Leon W. Johnson
Born: September 13, 1904, Columbia, Missouri
Died: November 10, 1997 (92), Fairfax, Virginia
Leon William Johnson was a United States Air Force 4-star general
and World War II Medal of Honor recipient.
What do you know about Leon W. Johnson? Try this Quick World War II
Medial of Honor Quiz.
1. He graduated from the United States Military Academy and was
commissioned a second lieutenant in June 1926. He later received a
master of science degree in from the California Institute of Technology.
What subject was his master's degree in?
2. 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, Georgia. He
accompanied the Eighth Air Force to England in June 1942.
3. In January 1943, he assumed command of a Bombardment 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 Romania. What bomber
group did he take command of?
- 97th Bombardment Group
- 44th Bombardment Group
- 114th Bombardment Group
4. While proceeding to the target on this 2,400-mile flight, his
element became separated from the leading elements of the mass formation
in maintaining the formation of the unit while avoiding dangerous
cumulous cloud conditions encountered over mountainous territory. Though
temporarily lost, he reestablished contact with the third element and
continued on the mission with this reduced force to the prearranged
point of attack, where it was discovered that the target assigned to
Col. Johnson's group had been attacked and damaged by a preceding
5. Though having lost the element of surprise upon which the safety
and success of such a daring form of mission in heavy bombardment
aircraft so strongly depended, Col. Johnson elected to carry out his
planned low-level attack despite the thoroughly alerted defenses, the
destructive antiaircraft fire, enemy fighter airplanes, the imminent
danger of exploding delayed action bombs from the previous element, of
oil fires and explosions, and of intense smoke obscuring the target.
6. By his gallant courage, brilliant leadership, and superior flying
skill, Col. Johnson so led his formation as to destroy totally the
important refining plants and installations which were the object of his
mission. Col. Johnson's personal contribution to the success of this
historic raid, and the conspicuous gallantry in action, and intrepidity
at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty demonstrated
by him on this occasion constitute such deeds of valor and distinguished
service as have during our Nation's history formed the finest traditions
of our Armed Forces.
7. On his return to England in September 1943, he organized a combat
wing the 14th Combat Wing and commanded it until the end of the war in
Europe. What was the combat wing?
- 114th Combat Wing
- 14th Combat Wing
- 24th Combat Wing
8. When was he promoted to general?
- August 31, 1957
- August 31, 1958
- August 31, 1959
9. 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.
10. Where is Leon W. Johnson buried?
- Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
- Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California