William Paul Johnson passed away on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at Emory University Hospital in Decatur, Georgia following a short illness. Born on March 1, 1926, Bill’s home for 88 of his 92 years was Chattanooga, Tennessee. For the last four years, he resided with his wife Charlotte at the Sunrise of Decatur assisted living facility. He served in the Civilian Conservation Corps and subsequently entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in July 1944. He was assigned as a B-29 tail gunner in the famous 509th Composite Group, which dropped the atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945. He was then stationed on Kwajalein Atoll during the Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests. Upon discharge in December 1946, Bill apprenticed as a sheet metal worker, becoming a lifelong member of Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 5.
Bill was preceded in death by his first wife Willi Mae Smith; his parents Etta Parker and Charles Johnson; and five siblings.
He is survived by his wife Charlotte Johnson of Decatur; his children Susan McAlister [Hal] of Decatur, Sandi Vines [Hugh] of Chattanooga, and Bryan Johnson of Chattanooga; his stepchildren Sandi Morton [Mike] of Birmingham and William Sullins of Knoxville; his sister Ruth Roden Lowery of Chattanooga; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Services, officiated by Pastor Eddie Cantrell, will be held at Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, on Saturday, April 28. Visitation begins at 10:00 am with the service at 12 noon followed by interment at Hamilton Memorial Gardens on Highway 153 in Hixson.