Born: February 21, 1920
Birthplace: Lawton, OK
Rank at Retirement: Major
56th Fighter Group
61st Fighter Squadron
62nd Fighter Squadron
DSC, SS, DFC, AM, PH
Victories: 27 Aerial
Total Sorties: 91
P-47C-1-RE, HV-P/"Half Pint"
P-47C-2-RE, 41-6235, HV-P/"All Hell"
P-47D-5-RE, 42-8461, HV-P/"Lucky"
P-47D-15-RE, 42-76234, HV-P/"Double Lucky"
Robert Johnson received his private pilot's license as a
teenager. Joined the Civilian Pilot Training Program while attending college.
Enlisted USAAC, November 1941. Selected for flight training in December 1941.
Commissioned 2/Lt. on July 3, 1942. Assigned to 61st FS/56th FG in November
1942. Arrived to ETO with the 56th Ftr. Gp. in January 1943. First
operational mission on April 17, 1943. Shot down an enemy Fw 190 fighter for his first
victory on June 13, 1943. Promoted to Captain on March 15, 1944. Later
Johnson was promoted to Major and assumed the job of Operations Officer with the
62nd FS/56th FG. On his last mission, May 8, 1944, Maj. Johnson shot down two Fw 190
fighters to round out his scoring. Returned home to the USA in June
1944 and saw no further combat while training new fighter pilots and touring the
"Homefront". After WWII, Robert Johnson spent time in the Reserves and
obtained the rank of Lt. Colonel in 1949. Joined Republic Aviation as a
Test Pilot and later as an executive for the company. Later, Johnson would work
in the insurance industry until retirement to Lake Wylie, South Carolina.|
Inducted into the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame in 1983.
Johnson recounted his story to author Martin Caiden in the classic biography "Thunderbolt", first published in 1958.
Robert S. Johnson passed away December 27, 1998 at St.
Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma after having been hospitalized while
visiting with relatives.