Johnson, Nelson Beck Major, U.S.A.R. (Ret.) April 8, 1933 - June 2, 2017
Nelson Beck Johnson was born at Peking Union Medical College in Peking, China where his father, Nelson Trusler Johnson was serving as American Minister and later Ambassador to China. He lived in Japanese occupied Peking after 1937 until 1940. The family was briefly in Nanking shortly before the infamous Rape of Nanking. From 1937 to 1940, he, his mother and sister lived in Peking and his father went on with Chiang Kai-shek to the wartime capital of Chungking. Nelson went to the Peking American School. After 4 years of separation, the family was reunited in Washington, D.C. After Ambassador Johnson requested a quiet post, the family went to Australia in 1941 prior to Pearl Harbor where he served as Minister and Ambassador.
After the battle of Guadalcanal, young Nelson and his sister accompanied their parents to Melbourne where the First Marine Division was having R & R after the battle. The Commanding Officer, Gen. Archie Vandergrift, who had served in Peking, made young Nelson a Sgt. Major (permanent) in the First Marine Division at age nine. While in Canberra, he attended the Boys Grammar School. In 1945, he returned to the Unites States of America. Recently he was interviewed for a documentary that is about to be released, called "The China Marines". His Marine uniform, made for him in Peking, has been donated to the National Museum of the Marine Corps where an exhibit on the "China Marines" is planned.
Upon graduating from St James High School in Hagerstown, MD in 1952, he enlisted with the US Marine Aviation Reserves in 1952 at the Anacostia Naval Air Station in Washington D.C. As a Private, he learned to maintain the F8F Bearcat Fighter aircraft assigned to the USMC, VMF 321st (Hells Angels) Squadron at Anacostia Naval Air Station, Washington D.C. Upon completion of his basic reserve training, he was promoted to Private First Class and was assigned to an F8 aircraft as Plane Captain. In 1953, upon graduation from USMC Basic training at Parris Island, SC, he was assigned to duty at the USMC detachment in Annapolis, MD. He was admitted to the US Naval Academy for a semester and decided to change his academic direction. He completed a year at George Washington University, and during that year his father passed away. He next attended the University of Wyoming in 1955, where he joined the Army ROTC program. He started a business in Laramie selling HiFi equipment and records, and then teamed up with several friends to create a corporation to pursue several other business interests, however that came to an end when he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science at the University of Wyoming, at Laramie, Wyoming, and was then commissioned a Second Lieutenant USAR, in January 1959.
He married Harriet Fetcher that same year in Steamboat Springs Colorado and they had two sons. His primary military education included the Army Security Agency, Officer Basic Course, and Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course, both at Fort Devens, MA. He then attended the Joint Senior Cryptologic Course, at the National Security Agency. Throughout his career, he continued his specialized training to enhance his technical and professional understanding and capabilities in Signals Intelligence, Computers, Electronic Warfare/Reconnaissance, Signal Security, Human Intelligence and Surveillance Operations and the undertaking of Strategic and Tactical Threat Analysis.
Major Johnson served in numerous command and staff positions of responsibility during his twenty years of Military Service. Prior to retiring from the Army, he was Officer in Charge of a Collection Detachment on the South Korean Demilitarized Zone near Munsani in support of the 7th Infantry Div. He then commanded a tactical ASA Collection Unit, in support of 1st Cavalry Division, I Corps, 8th US Army in the central sector of the Korean Peninsula at the critical time of President Kennedy's assassination. These units also were an integral part of the National SIGINT system controlled by NSA. Later, he served as the S-3 of 502d MI Group in Augsburg, then in West Germany, where he developed and coordinated the implementation of the post-Vietnam ASA Group reactivation plans in West Germany, which had previously been drawn down to build up the Army Cryptologic force structure in the conflict in South East Asia. While in West Germany, he was successively assigned to the Group headquarters to perform a pre-activation IG inspection then as the S-3 Operations officer to the Group. Next, he was assigned as Executive Officer of the 302nd, Intelligence and Security Battalion in support of V Corps in West Germany during a critical period of reconstituting and rebuilding the Tactical Intelligence and Security forces in support of USAREUR and the Seventh Army. Before his retirement, he then served HQ USAREUR in a senior Cryptologic Staff position developing plans to integrate the ASA units into the US Army deployed in Europe at the time when the Army Security Agency was reorganized into the US Army Intelligence and Security Command.
Throughout his career, Major Johnson also served in a variety of senior staff positions in Component, Joint and Combined in intelligence, counter-intelligence, and security Forces in the United States, Korea, Vietnam, and Europe. First, he trained and became proficient as a Radio Traffic Analyst and as an Operations Officer. He then served successively as a Communications Officer at the National Security Agency developing a deep understanding of our Global Signals Intelligence operations and how it worked. He next served as a desk analyst overseeing the ground missions in the Far East. This required an understanding of the need to use and translate from Chinese to English to Chinese to foster rapid translations, interpretations, analysis and response by combat and strategic forces. In a Staff capacity, he served at a succession of major command Headquarters from Headquarters Army Security Agency in Washington DC, through the J-2 MACV, in South Vietnam; the S-3, 502d ASA Group in West Germany, and XO, 321st ASA Bn., V Corps, Frankfurt, West Germany. Finally, between 1977 & 1980, he served as the SIGNINT/ EW Architect on the Intelligence Staff of USAREUR, 7th Army, in Heidelberg, West Germany. This last assignment, he planned and supported the execution of the Army Security Agency units in Germany, into a fully integrated Direct Support Units of the US Army, Europe. Upon the completion if this assignment, he retired.
Awards and decorations Major Johnson received while on Active Duty include: The Legion of Merit (to be validated), the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (otherwise with oak leaf cluster), the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the National Defense Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters for service during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. He also received decorations presented by South Vietnam and Korea. As a retiree, he served an additional 20 years as a consultant working for ESL Corporation, TRW, ManTech International, and RCA Corporation.
He worked in support of many Army Intelligence and Electronic Warfare projects and programs involving Threat Assessment/Definition to include Doctrine development/enhancement and the articulation of Requirements in capability both tactical and strategic. Much of his work became standards that brought the Army Intelligence and Electronic Warfare capabilities forward into the modern Army extant in the early part of the 21st Century. Over the last 10 years, he was very active in support of the ASA Alumni Association. He coordinated annual reunions that were regularly attended by retired members from across the country. Mr. Johnson died at the age of 84, on June 2nd in Falls Church, Virginia. Mr. Johnson is survived by his sister, two sons, seven grandchildren, two nephews, 3 grand-nephews, a grand-niece, and former wife Harriet Johnson. Mr. Johnson will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial dinner is planned for this fall and will be by invitation. If you would like to attend the service, please call 703-517-9321 and leave your name and number.
Published in Washington Times on July 28, 2017
All - it is again that I pass on info regarding the loss of another one of our SIGINT warriors. I didn't know MAJ Nelson "Nels" Johnson until we met at the Augsburg reunions 15+ years ago. We shared many exchanges over the years since then but I no idea of his detailed background until reading his obit and what what Bill Doyle had to say ... below the obit. Please keep his family in your prayers and may he live in peace forever!
Lt. Dick Patton
I’m sorry to have to report the passing of (Lt.) Dick Patton. Dick served his entire Army career with ASA, both as an enlisted man and as an officer. After basic training he went to Morse Intercept School at Ft. Devens then to OCS at Ft. Benning and then back to Devens as an officer. He was then, along with several contemporaries, sent to Germany where he was assigned to Herzo Base until his discharge in 1953.
Dick died in late 2018 in Naples, Florida at the age of 85.
Jack Kerr (331st Comm. Recon. Co. Giessen, Germany, 1953)
Passed away 03/07/15. Known as "Motor mouth" Bill was an 05D20 from 1968-1972, and was originally from Bayonne, NJ. His duty stations were P-Y-Do, Korea and Hakata, Japan.
Richard W., 70, of Kearny past away suddenly on Friday, August 12th, 2016. He was born to William G. Jaslovsky and Anne (nee Egel) in West NY, NJ. He was a proud Veteran of the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Before retiring from Avaya in 2014, Richard was the Exhibit Marketing Technical Manager with whom he was employed for 49 years.
Richard was known as "Toolman", he could fix anything and always had a tool handy; he enjoyed home improvement. He also had his dog "Gizmo" who was his little buddy. Richard was a member of the NRA and Vietnam Veterans Association.
Richard will be deeply missed by his beloved wife, Gail (nee Smith) Jaslovsky; his children, Ann Kehoe and her husband Steven and Steven Jaslovsky; his grandchildren, Amanda and Steven.
Family will receive friends on Tuesday 3 to 7 PM with 6:30 PM Prayer Service, in the Calhoun-Mania Funeral Home, 19 Lincoln Ave., Rutherford, NJ. Private Cremation.
Charles Bachelder Sr, 76
Passed away March 31, 2011 from complications of MDS. He proudly served in the U.S. Army at Herzo Base from 1956-1959, and in the Army Reserve from 1959-1962
David Deemer, 68
Passed away January 12, 2004. David was an Army veteran
I know we are constantly losing some of the older ASA vets due to ag and/or infirmity. We lost a good one last week with the passing of Dick Patton. Dick was serving at Herzo Base in Germany at the same time I was in Giessen. He had retired ti Naples , Florida a couple of years ago and died in a personal care home there.
James “Jim” Eugene Dow
Evans, GA – Entered into rest Tuesday, August 23, 2016, James Eugene Dow, 63, husband of 41 years to Mrs. Judy Dixon Dow.
He was a Medevac pilot who flew Hueys and Blackhawks. James was an avid scuba diver instructor and a member of the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) for 40 years. He was a military intelligence soldier retiring after 26 years as a Chief Warrant Officer Four. He served tours in Okinawa, Panama and Korea. Mr. Dow was a member of the American Legion, Post 192.
Family members in addition to his wife include; son: Jeff Dow; granddaughter: Bella Marley Dow; sisters: Pat D. Furman, Frances D. Wheat, Mary D. Caldwell; brothers: Frederick A. Dow, Jr. and Henry O. Dow and numerous nephews. Mr. Dow is preceded in death by a brother: Alfred H. Dow.
A memorial service will be Saturday, August 27, 2016, at 5:00 P.M. in the chapel of Thomas Poteet & Son with full military honors. The family will receive friends following the service until 7:00 P.M.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorials contributions to American Cancer Society, 2607 Commons Blvd, Augusta, GA 30909.
Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Rd., Augusta, GA 30907 (706) 364-8484. Please sign the guestbook at www.thomaspoteet.com
Ronald (Ron) E. Stapp
One of our members, Ron Stapp, passed away. Here are a couple notes from his family:
From Candace Bush: My heart has the biggest hole in it right now. My brother Ronald Stapp has joined my Mom this afternoon in Heaven, my only consultation right now is knowing one day we will be together again and his heart is now that of a young man once again. Rest now in peace Bro. I love you.
From Natasha Stapp Lindahl: Arrangements for my dad Ronald Stapp have been made. Visitation is from 2-5 Sunday at Neal Parchman Tarpley funeral home in Clarksville TN. Visitation will also be from 9 am until the time of service on Monday. Service is at 11 am at Neal Parchman Tarpley followed by graveside services at Kentucky veterans cemetery west, Hopkinsville Ky with full military honors.
George Fred Miller, Sr.
Suffolk - George Fred Miller, Sr., 95, of Suffolk, VA passed away October 21, 2015. He was born in Jacksonville, FL to the late George and Rose Miller. He is also predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Eileen Ada Miller. George worked as an electrical engineer at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. George retired from the U.S. Army as a Chief Warrant Officer having served during WWII, Korea , and Vietnam. He was a member of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, VA and the 29th Infantry Division Association Post 5. George is survived by his son, George Fred Miller, Jr. and wife, Lori of Colonial Heights, VA; grandchildren, Collin and Christopher Miller; and niece, Linda and Fred Allen of Virginia Beach. A funeral service will be held Wednesday, October 28 , 2015 at 10 a.m. at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 3300 Cedar Ln., Portsmouth, VA 22703 with Rector Eileen P. Walsh officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery. Visitation will be held Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. at Parr Funeral Home and Crematory, 3515 Robs Dr. Suffolk, VA 2343
Homer V. Thompson, 96
Passed away May 16, 2013 from natural causes. Active military service During World War II and the Korean War. Lt. Colonel Thompson was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service with the Army Security Agency
CSM James W. Jones (Ret)
I found this site while doing some background research on my father in laws military service. He was one of my best friends from 1989-2012 I just thought many of the friends he served with in ASA may want to know Jim passed away in 2012 of heart complications Jim served from 1959-1984 then went on to work for the State Department until 1989. I know that it is hard to find friends we all served with. I know Jim did 2 tours in vietnam one in Chu Li he served in Hawaii, Turkey, Ft. Devens, Arlington Hall, Two Rock Ranch, Korea, and a few others. If anyone that served with him would like to speak with me or is willing to speak with me please feel free to share my contact info. Jim always wanted to write a book but said they would never let me get away with it! He was a great man. Thank you. Kevin
Col. Kevin M Jankoskin
Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonel's
ADA/Veterans Rights Advocate
Spec. 4 David Tyler
It's great to see the ASA Website, and read all the stuff we were told back then not to talk about, lol! I have a name, regrettably, to add to the list of those permanently relieved of duty: Spec.4 David Tyler, of Mississippi, who was reported to have committed suicide, not long after he got out. I hope that one day, the American People will know how much we all did for them, during the days of Viet Nam and the Cold War. All the Way!
I am sorry to inform you of the passing of CWO3, John M. Steele, USMC Retired . He passed away on October 29, 2016 at his home in Thailand with his wife by his side. Please remove this email address from your contact list unless you have business with the Steele estate. My name is Larry Edmonds and was asked by John to assist his wife after his death. My contact information is below.
Thailand American Legion Post TH01
083 201 1062 Lcl.
+66 83 201 1062 Int'l
Lt. Colonel Robert Dales Slocum, 80
Robert Dale Slocum (Bob) passed away October 8, 2011 from heart failure. Lt. Colonel Slocum enlisted in the Army Security Agency in 1950. He attended several military schools, graduating as Lieutenant from OCS in 1952. He studied the Russion language in Monterey, California. His duty stations included Hawaii, Thailand, Viet Nam and retired at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
Wanda June Key Ruskowski, 64
Wanda June Key Rustowski passed away March 15, 2013 from pneumonia. Wanda was a Viet Nam era veteran and served a tour in Okinawa as a 98J Traffic Analyst in the Army Security Agency.
Roy Buswell, 66
Passed away December 14, 2004 from kidney failure. Roy was an Army Security Agency veteran, having served in Germany.
Robert “Bob” A. Wolff, Jr., age 76, of Prior Lake, passed away unexpectedly due to an automobile accident on Sunday, April 9, 2017.
A funeral will be held on Monday, April 17 at 11 a.m. with a visitation from 9:30 to 11 a.m. all at Holy Trinity United Methodist Church, 16150 Arcadia Ave. SE, Prior Lake. The urnbearer will be Bob’s son, Kristopher Wolff. The Prior Lake Honor Guard will provide full military honors. Pastor Chad Gilbertson will preside. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to be distributed by the family.
On December 24, 1940 in Evanston, IL, Robert and Jeanne (Brashears) Wolff celebrated the birth of their son, Robert Alfred Wolff, Jr. Being raised in a no-nonsense household, Bob learned the value of hard work and determination. From a young age, he was responsible for all the family’s yard work and garden—a task he later had his own children do.
Bob attended New Trier Township High School. Unfortunately, his graduation was delayed after breaking his leg in a ski accident. Around the same time, his family moved to St. Louis where Bob finished school. With his father’s encouragement, Bob attended Parsons College in Fairfield, IA and the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Unbeknownst to his family and contrary to his parent’s wishes, Bob enlisted in the Army in 1966. While on his way to basic training, Bob let his family know.
During his ten years in the Army, Bob worked with the Army Security Agency and eventually the electronics division. After serving as a Staff Sergeant in Vietnam, Bob settled in New Zealand where he worked for a hospitality group. Bob’s career in hotel operations and management took him across the world. He visited every continent except Antarctica. Bob helped open the first hotel at Mystic Lake and served as their first director of hotel operations.
Bob’s return to the United States from New Zealand began a new chapter in life—he was soon married and this union was blessed with two wonderful children, Kristopher and Melissa. Following in his father’s footsteps, Bob was a supportive, steadfast parent. He had the habit of encouraging his children to eat new foods, but wouldn’t reveal what it was until after they ate it. Often, Bob taught by example. Mistakes were just another opportunity to learn.
Family was the most important thing in Bob’s life. Despite the distance between family members, Bob and the children always kept in touch. While living in Georgia, the family increased in numbers when one night a dog appeared during a thunderstorm. Always caring, Bob took the dog in, named her Ginger, and she became part of the family.
Bob enjoyed life whether he was traveling, golfing, bowling, swimming, or drinking a good scotch. He was a man with a presence—bold, adventurous, and never afraid.
His legacy will be carried on by his children, Kristopher (Erin Gerard) Wolff, Melissa (Andrew Davis) Wolff; grandchildren, Lillie Wolff, Gabe Wolff; sister, Liz (Jim) Weninger; niece, Ginny (David Jr.) Nyhus.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents and four-legged friend, Ginger.
MOS = High speed morse code intercept
Stationed = Fort Devens
Bad Aibling, Germany
Jim Ceniglio passed 07 July 2015
Ira Edward Andrews, Jr., age 75 of Houston, Texas passed away at Houston Methodist Hospital on 15 August 2016.
Ira was born on 4 September 1940 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to his parents Ira Edward, Sr. and Lenora Andrews. Ira grew up in Pine Bluff and attended Watson Chapel High School. His friends and family knew him as "Sonny". After graduation, he enlisted in the Arkansas National Guard in 1959 then quickly transitioned to Active Duty and earned the nickname "Andy" spending nearly 21 years of dedicated service to our nation. During his time on Active Duty, Ira was a member of the prestigious Army Security Agency and held multiple assignments in the National Capital Region, West Germany, Turkey, Japan and Texas. A combat veteran, Ira proudly served two tours in Vietnam from 1967 through 1969 stationed in Hue and Phu Bai during the Tet Offensive. Following his retirement from the Army in 1980 as a Sergeant First Class, he moved to Houston and it was there that he attended the Harris County Sheriff's Academy and later finished his Master's Degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Houston - Clear Lake. Ira served once again in civilian law enforcement and dedicated over 20 years of his life to protecting the local community in which he lived.
Ira leaves behind his first wife, Nancy Andrews, and his current wife Lisa as well as his sisters Jean Graves and Sue Devine and her husband J.L., his daughter and son-in-law Michelle and Mike Maltzahn of California and his son and daughter-in-law Lt. Col. Mark and Hillary Andrews and his four grandchildren, Faith, Emma, Jack and Max of Belgium. Ira is preceded in death by his sister Judy Cox and his second daughter, baby Natalie.
Ira will be given full military honors and will be laid to rest on 6 September 2016 at the Houston National Cemetery (10410 Veteran's Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77038). Please arrive no later than 11:00 and park in Lane 2 next to the Public Information Center. The procession will depart promptly at 11:10.
Bernard J. (Bernie) Rousher of Munhall, PA, died on September 27, 2015, after a long battle with cancer. Bernie was our ELINT analyst (98J20/30) at Site 1, Rudow, in Berlin during the period from June or July, 1969 to early 1972. He was a very decent, friendly, and conscientious man in all his relationships and endeavors. He was a SP5, when he left the ASA after marrying Sigrid Kiievski, a German national. He worked for Westinghouse in their nuclear power division for years anfter leaving the Army in places all over the world. All of us who served with him remember him fondly and mourn his passing.
Just a sad note that my bro , Cliff Nystedt passed today. He was on the PRD- 1 team with me. He was the original cool guy that I was proud to serve with back in the day. May he rest in peace and always be in my memory. We did some damage together. Hoorah!
Edward J "Easy" Ryder
Sadly, I just recently made a connection with one of my best friends also stationed with me during school and duty assignment Japan via FB. Made contact finally with his wife on a Thursday and he passed on Saturday. Very sad after searching for almost 44 years and just missed talking to him. RIP Edward J "EASY" Ryder.