Captain Spencer Johnson, the son of a career Navy medical officer grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Portsmouth, Virginia; Yokuska, Japan; and Charleston, S.C., before reporting to the Naval Academy in 1959 for induction with the class of 1963.

On graduation, Captain Johnson reported to the first of several destroyers, the USS James C. Owens (DD- 776) homeported in Charleston, S.C. He was assigned as flag lieutenant to the Commander of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla Six also homeported in Charleston, S.C.in 1965.  He saw Vietnam combat duty in the USS Perry (DD-844) in 1968-1969. Later sea duty included assignment from 1973 to 1975 as the executive officer of the USS Richard L. Page (DEG-5) homeported in Athens, Greece, as part of Destroyer Squadron Twelve, a permanent part of the US Sixth Fleet. He later commanded the USS Bigelow (DD-942) from 1979 to 1982, deploying to the Persian Gulf as part of the Middle East Force.  His last sea duty (1985-1987) was as Commander, Destroyer Squadron Fifteen, comprising  seven destroyer type ships homeported in Yokuska, Japan, as a permanent part of the USS Midway (CV-41) battle group and the US Seventh Fleet.

Ashore, Captain Johnson attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Mass. for graduate education, marrying a fellow classmate Andrea M. Magazzu in 1970. The first of five Pentagon tours began in 1975 with duty on the staff  of the Chief of Naval Operations (OP-602) with follow on assignment as Special Assistant for Joint Matters to the Director of the Joint Staff (1976-1978). Following his first command tour, Captain Johnson returned to the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations (OP-605) and was one of two action officers that produced the first Maritime Strategy document in 1982.

Service as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy (John Lehman) soon followed until sea duty again called. From 1987 to 1991 Captain Johnson served as the Executive Assistant and aide (OP-06A) to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy and Operations. His last tour on active duty was on the faculty of the National War College at Ft. McNair, Washington, DC, as Chairman of the Department of Strategy and Operations. Captain Johnson retired from active duty with other classmates in ceremonies at the Naval Academy in June 1993.

On retirement, Captain Johnson was employed by the SAIC Corporation of McLean, Virginia, conducting strategic, policy, plans and logistics studies for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Unified Commanders, and the Navy.

 

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