ROBERT S. JOHNSON
Major, USAAF (Ret)
WWII :: Confirmed Kills- 27
“Everything I ever learned about air fighting taught me that the man who is aggressive, who pushes a fight, is the pilot who is successful in combat and who has the best opportunity for surviving battle and coming home.”
– Major Robert S. Johnson, USAAF
If that German pilot ever knew whom he hadn’t killed, he surely lived to regret it. Bob Johnson would go on to score 27 aerial victories in his time with the 56th Fighter Group, one of the top scoring groups in the ETO, under its great leader, Col. Hub Zemke. The top two aces of the Eighth Air Force, Johnson and Gabby Gabreski, both flew P-47s with “Zemke’s Wolfpack.”
When his combat tours were finished, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, returned Stateside, to a hero’s welcome, and to PR roles like War Bond tours. Johnson enjoyed these publicity jobs, unlike his quiet, reserved friend, Dick Bong, America’s “Ace of Aces,” who had just come back from the Pacific.
After the war, Johnson went to work for Republic Aircraft, and spent some time in Korea, in a split role as a civilian observer and as a USAF Lieutenant Colonel. He wrote his autobiography in 1958, and later moved to South Carolina, where he ran a successful insurance business. He remained active on the lecture circuit and in military aviation circles under his death in December, 1998.
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