Batherson Dies 

John Batherson, a decorated World War II

veteran and a Maine judge for 36 years, died Thursday at Central

Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. He was 85.

Batherson was a native of Rumford, where he lived with his wife

of 57 years and raised four children.

During World War II, Batherson flew 21 combat missions in Europe

as a radio operator and gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. He

and the rest of his crew were shot down behind enemy lines in

Yugoslavia and evaded German troops for a month before making their

way to safety.

After the war, Batherson earned a law degree and practiced law

in Rumford. He was appointed as a municipal judge by then-Governor

Edmund Muskie in 1958, and later served as a district judge until

his retirement at age 72 in 1994.