Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Stephen T. Johnson
We then went to live with my paternal grandmother in Glendale, California, and I went to school there. Columbus School still exists, I believe. Dad, after a short time in Chicago, went out to the Far East where he was a Foreign Service officer, as I understand it, kind of on the staff of General MacArthur. One of the first things he did was to go to Manila when they liberated that. He had the job of sorting out the civilians, citizens and non-citizens, that were released from camps and things and helping the citizens and doing other consular things. He was a consul.
Then when the war ended, he was sent to Yokohama and reestablished the consulate that existed there before the war. He was at the time an FSO-6 or something, or “8.” He arrived there just at the surrender with lots of excitement you know, of that particular time. After he arrived, he was sent around the country in an airplane, obviously an air force airplane, to try to sort out prisoners who were released from various camps in Japan - both military and civilian prisoners. He said that he got to Hiroshima in time to greet the Marines when they landed there, and he had a very great adventurous time.
Then was sent over to Korea for a little while because Korea was real afterthought at the end of the war.
Q: Oh, absolutely.
JOHNSON: No one had considered it at all. He had actually served there as a vice consul. So he went over there and did some small assistance to the general who was in charge of setting up our establishment in Korea. Then he came back to Yokohama and set up the consulate. In June of 1946, we - the rest of the family - sailed over in the General McMegs, which was a converted troop carrier, I guess. It was then under the President Lines, but very much in the troop carrier mode. My brother and I, nine and seven years old, I guess, were basically in a cabin with 14 men. I guess it was an officers' cabin in the troop situation. My mother and two sisters were in a similar establishment for ladies, and the missionaries were down in the hold where the troops would be. We were going first class.
Anyway we arrived in Yokohama. The head consul had an apartment in the building, which included offices and four apartments, and we lived there.
Q: You were there from when to when?
JOHNSON: Dad was there from 1945. We were there from June of 194to, I guess, June of 1949.