Kenneth O. Johnson
KENNETH O. JOHNSON, "K.O."
born in Harville, Missouri near Popular
Bluff, Missouri on August 31, 1922,grew up
in southeast Missouri and northeast Arkansas, graduated from Corning High School, Corning, Arkansas, worked for Curtis Wright
Aircraft Co. building aircraft until called
into active duty as a cadet/aviation student
Since release from active duty in December 1945 graduated from Purdue University
in 1950, married Betty Lou Jones, PU graduate from LaFayette, Indiana August 5,
1950. We have two children, Cynthia Jo
born June 9, 1958 and Gregory Alan born
Cynthia graduated from PU
in May 1980 and married James Parker
Greaton who graduated from PU in 1978.
They are living in New York City. Cynthia is
a student at Columbia University in the PhD
pathology program and Jim is in the actuarial
program with The Equitable Life Assurance
Society of the United States. Greg has completed one year of photo journalism at Western Kentucky University and is doing free
Upon release from active duty in 1945 I
continued in the active reserve for ten years,
first flying out of Indianapolis, Indiana then
out of Columbus, Indiana. I retired from the
Air Force reserves as a captain in 1956.
In 1951 I started working as a Gas Turbine
Design Engineer. The first fifteen years were
with Allison Division of General Motors in
Indianapolis, Indiana, and the next fifteen
have been with the Aircraft Engine Division
of General Electric in Cincinnati, Ohio.
presently responsible for the design and
development of the LM 5000/LM 500 and
advanced derivative engines for Marine and
In late January 1943 I reported to Decatur, Illinois since I had signed up for the cadet program at Scott Field, Illinois was shipped
back to St. Louis, Missouri (Jefferson Barracks) the same day. Weathered the winter of '43 in the World War I type barracks, the worst two months of
my life. Was sent to the university of Missouri
at Columbia for C.T.D. After five enjoyable
months went to San Antonio, Texas for classification and basic ground training.
Took my Primary Flight Training at Sikeston, Missouri; Basic Flight Training at Strother Field, Windfield, Kansas and Advanced Flight
Training at Aloe Field, Victoria, Texas. After
graduating from flight training as a 2nd
Lieutenant I took my first Overseas Flight
Training at Richmond, Virginia in the Jug
Gunnery Training was accomplished
out of the Norfolk, Va. municipal Field. Was
shipped to Stone, England as a replacement
pilot. From there I was flown to Paris, France
and remained at one of the Rothchild estates
until I received orders to join the 48th
Fighter Group of the 9th Air Force some
place in Germany. The exact location of the
group was not known since they were moving
frequently. Took about ten days to locate
them near Kassel, Germany.
The war was
winding down by the time I joined the group.
The 48th's new rule required me to log
fifteen hours flying time in Germany before
going on an official mission. By the time I
completed the fifteen hours, (had to fight for
a plane), we had moved to a small town,
Eilshim, near Nurnberg. I managed to get two
missions in the last two days of the war in
I stayed on in Germany with the 48th
where we trained for combat in the Pacific,
however, the war ended there while we were
enroute to Marseilles, France. Shortly after
leaving port our orders were changed and we
were returned to New York City. After a
thirty day leave I joined the 48th at Seymore
Johnson Field in North Carolina where I was
later released from active duty. I logged a
total of one thousand hours in military aircraft.
KO is listed in Who's Who in Aviation and
Who's Who in the Midwest and in Personailities of the West and Midwest.
KO had open heart surgery April 28, 1980 six by-passes. He has been back to work
since August 11th. His recovery is great and
on no medication.
P-47 transition followed at Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, Texas after which he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England. When the news of his arrival reached Berlin, Hitler retired to his bunker with his cyanide capsule and revolver. Eva found the news equally depressing.
Asa A. Adair
He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
Edward B. Addison
The 507th Fighter Group, equipped with P-47N's, won the Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 32 Japanese aircraft in the air on one mission to Seoul, Korea. The average flying time for raids to Korea and Japan would be 7 to 9 hours flying time. In a total of 31 months, the 507th not only provided top cover for B-29's, but also
dive-bombed, napalm-bombed and flew low-level on strafing missions.
Levon B. Agha-Zarian
It is rumored that he, took his primary training on a flying rug. He flew Spits, briefly, in England, but as the, war moved to the East, he was sent to India as a Sgt. Pilot and first saw action from Ceylon, flying the Curtiss P.36, the Brewster Buffalo, and the Hurricane. At this point he might have opted for the rug! This was at the time of the fall of Singapore and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
George N. Ahles
Posted to A-20 light bomber squadron Barksdale Field, Louisiana. . Group moved to Hunter Air Base Savannah, Georgia. Qualified for Pilot training November 1940. Entered Aviation Cadets January 1942. Presented wings November 1942 class of 42-J. Married Mary Louise while in Advanced Pilot Training at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, September 1942.
Roy J. Aldritt
Shortly after the group moved to France he ran into some unseen flak and was forced to make a nylon descent behind the lines; some evasion and a lot of luck had him back with his unit
in 24 hours.
Eugene J. Amaral
After graduation from Stonington High School he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was called to active duty in March, 1943. He received his wings and commission at Spence Field, Georgia as a member of the Class of 43-C.
Talmadge L. Ambrose
Flew 84 missions thru VE Day, was downed by 22mm ground fire over Siefried Line. He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft, 9 known confirmed in air and on
ground, including 4 FW 190-D's in one afternoon over Hanover, Germany, April 8, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross,
Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 17 man, Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theatre and European Theatre Meda1s with 5 Battle
Stars and Unit Citation Medal.
John C. Anderson
After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T
.0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
It was not always flak,two ME-109's beat the hell out of me one day. The central controller called me and said "Basher-Red Leader do you have contact Bandits," I replied, "I sure do, I'll bring them over the field in 3 minutes, they're chasing me home." Got all the usual medals including two Belgium and two French but one I'm most proud of is the Silver Star -it is the greatest.