HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

GENERAL LEON W. JOHNSON

PRINT | E-MAIL

Leon W. Johnson was born in Columbia, Mo., in 1904. He spent his boyhood in Columbia and Moline, Kan. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and was commissioned a second lieutenant in June 1926. He later received a master of science degree in meteorology from the California Institute of Technology.

He was one of the first four flying officers of the Eighth Air Force and served as assistant chief of staff for operations for that command and during its formative period at Savannah, Ga. He accompanied the Eighth Air Force to England in June 1942. In January 1943, he assumed command of the 44th Bomb Group and, in June of that year, took the group to Africa to assist the Ninth Air Force in the attack on the Ploesti oil fields in Rumania. For his part in that raid, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. On his return to England in September 1943, he organized the 14th Combat Wing and commanded it until the end of the war in Europe.

After V-E Day, he was assigned as chief of personnel services, Headquarters Army Air Forces in Washington, later becoming deputy to the assistant chief of air staff for personnel. In April 1947 he was assigned to Strategic Air Command as commanding general of the Fifteenth Air Force at Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Air Force returned to England for the first time since World War II when General Johnson organized the Third Air Division (later redesignated the Third Air Force) there in August 1948, as a separate major command of the U.S. Air Force. The division provided facilities for maintenance and support of Strategic Air Command aircraft on rotational training missions to Europe and for transport aircraft used in the Berlin Airlift. In February 1950 General Johnson was appointed, in addition to his other duties, chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group for the United Kingdom.

In February 1952, he was named commander of the Continental Air Command at Mitchel Air Force Base, N.Y. He was appointed in July 1953, U.S. Air Force Representative, Military Staff Committee, United Nations in addition to his primary duty as Continental Air Command commander.

Three years later he was named the U.S. Representative to the North Atlantic Military Committee, Military Representatives Committee and Standing Group of NATO, with duty station in Washington, D.C.

General Johnson next assumed duties in May 1958 as air deputy to the supreme allied commander Europe, at SHAPE Headquarters, Paris, France. He was retired July 31, 1961 with more than 34 years of military service. Six weeks later he was recalled to active duty to become the director, Net Evaluation Subcommittee Staff/National Security Council, with duty station in the Pentagon.

General Johnson is a command pilot and in addition to the Medal of Honor he has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, and the Air Medal with three clusters. His foreign decorations include the French Legion of Honor in the Grade of Chevalier, French Croix de Guerre with palms, Belgian Croix de Guerre with palms, and the British Distinguished Flying Cross. He was promoted to general Aug. 31, 1957.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Special Delivery! ✈️📦 The @109thAW teamed up with the @RCAF_ARC for Operation Boxtop, an annual resupply mission to suppo…
We strive to increase our Airmen's lethality and capabilities. Learn about firefighters leading the cost-effective… https://t.co/Nrgx3BSrtl
RT @EsperDoD: Congratulations to Barbara Barrett for her overwhelming bipartisan confirmation by @SenateGOP & @SenateDems to be the 25th Se…
Gen. Stephen Wilson visited Houston to help #SpaceCity celebrate #AstronautWeek. He visited @spacecenterhouston and… https://t.co/Nymvd98qvQ
Our Airmen continuously work to strengthen our alliances. Learn more about how EOD partnered with Niger Armed Force… https://t.co/VwRIOnBokn
Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of #HoustonWeHavePodcast by @NASA_Johnson where Gen Wilson joins Air Force Colon… https://t.co/Y7u9cHFtOt
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: This is an exciting day for our Air Force. Secretary Barrett brings an incredible background and a level of strategic…
The Senate has confirmed the 25th Secretary of the Air Force, Barbara Barrett. https://t.co/Y6kDGD5eds
RT @DoDHealth: #DYK? Many @TRICARE beneficiaries may qualify to purchase vision insurance through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision I…
Hello #Chicago! SrA Genesis Martinez Arteaga grew up in Chicago and has great things to say about the city, click… https://t.co/o8gFv5YYhp
RT @cmsaf18: It's a great day for our teammates in every corner of the DoD! Our brothers and sisters in service are in the best hands possi…
RT @DVIDSHub: This is what it’s like to be a piece of #military cargo being dropped from an aircraft. Try not to get dizzy! … https://t.co…
RT @AF_Football: The C-17 is the newest member of the Air Power Legacy and honors the nine Air Force bases home to the aircraft with tail f…
RT @HQ_AFMC: The @usairforce Life Cycle Management Center will hold a #PitchDay Nov 13-14 in Dayton, OH focused on awarding on-the-spot, Ph…
RT @HQ_AFMC: The newest @usairforce software development lab is coming to downtown Macon, Georgia. "We want to expose the work that we’re d…
Hello Houston, Texas! SrA Myesha Crosby tells us that there is no other city like Houston. Well, we are here to see… https://t.co/L17T5QH1Oo
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Our Cyber #Airmen take the fight to the enemy in #cyberspace, while keeping us connected w/ each other & our loved one…
RT @ClemsonFB: Jalen Williams || Transferring passion for service and enthusiasm to impacting the world through purposeful employment! Cong…
Great job @AETCommand hosting the @realchefrush. #USAF may have garnered a new recruit. https://t.co/W0RbJ9Fvrz
RT @AstroHague: Can’t wait to showcase our “Airmen in Space” @SpaceCenterHou on Oct. 16, 11:00 a.m. CDT! If you can’t join us in person, tu…