Lieutenant Commander James Brice ‘Drama’ Johnson passed away in a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet accident on March 14, 2018. He was born in Columbus, Mississippi, on August 21, 1984 to Air Force Officers Wade and Kathy Johnson. His sister, Kallyn, followed 18 months later. The Air Force family moved together to Holloman AFB NM, Keflavik Iceland, Langley AFB VA, Ft. Leavenworth KS, Luke AFB AZ, Maxwell AFB AL, and Randolph AFB TX as Brice was growing up. He attended high school at Brophy College Preparatory in AZ, Saint James School in AL, and Randolph High School in TX in preparation for his appointment to the United States Air Force Academy in 2003.
Brice began courting his future bride, Mary Asher ‘Mash’ Vendt, following their first year at the Air Force Academy after connecting at Airmanship 490, Basic Freefall Parachuting. They graduated together in the class of 2007, with Brice commissioning as an Ensign in the United States Navy. He attended Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) training in Pensacola, FL, while Mash attended primary flight training at Whiting Field, FL. The couple married at the United States Air Force Academy Chapel on August 1, 2009. Brice then moved to Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA and joined the VFA-22 “Fighting Redcocks” as a F/A-18F Super Hornet WSO. He completed two combat deployments onboard the USS Carl Vinson with VFA-22 before being selected for pilot training in Pensacola, FL. In July of 2015, Wade pinned another set of wings upon his chest. After re-mastering the F/A-18F from the front seat, Brice was assigned to the world famous VFA-213 “Fighting Blacklions” at Naval Air Station Oceana, VA. With VFA-213 he deployed a third time, flying combat missions from the USS George H.W. Bush, returning home in August 2017. Drama was “unwillingly” promoted to LCDR in February 2018 (JOPA forever!). He departed this world doing exactly what he loved in service to this great country.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Asher ‘Mash’ Johnson; his parents, C. Wade and K.J. Johnson; sister, Kallyn; in-laws, David and Mary Hart Vendt; and countless loving family and friends. He will always be remembered for his infectious laugh and huge grin. His ability to light up any room and make us all laugh will be dearly missed. Rest in peace, Brice. Fair winds and following seas…ESBU…”.and touched the face of God.”
A visitation is scheduled for Friday, March 23 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm with service following at 2:00 pm at Virginia Beach United Methodist Church (212 19th Street, Virginia Beach VA). Full military honors and a missing man formation flyover will follow the service on the beachfront with a reception immediately following. Altmeyer Funeral Home, 1801 Baltic Ave., is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be left to the family below.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to The Wingman Foundation at www.wingmanfoundation.org or to Camp Wapiyapi where Brice volunteered several summers. Camp Wapiyapi is a summer camp for children facing pediatric cancer and their siblings at no cost. Donations may be mailed in honor of J. Brice Johnson to 191 University Blvd #294, Denver CO 80206 or online https://www.Coloradogives.org/wapiyapi/overview or by calling 303-534-0883.
Date: Friday, March 23, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm
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