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Carl Nelson Johnson

PFC in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co D, 3rd Platoon


Born 1913 in VT, Died 1970


County of residence at enlistment: Kings County, NY
Other residence(s): Keene, NH; Stratford, CT
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: designers
College education before the war: Pratt
Notes: Certificate of Merit; CG SP TRS, 12th A Gp, 16 Dec 44. Meritorious Service: Squad Sgt, France, 15 Jun-22 Aug 44; final rank S/SGT
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; Awards and Decorations; Bernie Mason Company D Roster; photo from 1937 Pratt yearbook

Carl Johnson was born on October 31, 1913 in Westminster, VT. He was an only child, the son of a farmer and a nurse. Sadly, his father died in 1916 when Carl was only three; he had been out on his own land two days after Christmas, cutting wood with a friend, and his skull was crushed by a falling tree.

Carl and his mother moved to Keene, NH sometime after his father's death; his mother remarried in 1925. He graduated from Keene High School in 1931 and eventually went off to New York City to study at Pratt Institute. He graduated from Pratt with a degree in industrial design in 1937; his future wife Jean Harris was in the same class.

Carl got a passport in May of 1938 and headed to Scandinavia; he returned to New York in the fall of 1938 and went to work as a designer at the Design Center on West 52nd Street.

He registered for the draft on October 16, 1940 and enlisted on August 29, 1942. Sometime in between those two events he and Jean married. Like other Pratt graduates, Carl was assigned to the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion. He saw service in Europe during the war and achieved the rank of Squad SGT.

After the war he and Jean started a family, becoming the parents of two daughters: Carol Ann and Joan Beth. They moved to Stratford, CT in 1948 when Carl accepted a position as an industrial designer at General Electric. His mother, who had been widowed a second time in 1940, joined them in Stratford and lived there until her death in 1951.

Carl died on February 18, 1970 in Stratford.


1937 Pratt yearbook (see below)


1904 parents' marriage record

1913 birth record

1916 father's death record

1916 article in the Brattleboro Reformer (VT) re his father's death

1930 census

1930 Keene High School yearbook; junior class list (1931 yearbook is missing)

1935 city directory Keene NH

1937 Pratt Institute yearbook (photo also includes his future wife, Jean Harris)

1938 shipboard manifest

1940 draft card

1941 Keene city directory (lists him as NYC artist)

1942 enlistment record

1970 obituary in the Bridgeport Post (CT)

1970 Connecticut death index

2001 wife's obituary in the New York Times

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