The Naval History
Honourable George Johnson, M.D.
A Prairie Boy Serves His Country Well
(N) The Honourable George Johnson, M.D. was born
and then educated in Winnipeg, Manitoba, initially
attending Daniel McIntyre Collegiate and United
20 June, 1941, a young George Johnson joined the
Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve at the Winnipeg
Division Ellice Avenue Barracks. He was posted to
H.M.C.S. ROYAL ROADS, in Esquimalt, BC, for initial
officer training, and graduated in December 1941,
a member of only the second class to graduate from
an Acting Sub-lieutenant he took up his first assignment,
onboard HMCS MEDICINE HAT, a minesweeper on escort
duty in the North Atlantic and western approaches.
May 1942 he was promoted to lieutenant and in November
1943 he was posted ashore, to HMCS KINGS (Kings
College, Halifax, N.S.), where he completed an extensive
three month navigation course. He was then assigned
as Navigation Officer to the corvette HMCS KITCHENER.
After completing work-ups off Bermuda, the KITCHENER
proceeded to Great Britain, where Lieutenant Johnson
had been posted.
May of 1944 he joined HMCS LOCH ACHANALT, a new
frigate, and he served her as Navigation Officer
until she was paid off, in June 1945. Lieutenant
Johnson was honourably discharged in October 1945.
the war, George returned to school to complete his
education and to set up a family medical practice
in the community of Gimli, Manitoba. Later, he entered
public life as a member of the Manitoba Legislature.
On 12 December 1986, he was installed as Manitoba's
twentieth Lieutenant Governor, the first Manitoban
of Icelandic origin to serve in the position. He
was also made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
1988, Captain Johnson was appointed as the Honorary
Captain of CHIPPAWA. He proudly served in this capacity
until he passed away, at his cottage in Gimli, on
the 8th of July 1995.
Johnson's navigation equipment, saved from
HMCS LOCH ACHANALT when she was decommissioned,
is on display in the Naval Museum.
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