Thomas David Johnston

Jun 12, 1945 – May 31, 2016

Thomas David Johnston obituary image 1



CMDR. THOMAS DAVID JOHNSTON, USN, ret. June 12, 1945 – May 31, 2016.

            Commander, Thomas David (“Dave”) Johnston, USN, ret. left us suddenly and unexpectedly on May 31, 2016. Dave was born in Seattle just 35 days after VE day, on June 12, 1945, a few months before his father, James William Johnston, a Navy and Marine officer, returned from the Pacific to him, his mother Victoria J. Johnston (nee Palmason) and his older brother James William Johnston, Jr.  Dave grew up in the Mt. Baker district in Seattle and attended the Lakeside School, graduating in June, 1963. He was nominated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis by then Sen. Warren G Magnuson, and graduated with honors with the class of ’67.  From the Academy he went to Georgia Tech and earned his Masters in aeronautical engineering.  He earned his Navy Aviator wings at Pensacola and went on to obtain his test pilot designation at the U.S. Navy test center at Patuxent River. He was a member of the team that brought the S-3 into service for the Navy as an anti-submarine aircraft. He flew several overseas and carrier-based tours with various S-3 squadrons including in Keflavik, Iceland and aboard the USS Eisenhower, the USS Forrestal and the USS Nimitz. He also did a “surface” based tour with the Sixth Fleet Staff in Italy. He served our country for over 24 years, retiring after distinguished service at the Pentagon during the first Gulf War.

            Dave was a great pilot. His nickname, bestowed on him by those with whom he served, was Eeyore, because he was always looking for what could go wrong – which prevented things from doing exactly that.

            After his retirement he moved from Reston, Virginia with his beloved Patricia Johns, to Port Orchard, Washington. Dave is survived by Patricia and her daughter Michelle Johns Wyatt, and granddaughter Victoria Eileen Wyatt.  Dave is also survived by his older brother James William Johnston, Jr. of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, his younger brother Robert Bruce Johnston of Port Ludlow, Washington and his younger sister Mary Victoria Johnston of Chardon, Ohio.

            Services will be held at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, 2400 N.W. 85th, Seattle, WA 98117, wednesday June 8th at 2:00 PM.  The family requests remembrances to the Lakeside School, Seattle, Washington or to your chosen wounded veterans’ organization.


CDR Jon C. Vaughters, Lakeside '63
Surprise, AZ
Jun 15, 2016

I am deeply saddened with the news of Dave's passing. Dave and I were the only two future Navy pilots in our class. I had the pleasure of assisting Dave in his S-3 flying when I flew the A-3 Skywarrior tanker after I returned from Viet Nam. I retired from the Navy in 1988 and went on to fly for USAirways until 2005. I have lost a kindred spirit in Dave and I extend my deepest condolences to his extended family.

Scott Baumann
Bellevue, WA
Jun 9, 2016

I want to thank the family for sharing that particular photo of CDR Johnston, the "solo photo." We also were photographed in the exact same room, so we can relate. We can also relate to his distinguished career. CDR Gary Albert and I probably accomplished less than CDR Johnston did, but, as he well knew, "it all counts for twenty." We tried to remember him, for we also trained around the same time, but that was many moons ago.

We are delighted to find Tom Johnston remembered so well, and salute the fellow aviator "flown west."

CDR Scott "Scooter" Baumann, USNR (ret)

Jay Fontaine
Issaquah, WA
Jun 8, 2016

So long to a good classmate and company mate. Condolences to Dave's family.

Bill Waters
New Smyrna Beach, FL
Jun 5, 2016

Fair winds and following seas, company mate, classmate, and shipmate. Rest in peace.

Jack Brereton
Norwich, NY
Jun 3, 2016

The news of Dave's death is sad. I wish his family the best and know they will gain strength from all that was Dave"s life.

Dutch Heinemeyer
The Villages, FL
Jun 3, 2016

God Speed Dave.

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