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Cool thing I learned about a great uncle

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Kevatc, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    A great uncle of mine just died in mid May at 94 years old. I knew he had been a pilot in WW II but that was about the extent of it. My mom sent me a copy of his obituary and I thought I would share part of it:

    His military record started in February of 1941, when he enlisted as a private in the Wyoming National Guard, one day before it was ordered to active duty. He served with the 115th Cavalry at Fort Lewis, Washington, until November of 1941, when he transferred to the Army Air Corps for pilot training. He attended Army flying schools in Texas and was graduated as a pilot and second lieutenant on July 3, 1942.

    His first duty as an Air Corps flyer was in Florida on a B-17 bomber for a combination of training and anti-submarine patrol. From there he went to Tucson, Arizona, for training in B-24 bombers and after duty as a flight instructor, flight commander and operations officer, left for England in February of 1944 with the 466th Bombardment Group from combat duty with the 8th Air Force.

    In England his first combat flight was as deputy group leader of an attack on Berlin. He flew a total of 30 combat missions over Europe, including 23 high-altitude bombing raids and seven on special assignment for support of the French Resistance. This latter consisted of low-altitude, single plane flights at night to deliver supplies and agents behind the lines to the French Resistance forces.

    After the war, the French Government awarded the Croix de Guerre, with palm, to the 801st Bombardment Group, with which he served, for its work in supporting the French Resistance (the Maquis).

    On release from active duty, he remained in the Air Corps receiver and was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he took active duty assignments. He retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel.

    Johnson's military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the European service medal with five battle stars, the Air Offensive-Europe, Battle of Normandy, Battle of Northern France, Battle of the Rhineland, and Battle of Ardennes-Alsace, and the American Theatre service medal, American Defense Medal, Airman's Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and World War II Victory Medal.
    Joe Link, Rix, lowly monk and 15 others like this.
  2. lowly monk

    lowly monk Beaverton, Oregon. Just a guy. Bronze Supporter

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    This is the stuff! These guys are the reason were not speaking another language. Thanks for sharing, My grand father was also in that war. Got to know what mustard gas did to the body.
  3. xm193

    xm193 seatac Active Member

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    great story kevatc !
  4. macdougall29

    macdougall29 Newberg, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    Awesome, never forget these patriots that served our country! I used to work for AMR (American Medical Response) in Portland and we would tranport VA patients all the time. I used to love talking with these guys and their stories were always great, and they appreciated someone that would actually listen to them. It amazes me how some people just don't think these people have feelings or how our current vets are treated sometimes.
  5. giddyupgo55

    giddyupgo55 Vernonia Active Member

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    Great story. Not to many left. They should all be treated with the upmost respect.
  6. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing......
  7. bruzer

    bruzer Grants Pass, OR Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing and I hope the younger generations can continue his patriotism.
  8. GED

    GED North Idaho Active Member

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    How right you are! My uncle(dang, just gave away how ancient I am)is still alive and well. He was a A20 gunner, 410th Bomb Group, 9th AAF. Shot down in early August 1944 near Rouen France, spent the rest of the war as a POW. Here' a photo of him(left):


  9. ejmpnu92

    ejmpnu92 Hillsboro, Or Active Member

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    It is amazing the stories that this generation could have told, yet never did. My grandfather was part of the Danish resistance, getting downed flyers back to England. He spoke very little about it and when he did, it was to my father. As I say this, I know as much as my dad, because as my grandfather put it to him, "there is no need to speak of the past, only to look to the future." While I agree to a point, dang it, sure would have liked to hear about it.