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Dorothy Dempster


Dorothy served in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) during the Second World War.

On 2 May 1942, she married Private Ernest P. Johnson, from Arcadia, Wisconsin. This was reported as the first WWII marriage between an American serviceman and a British woman.

Ernest Johnson was a member of the Arcadia 32nd Military Police (MP) company, National Guard, and was stationed in London at the time of their marriage.

Their daughter Frances was born in London on 8 April 1943. After her baptism, one of Ernest’s friends, Private Henry Resten, who was from the same MP company, sent in a photograph he had taken on the day to his parents with the following comment:
“The picture I am sending is of Ernest Johnson and their baby the day the baby was baptised. I was godfather and Joyce West, one of Mrs. Johnson’s friends was godmother. It was a beautiful service and made me feel good all over.”

The couple had three more children – Ronald, Michael and Stephen – and lived for many years in Arcadia, Wisconsin. Ernest died in 1991, Dorothy in 2001.

Frances M Johnson died 9 April 2002.

Ronald P Johnson was born 24 July 1944? in Fulham, London and died 20 November 1965 in Vietnam.

Michael Johnson was born 3 April 1946 in Arcadia, Wisconsin and died 10 May 1972.

Their youngest, Steven Johnson was born 2 March 1951 in Arcadia, Wisconsin.



  • Ernest Johnson

    Military | Private | Military Policman
    Ernest Johnson enlisted in the US Army in October 1940. He was sent overseas and was stationed in London as a member of the Arcadia 32nd Military Police (MP) company, National Guard, when he met WAAF Dorothy Dempster. ...

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Event Location Date
Born Kilmarnock, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, UK 10 October 1920
Married Ernest P. Johnson London, UK 2 May 1942
Baptised their daughter London, UK April 1943
Landed in New York 2 November 1944

Travelled as a passenger of the Mauretania.

Lived in Arcadia, WI 54612, USA 1946
Died Arcadia, WI 54612, USA 2001
Buried Calvary Cemetery, Arcadia, WI 54612, USA


Date Contributor Update
13 November 2015 03:14:36 sheilamueller12 Changes to nickname and person associations

I am the grand-daughter to Dorothy Dempster. My father is Stephen Johnson.

Date Contributor Update
12 February 2015 12:23:46 Lucy May Changes to biography and events

Information sent through by Dorothy's nephew, Don Kowalsky.

Date Contributor Update
06 February 2015 15:11:31 Lucy May Changes to biography and events

Dorothy's grave record:

Date Contributor Update
06 February 2015 15:02:03 Lucy May Created entry with surname, firstname, nationality, biography and events

Newspaper clipping sent into the museum by Ernest's nephew, Don Kowalsky.

Ernest's enlistment record:

Grave record: