The Honorable Sam Johnson, Colonel, USAF (Ret.) 1st Lt. Sam Johnson in 1953, shown standing on the wing of his North American F-86E Sabre jet Shirley's Texas Tornado. Lt. Johnson was a fighter pilot assigned to the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group (FIG), 16th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (FIS) flying the F-86 in combat during the Korean War. Lt. Johnson is credited with a combat aerial victory against a MiG-15 on May 23, 1953. Image courtesy of The Honorable Sam Johnson, Colonel, USAF (Ret.) Sam Johnson is a true American hero, a man who has served his country courageously, in war and peace. He served twenty-nine years in the United States Air Force, flying sixty-two combat missions in Korea and twenty-five missions in Vietnam. He was director of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School, wing commander of the 31st Fighter Wing at Homestead AFB, Florida, and air division commander at Holloman AFB, Alamagordo, New Mexico, where he retired in 1979 as a command pilot with the rank of colonel. In civilian life, he pursued a career in home building. From 1985 to 1991 he served as a member of the Texas State House of Representatives. In 1991 he was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives from the Third Congressional District of Texas . He has been reelected to three successive terms. Sam Johnson was born in San Antonio, Texas, on October 11, 1930. He earned a BBA degree from Southern Methodist University in 1951 and a Masters of International Affairs degree from George Washington University in 1974. During his military career he attended the U.S. Air Force Parachute School, Armed Forces Staff College, National War College, and Air Force Fighter Weapons School. He entered the Air Force when his ROTC class was activated in 1951. He trained to fly in such aircraft as the T-6 Texan, the T-33, and the F-80. At Nellis AFB, he transitioned into the North American F-86 Sabre jet. During the Korean War, he was assigned to the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group (FIG), 16th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (FIS), flying an F-86E he named Shirley's Texas Tornado after his wife. Then-Lt. Johnson was credited with a combat aerial victory against a MiG-15 on May 23, 1953. He was also credited with one probable kill and one damaged in air-to-air combat. In 1957, Johnson was the solo pilot flying the F-100 Super Sabre with the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds. While at Nellis AFB, Nevada, in the early 1960s, Johnson collaborated with John Boyd, one of the premier fighter technicians in the armed forces, to write the first Air Force tactics manual for fighter pilots. Even though fighter ace Fred Blesse's book No Guts, No Glory explained maneuvers and tactics, the Air Force had no formal instruction manual for training. This manual was the first to teach and explain the use of the plane on all three axes, instead of two. Energy maneuverability theories for air combat later evolved from this technical study and are still used today. It was during Sam Johnson's second tour of duty in Vietnam that he was put to his greatest test. Then Major Johnson was assigned to the 433rd Fighter Squadron "Satan's Angels," flying the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II from Ubon Air Base, Thailand. In April 1966, during his 25th combat mission over North Vietnam, he was shot down and captured. He was taken to prisons near and in Hanoi, where for the next seven years he and fellow prisoners of war, were subjected day and night to all types of physical and mental agonies. Such treatment was designed to extract from them statements that would be used for propaganda to undermine the U.S. war effort. But despite all the horrors inflicted on him, Sam Johnson did not give in to his captors' demands. Along with more than 450 POWs, Johnson continued creative and innovative resistance to the prison authority. One such method was a "tap code" that allowed POWs to communicate on a cell-to-cell or building-to-building basis. Other methods of communication were receiving messages transmitted by American military leaders in letters from family members. Johnson and his fellow officers were released on February 12, 1973. Their ordeal is described in his book, Captive Warriors - A Vietnam POW's Story, written with Jan Winebrenner. Sam Johnson was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star with Valor, the Meritorious Service Medal, four Air Medals, two Purple Hearts and three Outstanding Unit Awards.Thanks to Little Green Footballs for the Open Thread! Thanks to Mudville Gazette for the Open Post!
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Congressman Sam Johnson's Bio...IMPRESSIVE!
A few days ago, I posted the speech that Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX) made in response to Congressman Jack Murtha's call to withdraw our troops from Iraq. I was checking my sitemeter and found someone else had used my post in their remarks. Below it was Sam Johnson's bio. A Korean and Vietnam war fighter pilot, he started out in F-86's. As I read, I noted he and an officer named John Boyd teamed up to write the first fighter tactics manual. John Boyd was the architect of the modern USAF doctrine. His story is told in "Boyd : The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War." Besides 29 years of service, two Silver Stars, and 7 years of captivity, which left one of his hands deformed, he is a man who laid a foundation for the successful US Air Force that we have today. I'd say that adequately qaulifices him to speak up on some larger issues than just domestic politics. Oh, and a member of the Thunderbirds, too. You have to be one "hot stick" for that assignment. I wonder what his "callsign" was..... Congressman Sam Johnson's bio: